understanding google bulk sender guidelines

How to navigate Gmail’s new bulk sender guidelines with Nylas

6 min read

In case you missed it, Google and Yahoo announced stricter requirements for anyone who sends bulk email to Gmail and Yahoo addresses. Effective February 1, 2024, Google set a hard spam rate threshold, requires strong authentication policies, and mandates one-click unsubscribes for bulk email — all to crack down on spam and malicious messages. 

With these changes, bulk senders that don’t adapt to meet Google’s and Yahoo’s requirements will see significant drops in deliverability. Luckily, those who already adhere to email best practices should continue to experience reliable email delivery

Still, bulk senders should review these requirements to ensure compliance as email service providers continue to crack down on spam. With the ability to easily add one-click unsubscribe headers and unsubscribe links, scheduled email send capabilities to warm-up lists, and email bounce detection insights, Nylas customers are well-equipped to weather these changes.  

In this post, we’ll break down Google’s changes (Yahoo has agreed to adopt the same policies), who they impact, and how Nylas helps senders ensure messages reach their intended recipients.  

What’s changing with Gmail’s bulk email guidelines? 

Previously, Google had advised senders to keep their spam output below 0.3 percent. But now, this spam output rate is a clear threshold. If more than 0.3 percent of your messages are flagged as “spam” by recipients, you are far more likely to see deliverability impacts than you were previously.  

The detailed guidelines from Google include setting up Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) email authentication, ensuring valid Domain Name System (DNS) records, using Transport Layer Security (TLS) for email transmission, and formatting messages according to Internet standards. Importantly, bulk senders must also now enable one-click unsubscribe headers in their sends.

Failing to meet these requirements may impact email delivery or result in marking as spam. For a comprehensive understanding of these guidelines, you can refer directly to Google’s documentation on the new requirements.

Who do these changes affect? 

Google states that these requirements affect any email domain that sends over 5,000 emails per day to Gmail or Yahoo email addresses. All email addresses that send messages using your domain will count toward this requirement, meaning you may still hit the threshold even if each individual email address sends below daily provider rate limits.  

How does Nylas help me stay compliant with these changes?

At Nylas, we know sender reputation matters now more than ever, which is why we’ve built an Email API designed for near-perfect deliverability. Our latest platform updates, including one-click unsubscribe headers, will help you meet Google’s latest requirements, while other key features can help you optimize email delivery. Plus, our team of deliverability experts can help you design a solution that meets the unique requirements of your email use case.

Comply with Google’s changes, fast, using Nylas’ one-click unsubscribe headers

To help companies meet Google and Yahoo’s bulk email requirements, we’ve built support for one-click unsubscribe headers and unsubscribe links in the Nylas Email API. We’ve built these headers to accept a set of key-value pairs, allowing you to customize the header’s name and value. 

These new capabilities can help you achieve compliance with Google’s requirements today — all without investing developer resources to build unsubscribe headers from scratch. What’s more, your recipients will enjoy a better experience that allows them to easily opt out of messages that aren’t relevant to them. 

To set up one click unsubscribe, include both of these headers in outgoing messages:

List-Unsubscribe-Post: List-Unsubscribe=One-Click

List-Unsubscribe: <https://solarmora.com/unsubscribe/example>

For more information on implementing one-click unsubscribe headers, visit our documentation.

Improve deliverability with Nylas Email Analytics and Scheduled Send 

Additionally, Nylas customers can take advantage of capabilities such as our Scheduled Send feature (available in API v3) to improve deliverability. Scheduled Send lets you automatically warm up email lists by emailing engaged recipients first, boosting open and reply rates while signaling to service providers that you have a positive sender reputation. 

Warming up email lists is a best practice in the email marketing world that entails starting with a small group of recipients and gradually increasing the number of emails you deliver. This process helps you keep engagement high and helps prove to service providers that you aren’t sending spam. 

Also, Nylas’ Email Analytics capabilities, including open, click, and reply tracking are important indicators in assessing overall email health. Bounce Detection (available in API v3) helps users detect 95% of email bounces, arming users with a critical signal to get ahead of deliverability issues and take corrective action.  

If you’re a Nylas customer and have questions or need assistance verifying your configuration, reach out to the Nylas support team online or in the Nylas dashboard

Why sender best practices matter now more than ever 

Increasingly, popular email service providers like Google are adopting measures designed to make email a more secure, spam-free communications channel. As email senders, it’s equally important that we focus on quality over quantity by delivering targeted, personal email outreach that resonates with recipients. 

Contextual email APIs such as Nylas are designed to send emails directly from your users’ go-to email service provider. These APIs encourage high-quality, conversational email experiences (one-to-one or one-to-few) that your recipients are far more likely to receive and engage with. 

By sending through users’ personal email addresses instead of a third-party IP, you avoid one of the primary signals that service providers use to flag SPAM. In fact, companies like Nowsite have gone from near-zero deliverability to near-perfect deliverability overnight by switching to a contextual email API. 

Learn more about Google’s bulk sender guidelines

As we head into 2024, it’s now more important than ever to deliver email responsibly. For more details on Google’s new guidelines, read the full announcement on their blog. And to learn more about how Nylas helps maximize email delivery, talk to a Nylas representative.

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