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Everlytic demystifies new email authentication protocols

Google and Yahoo’s new email authentication requirements will pave the way for new mailbox standards that require senders to step up their game.
Wilene van Greunen, head of client services at Everlytic
Wilene van Greunen, head of client services at Everlytic

This is according to Wilene van Greunen, head of client services at Everlytic – South Africa’s largest digital messaging platform.

Van Greunen recently hosted a webinar to help clients understand the email deliverability changes and new requirements for bulk senders.

This year, Google and Yahoo are implementing changes to their email authentication protocols to enhance inbox security. In a nutshell, this means these platforms are requiring additional verification measures for those who send 5,000 or more bulk emails a day.

By complying with these new email deliverability changes, bulk email senders will enhance their reputation and ensure their emails arrive in the intended inboxes.

“Email is an extremely popular attack channel for bad actors and bad behaviour, and it’s like a playground for a spammer or scammer. Phishing continues to be a huge problem for both businesses and consumers,” explained Van Greunen.

To illustrate this, she pointed to how Google said Gmail blocks nearly 15 billion unwanted emails every day.

“These changes aim to bolster email security by ensuring that any incoming mails are authenticated, reducing the risk of spam, phishing attempts, and any other malicious activities, so ultimately improving the delivery of an actual legitimate email to a user’s inbox.”

She explained bulk email senders who do not authenticate will struggle to reach their users’ inboxes, as their email deliverability will be impacted.

To be seen as a legitimate email sender, Van Greunen said you need to adopt three authentication protocols – namely, Sender Policy Framework, DomainKeys Identified Mail, and Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance.

Senders should also implement a one-click unsubscribe. “Unsubscribing should be a user-friendly process – quick and simple.” She added users tend to mark unwanted emails as spam, especially if there isn’t an easy way to unsubscribe from the email.

“When a user unsubscribes from an email, they get removed from your list – they don’t receive any future emails – and there’s no damage to your Internet Protocol or your domain reputation,” said Van Greunen.

“However, when a Gmail or Yahoo user marks your message as spam, they stay on your mailing list, they will continue to receive future email marketing campaigns, and their Internet Service Provider will redirect your message to their spam folder. This negatively impacts your reputation and illustrates and confirms the importance of making sure that it’s very easy for a subscriber to opt out.”

Van Greunen also explained a key change in the threshold for spam complaint rates, as senders should retain a spam rate of 0.3% or lower, monitor their Google Postmaster, and only send emails users want to receive.

Van Greunen homed in on how email delivery isn’t a straightforward process, but there are actions senders can take when creating emails to decrease the chances of recipients marking them as spam. One of these actions is list management.

“It’s always best practice to be on top of your list hygiene – remove invalid or dormant data.”

For more tips and advice, read Everlytic’s Email Deliverability Survival Guide for Navigating Google & Yahoo’s Changes.

11 Mar 2024 13:55