Navigating Google and Yahoo’s 2024 Email Requirements: A Guide for Small Business Owners

As small business owners, it can seem like we are either knee-deep ‘doing the work’ or being bombarded with emails and social snippets advising new changes and tools every single week.
While we might be tempted to ignore many of them, the change outlined below is not something you can ignore. In February 2024, Google and Yahoo will implement stringent email requirements to combat spam and enhance security. This is why you have likely received several emails from your email marketing providers (Active Campaign, MailChimp, Mailerlite, Klaviyo, etc) in the last month asking you to update your DKIM, SPF, and DMARC records. You must ensure that you take the necessary actions as specified in those emails. This article will outline why those domain changes must be actioned to ensure your business emails reach your customers correctly.


What are the specific email changes?


There are three key items that you will need to make sure you action from February 2024 to ensure that emails you send from your email marketing tools will end in the inbox of your Gmail and Yahoo email customers. 

1. Authenticate your email

Email authentication is a cornerstone of these new requirements. It involves three key elements: DKIM, SPF, and DMARC. Essentially what you will be doing will be creating these additional records in your domain management tool. For many of you, these items may already be in place, if not you should follow the instructions that your email marketing provider has been advising you to set up. 

  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail): This email security standard helps verify the sender’s identity and ensures that the email content hasn’t been tampered with during transit.
  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework): SPF prevents email spoofing by verifying the sender’s IP address against the list of IPs authorised to send emails from that domain.
  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance): DMARC builds on DKIM and SPF, providing instructions to email servers handling emails that don’t pass these authentication checks.


In the past these domain records had been classed as best practices to help minimise your domain being flagged as spam, reducing deliverability. From February 2024, these items will now be essential.  You can find more information regarding these specific record changes for these key platforms below.


2. Keep Spam Complaints Low

It is recommended that you maintain a spam complaint rate below 0.3%. This involves closely monitoring your email content and recipient engagement to avoid being marked as spam. It is a great habit to get into to regularly review your email marketing campaigns 24-48 hours after sending a campaign to track performance, so more than open rates and click throughs, make sure you are watching unsubscribes and any spam complaints. A great way to do this is to not send crap! Think about what your audience might wish to receive and send them that! We all receive alot of emails, so make sure you aim to keep your content good quality and relevant to the audience. 


3. Streamlining Unsubscribe Processes

Make sure you include an easy-to-use unsubscribe link in your emails and action these requests promptly, preferably within two days. This is something that you really should already have in place. We cannot stress enough how important it is to make sure that people can easily and quickly unsubscribe from your newsletters.

Understanding and implementing these practices will improve your email deliverability and build customer trust. If you are stuck with making any of these changes, please reach out to our team so that we can help you ensure ongoing success with your email marketing efforts.


Leanne O'Sullivan

Digital Sherpa & CEO
I help businesses grow through strategic digital marketing.​ I am the founder, CEO and Digital Sherpa of Adventure Digital – a marketing agency based in regional NSW, servicing clients all over the Australian eastern seaboard. I’ve made it my life’s mission to help you grow a sustainable, enjoyable and profitable business.

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