Email Marketing Guide to Google and Yahoo! Rules

Google and Yahoo! both introduced new requirements for email senders that became effective as of February 1, 2024. These changes are intended to enhance email security and protect users from spam and phishing attacks. The email rules will impact how emails are authenticated and delivered. If your law firm marketing plan includes email marketing (and it should!), you will want to review your current policies and procedures for compliance.

Email Authentication and Deliverability

Email Marketing for Law FirmsProperly authenticating your emails has always been a best practice, but not all senders adhere to these email marketing guidelines. By failing to authenticate emails, senders inadvertently open the door for bad actors to impersonate domains and engage in phishing activities. Google and Yahoo are committed to safeguarding their users, and they’ve decided that email authentication and deliverability best practices are no longer optional.

Key Requirements for Email Senders

  • Authentication: Senders must properly authenticate their emails using DKIM, SPF, and DMARC. These protocols verify that emails originate from legitimate sources and prevent unauthorized use of domains. A brief explanation of each protocol appears below.
  • Spam Prevention: To maintain a healthy sending reputation, keep your spam complaint rate below 3%. Monitoring this metric ensures that your emails don’t end up in recipients’ spam folders.
  • Unsubscribe Process: Allow recipients to unsubscribe easily by providing a single-click link. Additionally, honor unsubscribes within two days to respect user preferences.
  • RFC 5322 Compliance: RFC 5322 is an Internet standard that defines the correct format for email messages, including message body, headers, and attachments. Law firm email senders are advised to follow these Internet Message Format standards for emails. Consistency in formatting ensures better deliverability.
  • Valid Reverse DNS Records: Ensure that your sending server IP addresses have valid reverse DNS records. This step contributes to reliable email delivery.

Here is more information on the authentication protocols mentioned above.

  • DKIM. DomainKeys Identified Mail is an email authentication method designed to detect forged sender addresses in email, a technique often used in phishing and email spam.
  • SPF. Sender Policy Framework is an email authentication method which ensures the sending mail server is authorized to originate mail from the email sender’s domain. This authentication only applies to the email sender listed in the “envelope from” field during the initial SMTP connection.
  • DMARC. Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance is an email authentication protocol. It is designed to give email domain owners the ability to protect their domain from unauthorized use, commonly known as email spoofing.

Information for Constant Contact Email Subscribers

As a Constant Contact partner, I’m happy to share their article titled, “Changes to Google and Yahoo’s email authentication requirements.”

If you are interested in learning more about Constant Contact email services for your law firm’s email marketing plan, click on the link to visit Constant Contact.

Law Firms That Send Emails

While these requirements primarily target large bulk senders—those who send over 5,000 emails per day—law firm that send emails as well as and transactional email providers should also take note. Even if you’re not a high-volume sender, adhering to these guidelines will improve your email deliverability.

Remember, email authentication isn’t just a technicality; it’s essential for maintaining trust and ensuring your messages reach the inbox. Stay informed, implement the necessary changes, and keep your email communication secure.

Email Compliance Resources from Google

Define Your DMARC Record
Add Your DMARC Record

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Law firm marketing consultant Margaret Grisdela, president of Legal Expert Connections, Inc.

Margaret Grisdela

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