The recent Google and Yahoo email policy updates have left B2B sales and business leaders in a state of confusion, particularly those who rely on email campaigns as a primary method of lead generation, marketing and nurturing.
This article dives into the specifics of these policy changes, offering insights into new best practices for successful email campaigns, addressing the key challenges, and outlining how Operatix is ensuring our clients continue to see the best possible results. Continue reading for tips on how to avoid your sales and marketing emails getting flagged as spam before they hit your target inbox.
What is spam?
Spam refers to unsolicited, often irrelevant or inappropriate messages typically sent in bulk. These emails are usually commercial, usually designed to promote products, services, or fraudulent schemes. Spam emails often pose security risks, including phishing attempts or the spread of malware.
What are the new Google and Yahoo email guidelines?
Ensuring the security of your emails has always been a best practice when sending out campaigns, but now more than ever, email providers like Yahoo and Gmail are taking extra precautions to protect users from spam and phishing. From February 2024, both providers will require mass email senders to follow a series of rules to ensure these emails are delivered to the intended recipient’s email, rather than being marked as spam and intercepted. Proper email authentication is at the forefront of these changes, with Gmail and Yahoo emphasizing the following:
- Authenticate Your Emails: Use DKIM, SPF, and DMARC to verify the authenticity of your emails.
- Keep Spam in Check: Maintain a spam complaint rate below 0.3% to ensure your emails stay out of the spam folder.
- Streamline Unsubscribes: Allow recipients to unsubscribe effortlessly with a single click, and make sure to honor these requests within two days.
- Compliance and Records: Adhere to RFC 5322 standards, implement PTR records, rDNS, and ensure your sending server IP addresses have valid reverse DNS records.
- Secure Transmission: Use a TLS connection for transmitting emails to ensure secure communication.
- Sender Domain: Whenever you are sending emails you are likely to send them to Google or Yahoo mailboxes. If these mailboxes are personal, any business sending large volumes of emails needs to make sure they are applying best practices to protect the domain they are sending from.
This may sound like a lot of extra steps, but don’t panic. As the last point suggests, these measures are more-so aimed at emails sent from and delivered to personal addresses rather than business accounts. All of our recommended best practices and tips are to stay as proactive as possible, reducing any risk of your emails being sent to the spam folder.
Recommended best practices for email campaigns
As we adapt to Google and Yahoo’s new email policies, using best practices is crucial to keeping a good sender reputation and running successful email campaigns. To improve your strategy, follow these suggestions:
Be Mindful of Subject Lines: Ensure all subject lines are clear, relevant, and devoid of deceptive tactics. Avoid all caps, excessive exclamation marks, or trigger words commonly associated with spam. A transparent subject line enhances the credibility of your emails, so ensure it is true to the topic.
Personalization Matters: It’s more important than ever to personalize your email campaigns and lead generation. We recommend tailoring your emails to address recipients directly by name, as well as incorporating content that is based on their specific preferences and pain points. Not only will this help you avoid being marked as spam, but they’re more likely to be well received.
Provide Easy Unsubscribe Options: All marketing emails should include an unsubscribe link that is clearly visible and easy to access. It should not be hidden and action should be taken within two days. This not only complies with regulations but also builds trust with recipients, demonstrating transparency in communication.
Consistent Branding: Maintain consistent branding elements throughout all communications, such as company logos, colors, and fonts, to help recipients recognize and trust your emails. This consistency reduces the likelihood of your emails being reported and flagged as spam, ensuring that they look credible and professional.
Deliver Relevant and Valuable Content: Make sure your email content matches your recipients’ interests, is valuable, and relevant. High-quality content is less likely to trigger spam filters, as well as engaging recipients more.
Avoid Spam Trigger Words: Avoid using words or phrases commonly associated with spam. This typically includes ‘guarantee’, ‘free’, ‘limited offer’, ‘100% satisfied’, ‘free preview/trial/quote’ and similar. Stick to more natural and informative language rather than being overly promotional.
Monitor Engagement: Keeping an eye on email engagement metrics, such as the open rate and click-through rate, is essential. Your emails may be less likely to be delivered if engagement is low, which may be a signal to spam filters that your content is irrelevant.
Keep Email Lists Updated: Ensure a robust email list by consistently refreshing it, and eliminating inactive or bounced email addresses. This practice guarantees that your messages reach an active audience, contributing positively to email deliverability and metrics.
Don’t Send Emails to and from Personal Accounts: As mentioned, your emails are more likely to be flagged as spam if they are being sent to and from standard ‘@gmail.com’ email addresses. Ensure to use professional accounts wherever possible.
Conduct Pre-Send Tests: Before launching your email campaigns, carry out comprehensive testing to verify the functionality of all elements, such as links, HTML and content. Testing is crucial for identifying potential issues that might impact the success of your emails.
These are all things that we recommend and will be incorporating into our guidelines when it comes to our email campaigns. All of these tips are designed to keep your emails from being flagged as spam as per the new email policies.
What are we doing for our clients?
Operatix is actively implementing measures to guarantee that all emails sent on behalf of our clients align seamlessly with the new email policies. Our dedicated efforts focus on adapting to and adhering strictly to the updated rules and guidelines set forth by platforms like Google and Yahoo. Below are some of the steps we’re taking:
Email Value Optimization: Ensuring all client emails add value to the communication journey. Implementing a multi-channel approach, utilizing platforms like LinkedIn for effective follow-ups rather than sending multiple emails.
Internal Training: Increasing the skillset of our team to enhance proficiency and effectiveness of campaigns.
Domain Configuration Focus: Proactively raising awareness about domain configuration with clients to ensure correct implementation.
Configuration Rule Updates: Updating configuration rules to prioritize domain safety. Resetting send limits, increasing email delays, and integrating CNAME and click tracking. Adding email unsubscribes to enhance prospect experience.
Quality Conversations Emphasis: Continuing to use emails as part of the primary outreach methodology but prioritizing quality conversations. Reviewing and refining email copy to send fewer, clearer, and more actionable emails.
Thorough Domain Configuration Review: Conducting a comprehensive review of domain configuration, utilizing SPF and DKIM records.
Email Sending System Integration: Utilizing systems that allow the use of SPF and DKIM records via integration.
Sub-domain and Link Integration Guidance: Guiding clients on creating and providing sub-domains for email campaigns to protect the overall business domain health and keep the spam score down. Assisting in creating best practices for email blasts that contain links and attached material.
IT Collaboration for Settings Review: Collaborating directly with client IT teams to review and optimize settings for SPF, DKIM, and CNAME records. Facilitating the entire process by providing a recommended sub-domain.
Continuous Improvement Commitment: Scheduling follow-up sessions for ongoing email copy reviews and refinement of communication strategies.
We aim to ensure that our client’s campaigns not only comply with the latest policies but also effectively nurture and engage with leads. Our goal is to turn our clients’ email campaigns into strong tools for building real relationships and meaningful connections. We’re not just complying; we’re making sure their emails work effectively and deliver results.
Podcast: Google and Yahoo’s New Email Policies Unveiled with Mansour Salame
In this episode of B2B Revenue Acceleration, host Aurelien Mottier, CEO at Operatix, sits down with Mansour Salame, CEO at FrontSpin, to decode the intricacies of the Google and Yahoo spam policies and explore their impact on B2B businesses.
Mansour provides a comprehensive overview, guiding sales leaders in adapting to the evolving email landscape while sticking to the new rules. The differentiated impact on B2B and B2C businesses is explored, shedding light on the key considerations each business type must bear in mind. The evolving strategies and best practices for crafting email campaigns under heightened scrutiny are also discussed, offering practical insights for sales representatives and business leaders alike.
For sales representatives accustomed to relying on email campaigns, Aurelien and Mansour discuss seamless adaptation strategies in the face of this shift towards phone calls. They ponder if there potential shift towards phone calls as the primary method for targeting leads, and how it may change the sales landscape as a whole.
This episode is a must-listen for professionals in the B2B sales and marketing space, offering a comprehensive understanding of the evolving email policies and their potential impact on strategies and approaches. Subscribe now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your preferred platform and stay informed with B2B Revenue Acceleration!