Note: Gmail has since announced that they will start enforcing these rules gradually—non-compliant senders will get temporary errors starting February 2024, and then in April 2024 Gmail will start rejecting increasing percentages of non-compliant sends. Yahoo and Gmail both have delayed one-click unsubscribe requirements to June 2024.

Email communications are essential to many businesses, but this channel can be vulnerable to bad actors who send spam or even impersonate other brands to attempt to steal customer data. To prevent this, Gmail recently announced new requirements for email senders in 2024. These requirements have been considered best practices across inboxes, but Gmail will start enforcing them on February 1, 2024 to ensure compliance. In this blog post, we will discuss these changes and how to be compliant with OneSignal email.

What’s changing in 2024?

Starting February 1, 2024, Gmail will enforce new requirements for bulk senders: email domain authentication, easy unsubscribing, and staying under a reported spam threshold. A bulk sender is defined as a domain that sends close to 5,000 or more emails to personal Gmail addresses in a 24-hour period (note: emails sent from subdomains are counted towards the 5,000 limit for the primary domain). Once a domain meets this criteria at least once, then it is permanently considered a bulk sender. For senders under this threshold, you will still need to authenticate your email and keep spam reported spam rates under 0.3%.

How to Comply with Gmail's New Bulk Sender Guidelines

If you’re a bulk sender*, then you will need to comply with the following requirements:

1. Authenticate Your Email Domain

All senders must authenticate their emails using established protocols: SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. If you’ve gone through DNS authentication for your email domain, then you’ll likely have already set these up. We strongly recommend that you log into your domain registrar and double-check. If you use OneSignal email, you can consult our documentation for more guidance.

2. Offer an Easy Way to Unsubscribe From Marketing Emails

Marketing messages must be easy to unsubscribe from, which means including a clearly visible unsubscribe link in the message and supporting list-unsubscribe functionality. All unsubscribe requests must be processed within two days. Check out our guide on how to manage email unsubscribes for more best practices and advice.

3. Only Send Wanted Emails

All senders must stay below a clear spam rate threshold of 0.3%. If it goes above the threshold, then make sure you’re only sending wanted emails and following good email hygiene. OneSignal email customers can monitor your spam rates in the OneSignal dashboard, under your email Reputation page.

If you aren’t a bulk sender*, then you will still need to follow requirements for all senders, authenticate your domain with SPF or DKIM and maintain a low spam rate (under 0.3%) to avoid having your emails sent to spam or altogether rejected.

If you don’t meet these requirements, your emails may be delivered to spam folders or altogether rejected. Again, these are generally considered best practices and should be implemented as soon as possible if they haven’t been already. For detailed information about these requirements, please visit Gmail’s help center. Yahoo has announced similar requirements, but they haven't set a volume threshold for defining a bulk sender.

These requirements by Gmail and Yahoo will help ensure that legitimate brands and domains are less likely to be spoofed, providing a more secure email ecosystem.

Get Prepared with OneSignal Email

OneSignal makes it easy to comply with these standards. Review the following steps below to ensure you're compliant, or reach out to us with any questions.

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*Gmail permanently marks a domain as a bulk sender once it sends close to 5,000 messages to personal Gmail accounts in a 24-hour period. Yahoo defines bulk senders as those sending “significant volume,” but hasn’t specified a specific sending volume threshold. If in doubt about your sending status, we recommend complying with the bulk sender guidelines to set yourself up for long-term success.