BE ADVISED: This document provides information about new bulk sending requirements from Google and Yahoo. It should not be construed as legal advice, and we recommend that you work with your legal advisors and/or compliance team to ensure you are sending emails in compliance with all applicable laws.
Google and Yahoo are aiming to reduce spam emails and improve email security for their users by enforcing strict new requirements on bulk senders of email beginning in early 2024. Other providers are expected to follow suit thereafter.
Organizations (including Outreach customers) must take action to ensure compliance with these new requirements and to maintain a healthy domain reputation.
Note on Google Workspace Accounts: We understand that Google has clarified to specify that sender requirements and Google enforcement currently only apply to messages sent to personal Gmail (@gmail.com) accounts and not Google Workspace Accounts. (To date, Yahoo has not made a similar announcement.) While this suggests these new regulations will impact those sending B2C communications more immediately than those sending B2B, we continue to work with all customers to understand requirements in order to avoid future business disruptions.
In the meantime, our B2B customers are additionally advised to audit their business contacts for personal email addresses as appropriate. Learn more here.
Ready to take action? Use our helpful Bulk Mailings Best Practices Checklist.
- All senders of commercial email (including B2B and B2C)
- Email deliverability
- Email provider requirements
Ensuring Compliance With Bulk Email Sender Requirements
There are 3 key areas to focus on in order to be seen as a legitimate sender: Authentication, Unsubscribe Links, and Spam Rate Threshold.
Bulk senders must strongly authenticate their emails, ensuring that the sender's identity is verified, thereby closing security loopholes exploited by attackers. All email must be authenticated using SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. For many organizations, these changes will need to be made or verified by your IT or Engineering department.
Check whether or not an SPF/DKIM/DMARC are set up correctly: If you have a user’s email, you can easily do this using the header information.
If DKIM does not pass: Please reference the below to fix depending on your email provider.
(Learn more about managing SPF, DKIM, and DMARC here.)
Bulk senders are required to offer Gmail and Yahoo recipients the ability to unsubscribe from commercial emails with a single click and must process unsubscribe requests within two days. Currently there are 2 different areas within the Outreach application that control unsubscribe links being added to emails. (For complete guidance, click here.)
The first area you’ll want to check is within your Org info under the Email tab. These settings control unsubscribe links being added to both one-off and bulk emails.
A description of the features are available below:
|Enable one-click unsubscribe
|When enabled the user is automatically unsubscribed when the link is clicked without the need to confirm on a separate landing page.
|Include list-unsubscribe in email header
This allows for easy unsubscribe directly from the email header without the need for a recipient to find the unsubscribe link in the email body.
|Add unsubscribe link to one-off emails sent with Outreach through Gmail/Outlook
Include the unsubscribe link in your emails sent with your email client when using the Outreach extensions (Outreach Everywhere for Gmail and Outlook Add-in).
How will the new setting impact Gmail?
When Outreach will detect that an email is sent to a prospect, the unsubscribe link will be added below the email signature. The user can delete the link if they choose to do so.
When replying to an email the link will not be added; the link is included only for new emails.
How will the new setting impact Outlook?
In Outlook the email processing happens at the time the user clicks on send. The unsubscribe link will be added to the email as part of the send process.
As with Gmail, the link will not be added to email replies.
|Add unsubscribe link to one-off emails sent with Outreach through Outreach web
|Your unsubscribe link will be included in one off emails sent through Outreach Web.
|Add unsubscribe link to bulk emails
|Your unsubscribe link will be included in bulk emails sent through Outreach Web.
Unsubscribe links can also be controlled at the sequence level via Rulesets. You can check to see if your Rulesets have this setting enabled by clicking the gear icon in the bottom left corner of Outreach, then Workflow automations > Rulesets. Click to open a ruleset and review this setting.
Spam Rate Threshold
A clear spam rate threshold that senders must stay under to prevent users from receiving excessive unwanted messages will be enforced, setting an industry-first standard for spam control. Specifically, starting February 1, 2024, Google and Yahoo will automatically block all messages from bulk-sending organizations with a spam complaint rate of 0.3% or higher.
View and manage your organization’s sending reputation and abuse complaints via the providers’ dedicated tools:
Recommended Action for B2B Senders: Personal Email Addresses
For our B2B Customers, we strongly recommend you audit your contact database to remove any personal email addresses associated with B2B customers (unless you’ve been directed by the user to use their personal Gmail) and do your best to replace them with corporate email addresses.
We also recommend adhering to Outreach’s Best Practices Checklist for Bulk Senders and the rest of the guidance above. While Google’s specific regulations impact personal emails for now, we can’t be sure it will remain that way, so we recommend organizations adopt our best practices as soon as possible. More importantly, sending authenticated emails with personalized messaging as a sensible habit improves the sending experience and can lead to improved performance outcomes.
Bulk Mailings Best Practice Checklist
For organizations using workflows aligned to Outreach deliverability best practices, we predict little to no impact to mailings as a result of these new policies. To ensure your organization is in compliance with these requirements, review the below checklist of our best practices for healthy deliverability.
|Domain Authentication (SPF/DKIM/DMARC)
|All email must be authenticated using SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. For many organizations, these changes will need to be made or verified by your IT or Engineering department.
Ensure SPF/DKIM/DMARC are set up correctly:
If you have a user’s email, you can easily do this using the header information.
If DKIM does not pass:
Reference reference the below to fix depending on your email provider.
|Monitor Spam Rates
Mailing providers monitor a sender’s spam complaint rates as a way to identify potential abusive practices. Going forward, it is required that all senders keep spam complaint rates below 0.3% to avoid having their email treated as spam by the provider.
Ensuring all mailings have Unsubscribe Links (below) is also a great preventative step to minimize spam complaint rates.
Google gives visibility into an org’s spam compliant rates via Google Postmaster.
Review your org’s current rates within Postmaster. Gmail recommends spam complaint rates stay below 0.3%. If you send to a mix of Gmail recipients and recipients on other mailbox providers, the spam complaint rates reported by Gmail’s Postmaster Tools are a good indicator of an org’s spam complaint rates at mailbox providers who don’t let you view metrics.
Unsubscribe Links in Rulesets
|Unsubscribe links are a mechanism for your prospects to tell you that they know longer wish to receive emails from you. They also reduce the chances of a prospect marking a mailing as Spam.
|Unsubscribe Links in Bulk Mailings
|Using URLs that align with your company's domain improve deliverability and promote trust between the sender and recipient.
|How to configure a Branded URL
|Org Level Mailing Limits and Throttles
Email limits determine how many emails Users can send from Outreach each day/week as well as the total email limits per mailbox.
When limits are reached, the platform will automatically schedule newly created Outreach mailings to be sent the next available date and time.
|Sequence Specific Limits and Throttles
Sequence throttles provide Users the ability to stagger the volume of Prospects moving through a Sequence at one time and safeguard against reaching mailing caps. They also help with ensuring sequence task creation is in alignment with rep bandwidth.
We recommend enabling prospect throttling in all high volume sequences, auto-activating prospects, and setting limits to 50 maximum adds per user every 24 hours and 150 active prospects per user, though the second limit can be increased if there are less email steps in the sequence.
|Configuring Sequence Throttles
|Org-Level Bounce Rates
High bounce rates negatively impact deliverability. As a best practice, bounced emails should account for less than 3% of all outbound mailings.Users can navigate to navigate to the Outreach Outbox and filter by Bounced Emails and Bounce Email Reasons to better understand their current volume of bounced emails.
Review your org’s bounce rate using Outreach’s Team Performance - Email Dashboard.
To lower bounce rates, Create Bounced Email Triggers to prevent Bounced prospects from being re-sequenced.
|Review Current Send Volumes
|It’s important to ensure reps are created targeted lead lists and being strategic with their outbound prospecting motion. It is against best practice to send an excessive volume of bulk emails.
|Review your org’s current outbound mailing volume using Team Performance - Email Dashboard, and review the current limit of emails being sent per rep, per day.
|Audit contact database to remove personal Gmail accounts
|Limit exposure to unnecessary spam complaints by auditing your contact database to remove personal Gmail accounts and ensure that you are sending to corporate emails for all B2B prospects and customers.
|Maintain your data hygiene and prospect lists.
- Customer Webinar: Bulk email send changes: Best practices for Outreach & beyond
- The Outreach Email Deliverability Playbook
- Office Hours - Optimize your Outreach Deliverability
- Google & Yahoo email acceptance policy changes: What does it mean for me?
- SPF, DKIM, and DMARC Overview for Outreach Email Users
- How To Manage Outreach Email Unsubscribe Links