Don’t Get Sent to Spam! Your Guide to Google and Yahoo’s 2024 Email Rules

by Stephanie Koehler | January 29, 2024

Building and launching successful email marketing campaigns for your law firm requires knowledge, planning, and constant tweaking and analysis. It also requires following specific guidelines set by some of the most popular email clients, including Google and Yahoo.

While guidelines for sending marketing emails to people who use these email providers have existed for a long time, they also change occasionally. When that happens, it’s essential to understand those changes and know how to adapt to them to ensure your emails arrive in potential clients’ inboxes safely and soundly.

Google is Closing Inactive Email Accounts 

Starting in December 2023, Google began deleting accounts that had been inactive for two years. This move is aimed at streamlining user data management and enhancing security.

However, it presents a new dimension to an old challenge for email marketers: ensuring their messages reach active, engaged recipients. In addition, it’s not the only significant change Google has in its pipeline.

Gmail and Yahoo’s New Authentication Requirements 

On Feb. 1, 2024, both Google and Yahoo are implementing significant changes to handling bulk email and spam. These changes mainly target bulk senders, defined as anyone sending over 5,000 emails daily.

It’s essential for firms that use email marketing to understand these changes and know how to adapt to them:

  • Email Authentication Protocols: Both Google and Yahoo will require bulk senders to authenticate their emails. This includes setting up DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance). DMARC is a guardian for emails, ensuring they genuinely come from the claimed domain by checking the alignment of the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DKIM records.
  • One-Click Unsubscribe: Senders must include a one-click unsubscribe option in their emails. This simplifies the user opt-out process and is part of the effort to enhance the user experience and reduce spam complaints.
  • Spam Complaint Rate: Google and Yahoo set a new threshold for spam complaint rates. Google, for instance, mandates that the spam rate for bulk senders must be kept below 0.3%, as measured by Google’s Postmaster Tools. This threshold is part of the initiative to reduce the volume of spam emails and declutter users’ inboxes.

What Is the Purpose of These Changes? 

Email authentication protocols are crucial in ensuring email deliverability and sender reputation. With Google and Yahoo’s new policy, the importance of these protocols becomes even more pronounced.

  • Enhancing Deliverability: Email authentication helps verify that an email is from the stated sender, reducing the likelihood of being marked as spam. In a landscape where inactive accounts are being purged, ensuring that your emails reach only active users and are kept from spam folders is crucial.
  • Improving Sender Reputation: Regularly bouncing emails due to inactive accounts can harm a sender’s reputation. By implementing authentication protocols, email marketers can improve their reputation with email service providers, ensuring better overall deliverability.
  • Avoiding Fraud and Phishing: Email authentication protects your brand from being used in phishing scams. Authentication protocols help in safeguarding your brand’s integrity.

Adapting to Google and Yahoo’s Changes

To adapt to Google and Yahoo’s email updates, email marketers need to take a few important and proactive steps:

  • Implement Email Authentication Protocols: Set up DKIM, SPF, and DMARC for your email domains. These protocols prove your emails’ authenticity, helping them pass through spam filters and reach your intended audience. Implementing DMARC is especially important as it checks the alignment of SPF and DKIM records, adding an extra layer of authentication.
  • Enable One-Click Unsubscribe: Include a one-click unsubscribe link in your emails. This feature meets the new requirements and enhances the user experience by making it easier for recipients to opt out of unwanted communications, which can reduce spam complaints.
  • Maintain Low Spam Rates: Monitor and keep your spam complaint rates below the threshold set by Google (0.3%). This involves managing your email list effectively, ensuring your content is relevant and engaging to your audience, and avoiding practices that might lead to higher spam complaints.
  • Review and Adapt Email Strategies: Regularly review your email marketing strategies to ensure they align with these new requirements. This might involve auditing your current practices, training your marketing team on these updates, and adjusting your email content and frequency.


  • Monitor Email Performance: Keep a close eye on email analytics to track deliverability, open rates, and spam complaints. This data will help you understand how well your emails are performing and identify areas for improvement.
  • Stay Informed and Compliant: Stay up-to-date with any further changes or additional requirements from email service providers. Compliance is an ongoing process, and staying informed is key to ensuring your email marketing remains effective and within the bounds of these new regulations.

Questions? Reach Out to Your cj Brand Strategist. 

Google’s recent policy update is an urgent message for email marketers to prioritize email authentication protocols. By doing so, they will not only comply with these new regulations and improve their overall email marketing strategy, but also ensure their messages reach engaged, active users.

There’s no question that these are much more stringent requirements for email marketers and companies that rely on email marketing. However, they reflect what were already best practices, and in many cases, email marketers were already following these guidelines to maximize campaign performance and efficiency.

If you have questions or concerns about your email marketing strategy or want to discuss what these changes mean for your firm’s campaigns, contact your cj brand strategist today.