As a marketing services provider, email is incredibly important to our client’s business – and the implications of this ruling are massive.
The ruling extends beyond marketing emails, encompassing all operational and commercial emails from a domain. This includes individual employee interactions, meaning large organizations with numerous employees and extensive email marketing capabilities will rapidly reach the threshold.
Identifying a Gmail user is not always straightforward, which compounds the issue.
For B2C businesses, it’s easy to identify Gmail users by checking the email address for “gmail.com” or “googlemail.com”.
However, identification is not as simple for B2B businesses.
How Can I Tell Who is a Gmail User?
Many of Google’s 1.8 billion users don’t have an account that ends with the “gmail.com” or “googlemail.com” domain.
Google business users have email addresses that use their corporate email domain, not “gmail.com”.
However, it’s pretty simple to determine if a domain uses Gmail for their email. If you’re using a Mac, enter the following command in your terminal.
dig [insert domain] mx
If Gmail hosts that email address, the hostname will include “google,” like this:
Many tools are available that can search for MX records in bulk. These tools can help you analyze your database. By utilizing them, you can determine the number of email addresses hosted by Gmail.
Risk of Non-Compliance with Google Rules for Bulk Email
Failure to comply with Google’s new bulk email regulations carries significant risks. Organizations must tread carefully, as the consequences can be dire.
Imagine this: Google’s servers mark your emails as spam or block them altogether. Disrupted communication channels left large corporations hanging by a thread.
Your brand’s reputation takes a hit, eroding customer trust and loyalty. If Google keeps marking your emails as spam, they might suspend your email service.
Imagine being unable to send or receive emails via your corporate domain.
That’s why organizations must adapt to these new regulations swiftly.
Steps You Should Take Now
Both B2B and B2C businesses must prepare for this transition. To assess the risks your organization faces, follow these steps.
- Inquire with your IT team about the number of emails sent to Gmail users, including those with corporate accounts
- Inquire with your marketing team about the number of emails sent daily
By summing up these numbers, you can get a rough approximation of the total emails your company sends. Compliance becomes even more imperative if this figure exceeds 5,000 emails per day to Gmail users.
Google Rules for Bulk Email Senders
To comply with the new Google rules, every company must:
- Authenticate Email with DKIM
Authenticating your mail involves setting up a DKIM to prevent email spoofing. MX Toolbox has a great guide on how to do this quickly. If you’re using a marketing automation tool, they will likely have documentation for how to set up DKIM.
- Create Forward and Reverse DNS records for Sending Domains
To comply with Google’s new rules, you must have both forward and reverse DNS records for the domain included in your DKIM signature. This is another security measure that helps validate the email sender. Join Google Postmaster Tools to track email performance and detect problems like excessive spam.
- Use Accurate “From:” Headers
Don’t lie about who sent a message to trick people. Always use accurate and honest sender information to ensure a reliable and trustworthy email experience for everyone involved.
- Add “ARC Headers” to forwarded emails
This header ensures proper authentication of emails and maintains the trustworthiness of the sender’s address.
- Follow the Internet Message Format Standard
This standard outlines the rules for sending emails in a compliant manner. Failing to follow these guidelines can lead to marking emails as spam or rejecting them altogether.
- Maintain a Spam Rate threshold of Less than a .3%
Google recommends that your spam rate should be less than .3% to maintain a positive reputation. This means you should have exceedingly few complaints, bounces or marked as spam emails.
Companies sending over 5,000 emails daily to Gmail users must meet additional requirements:
- Provide a One-Click Unsubscribe Option
Unsubscribe was one of the cornerstones of CANN SPAM. The Google rules double down to ensure that the unsubscribe link is prominent, and the process is simple.
- Set up DMARK on the Sending Domain
The DMARK protocol prevents phishing and verifies the sender’s email identity. Gmail uses DMARC as part of its spam filtering process, so having this in place is essential.
- Ensure the domain in the “From:” header aligns with the the SPF or DKIM domain
This is another security measure to ensure the validity of emails.
You should not take Google’s new email rules lightly. If you do not comply, Google will mark your emails as spam or block them altogether. Understanding the risks and taking appropriate action to ensure compliance is essential. Following the steps in this document, you can evaluate your company’s risk and ensure compliance with Google’s rules.