Don’t Get Sent to Spam! Understanding Gmail’s New DMARC Policy Update  

Don't Get Sent to Spam! Understanding Gmail's New DMARC Policy Update  

If you’ve been following recent developments in email marketing, you’re likely aware of the significant changes happening with Google’s DMARC policy. This update is poised to have a substantial impact on email deliverability, particularly for small businesses and bulk senders.  

What is DMARC and How Does It Work?  

DMARC, or Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance is an email authentication protocol that helps prevent domain spoofing and phishing attacks. It works by allowing domain owners to specify how email servers should handle messages that fail authentication checks, such as SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail).  

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Understanding the Recent Gmail DMARC Policy Update (February 2024)  

Back in October 2023, Google and Yahoo jointly announced new email sender requirements for inbound mail to their domains. While much attention has been focused on these changes, one critical aspect buried in Google’s guidelines is the enforcement of a DMARC quarantine policy for Gmail’s “From:” headers.  

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Potential Impact of the Update on Email Deliverability

Starting February 1, 2024, Google will transition its DMARC policy from “p=none” to “p=quarantine” for messages using gmail.com in the “From” domain that fail DMARC authentication. This means that emails impersonating Gmail “From:” headers are likely to be routed to recipients’ spam folders instead of their inboxes.  

How to Check Your DMARC Policy and Ensure Compliance

Businesses need to verify their DMARC policy and ensure compliance with Gmail’s updated requirements. You can check your DMARC policy using various online tools and consult with your email service provider for guidance on making necessary adjustments.  

Solutions for Businesses Using a Gmail “From:” Address  

If your business sends emails from a platform other than Gmail using a “From” address ending in gmail.com, it’s crucial to take action to avoid being affected by the DMARC policy update. Consider switching to a domain that you own to ensure proper authentication and avoid being flagged as spam.  

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Navigating the Road Ahead  

Google’s implementation of “gradual and progressive” sender enforcement spans several dates, each carrying significant implications for bulk senders:  

  • February 2024: Bulk senders failing to meet sender requirements will begin encountering temporary errors, signaled by specific error codes, on a portion of their non-compliant email traffic. These errors serve as an early warning system, prompting senders to address issues that lead to non-compliance with Google’s guidelines.  
  • April 2024: Google will initiate the rejection of a percentage of non-compliant email traffic, with plans to incrementally increase the rejection rate over time. For instance, if 75% of a sender’s traffic aligns with Google’s requirements, the remaining 25% will gradually face rejection. This phased approach aims to encourage senders to swiftly rectify compliance issues.  
  • June 1, 2024: Bulk senders are mandated to implement one-click unsubscribe functionality in all commercial and promotional messages. This deadline underscores Google’s commitment to enhancing user experience and empowering recipients to manage their email preferences effortlessly.  

Compliance with these milestones is crucial for maintaining email deliverability and fostering positive sender-receiver relationships.  

Best Practices for Maintaining Good Email Deliverability  

To maintain good email deliverability and avoid being sent to spam, follow these best practices:  

  • Use a domain that you own for sending business-related emails.  
  • Ensure proper authentication using SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.  
  • Notify customers to update their address books with your new email address.  
  • Work with your email service provider to transition smoothly to your domain and warm up your sending domain.  

Understanding and adapting to Google’s new DMARC policy update is crucial for businesses to maintain email deliverability and avoid being marked as spam. By following best practices and taking proactive measures, you can ensure that your emails reach your recipients’ inboxes reliably.  


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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What is Gmail’s DMARC Policy?

Gmail’s DMARC policy is a set of rules that specify how email servers should handle messages that fail authentication checks for the gmail.com domain.  

What are the Google DMARC Changes for 2024?

Google’s DMARC changes for 2024 involve transitioning from a “p=none” to a “p=quarantine” policy for messages using gmail.com in the From domain that fails DMARC authentication.  

What are the new DMARC policy requirements that take effect in February 2024?

Starting February 1, 2024, Gmail will quarantine messages using gmail.com in the “From” domain that fail DMARC authentication, potentially sending them to recipients’ spam folders.  

What does a DMARC report tell me?

A DMARC report provides information about the authentication status of emails sent from your domain, helping you identify potential issues and improve email deliverability.  


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