Marketers are scrambling to avoid the wrath of tanked deliverability and sender reputation from Google & Yahoo’s new email compliance enforcement – and it’s officially “on” beginning February 1st.
On the individual level, a crackdown on spammy emails is ideal — though, businesses might feel the heat in their marketing tactics.
So, what are the changes anyway, and what’s the best way to prepare? We wanted to provide a helpful roadmap for how to navigate these changes.
Senders Must Authenticate Their Email
When leveraging email marketing for customer nurturing campaigns, sending out bulk emails is simply part of the game. However, new requirements are doubling down on these high volume senders.
As a new stipulation, email authentication is required. This means companies must establish their sender identity through SPF, DKIM, and DMARC configuration. DTC Insider clarifies this as a way of verifying sender identity when sending emails from a custom domain — so authenticating branded email addresses allows businesses to deliver emails to their subscribers successfully.
To break it down further, SPF’s purpose is to deter spammers from using what appears to be a brand’s domain as a method to blast unauthorized messages.
DKIM verifies that the email domain owner is the true sender of the message. To ensure this is the case for your own unique brand, the domain sending the email must have DKIM turned on.
For messages from a company’s domain that do not pass through SPF or DKIM, publishing a DMARC record for your domain equips you to tell servers what to do with these emails moving forward.
The vast majority of email users identify with the grievance of receiving unwanted emails. Even more frustrating is being faced with an unnecessarily difficult process to opt out.
To tackle this issue head on, another new condition is implementing the one-click unsubscribe requirement. The idea is that every email user will benefit from this change, as it eliminates the hassle frequently associated – and easily weeds out subscribers who are no longer interested in receiving your messages.
To comply with this change, a quick audit could be needed to ensure you’re in tip-top shape to offer this easy opt out. While it can vary across platforms, your email service provider likely has a one-click unsubscribe feature that can be easily implemented.
Enforcing a 0.3% Spam Rate Threshold
Now, possibly the most nail-biting change of them all — the mere 0.3% spam rate threshold. Put more simply, if only 3 emails out of 1000 are marked as spam, your domain will be flagged as a spammer.
If you follow the aforementioned guidelines, you’re set to be in good shape. However, regularly monitoring email content and cleaning your email database from unengaged prospects is another recommended layer of protection.
The Strategic Approach
The more you know about your customers, the better equipped you will be to navigate these new spam thresholds. And with the deprecation of third-party cookies, identity-based marketing is more important than ever.
By identifying your most loyal customers, understanding their product and channel preferences, and analyzing their lifecycle stage, you can successfully reach the right contacts – and eliminate those that are no longer a fit. Accessing and acting on this data doesn’t have to be a strenuous or time-consuming process.
Enriching your first-party data is a crucial step in the process – allowing you to better understand key attributes of your top customers. This data can then be analyzed to identify clusters of customers with similar attributes to build out your brand’s top personas. Not only can you hit them with the right copy and creative based on their preferences, you can also compare personas to understand which group is most valuable to your brand. Additionally, diving into product purchase insights, marketing channel and promo preferences, and customer lifecycle analytics – you’ll be able to personalize your customer experience in a way that will resonate. What better way to minimize unsubscribes and spam threats?
With only a few key steps needed to get prepared, layering these compliance updates with a first-party customer data strategy puts you in a more secure position to bypass classification as a spam sender. While these updates can present yet another barrier in reaching more customers to grow your business, it can also be framed as an opportunity to level up your personalization strategy that’s built to be future-proof.
Interested in maximizing your marketing efforts with these new regulations in place?