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Gmail and Yahoo’s authentication changes: All you need to know

7 min

Gmail and Yahoo! have both announced major changes to their email authentication requirements and spam prevention policies, set to take effect in February 2024.

Given the potential impact on the success of your future email marketing campaigns, it’s crucial to be fully informed about these upcoming shifts and to understand the steps needed to win at email marketing in 2024.

The good news? There’s no need to wait until February to get your email program on track. We’re here to guide you every step of the way!

First, let’s briefly go over the changes proposed by Gmail and Yahoo (sometimes referred to jointly as “Yahoogle”) and whom they impact.

💡 Bonus: You can now take these guidelines on the go with our brand-new infographic – Adapting to New Email Standards in 2024! And if you’re into email-themed graphic novels, you should also check out Operation: Email Deliverability.

Gmail and Yahoo’s 2024 authentication: key changes

  • Sending emails with your own custom domain. As opposed to using free email domains like in your from address.
  • Authenticating emails with DKIM, and DMARC.
  • Keep spam complaints below 0.3%.
  • Allow easy one-click unsubscribe and honor unsubscribing requests within two days.

What’s worth noting is that these changes have long been best practices for improving your email deliverability. The only difference is that they’ve now become a requirement.

Who’s impacted?

While Google clearly specifies that bulk senders are “those who send more than 5,000 messages to Gmail addresses in one day”, Yahoo! doesn’t fully explain their definition.

Those who send fewer than 5,000 messages to Gmail addresses in one day, can skip the one-click unsubscribe, DMARC, and opt for just SPF or DKIM.

Note that Google also specified that once you’re considered a bulk sender, you’ll be permanently labeled as such.

However, to be on the safe side, we recommend that all email marketers – no matter their list size or mailing frequency –  adapt to these rules.

How you should adapt to these changes, and how GetResponse can help

To help you better understand these changes, we’ll go over them one by one. We’ll also share helpful resources and share how we at GetResponse can assist you.

1. Start sending emails with your own custom domain

Using free email domains like or in your ‘From’ address has never been a good practice. Not only does it negatively affect your recipients’ experience with your brand, but it can now cause your emails to get rejected or land in the spam folder.

The primary reason behind this is Gmail’s change in their DMARC policy to “p=quarantine”. When using Gmail addresses to send messages from third-party platforms, such as GetResponse, it results in emails landing in spam. Similarly, using Yahoo addresses (like,, etc.) can lead to message rejection.

💡 Pro tip: In our recent study, we discovered that emails sent from a company’s own domain had an average open rate of 41.76% 🔥. That’s 9.44 percentage points higher than emails sent from free domains, which had an open rate of 32.32%

The good news is that getting a custom domain is easy and relatively cheap.

We’ve prepared a detailed guide that explains how custom domains for email marketing work, and this walkthrough video shows you how you can claim your free domain with GetResponse and create a business email address.

💡 Pro tip: You can purchase a custom domain for your email marketing campaigns directly through GetResponse. Doing so will help you save time, as we’ll take care of the email authentication automatically.

2. Authenticating emails with SPF, DKIM, and DMARC

Email authentication methods help to verify that an email is genuinely sent by the person or organization it claims to be from. 

In other words, it helps prevent spam, phishing attempts, and other malicious activities that could damage your brand’s reputation or the trust recipients have in your emails.

So, while it may seem daunting, it’s understandable why Gmail and Yahoo made it a requirement that senders follow email authentication best practices. After all, they want their users to feel safe and secure.

Our guide to email authentication will take you through the ins and outs of authenticating your email address. It’ll explain what acronyms like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC mean and how you can set them up all by yourself.

Pro tip: If you’re worried that this step is too technical, we suggest that you buy a domain directly through GetResponse. If you choose that option, we’ll automatically authenticate your domain and keep your email campaigns secure. Plus, if you sign up for an annual or biannual plan, you can even get a custom email domain for free!

In a hurry? Here are our quick video walkthroughs for the main providers:

3. Keep spam complaints below 0.3%

High spam complaints are a direct signal that something’s off. 

Your subscription process might be faulty, and the wrong people end up on your list. It may also be that your content is not meeting the standard your recipients were promised. Or it may be that you’ve not contacted your audience in a while, and they don’t recognize you, or they’re finding it difficult to unsubscribe.

Whatever the case is, you need to pay close attention to your spam complaints and follow best practices that will minimize them.

To effectively monitor your spam complaints, it’s advisable to consult your email marketing platform’s reporting dashboard. Here, you are able to view the spam complaints from a broad perspective or at a per-campaign level. For a more detailed analysis, you can use Google Postmaster Tools to observe your Spam Rate.

Email Marketing Report showing the performance of our own recent email campaigns – bird’s eye view

Email Marketing Report showing the spam complaints data – campaign-level

When monitoring your spam complaints, it’s also worth looking at your unsubscribe reports. There, you’ll be able to identify the reasons why people opt out of your mailing lists.

Email Marketing Report showing the performance of our own recent email campaigns – campaign-level view

Leaving spam complaint monitoring aside, let’s now shift to how you can ensure they never reach high levels in the first place.

To ensure you’re on good terms with your subscribers, you should follow email list management best practices, segment your audience, and clean your database regularly.

Our recent webinar explains the concept of email deliverability in more detail and provides clear steps to ensuring your list is healthy.

Pro tip: You can automate the list management using GetResponse’s marketing automation workflows and the engagement score feature. You can learn more about this in our guide.

4. Allow easy one-click unsubscribe and honor unsubscribing requests within two days

Some marketers like to push their unsubscribe link far away from their email’s content. Others change the hyperlink text color and size to make it hard to find. And finally, some tell you to log into an app, so that they’ll be able to process the unsubscribe request.

All of these approaches miss the point that forcing subscribers to stay on the list is a bad idea. Not only is it a bad form that’ll impact brand’s reputation, but also will lead to spam complaints and deliverability problems. Most importantly, it’ll annoy Gmail and Yahoo’s users.

To tackle this, these mailbox providers now require that senders implement a one-click unsubscribe and process unsubscribe requests within two days.

If you’re using GetResponse, you’ll be happy to know that the one-click unsubscribe is turned on automatically for all outgoing emails.

If you’re using your own mailing infrastructure, to implement the one-click unsubscribe you’ll need to follow the guidelines provided by Google.

Once you’ve done it, your subscribers will see the unsubscribe link at the top of your emails, right next to the ‘From’ address.

Here’s what this looks like in Gmail:

Here’s where your subscribers will find the one-click unsubscribe option in the Gmail mailbox

If you’re sending emails with GetResponse, you don’t need to stress about handling unsubscribe requests. We take care of them automatically for you.

However, if you’re using your own mailing infrastructure, different email service provider, or have emails sent out from different platforms at the same time – you’ll want to ensure that these tools are all in sync.

You may also want to pay special attention to how you use exclusions and suppression lists, to ensure only contacts who’ve given their permission receive your communication.

Adapting to New Email Standards in 2024

Grab this free infographic!

This infographic will guide you through these changes and help you steer your email marketing campaigns in the right direction.

Download guide

We’re here for you

Many things in email marketing change, but one doesn’t.

We’re there for you!

If you’ve got any questions, doubts, or need any help, you can always reach out to us.

Our Customer Success Team is available to you 24/7!

Michal Leszczynski
Michal Leszczynski
Meet Michal Leszczynski, Head of Content Marketing and Partnerships at GetResponse. With 10+ years of experience, Michal is a seasoned expert in all things online marketing. He’s a prolific writer, skilled webinar host, and engaging public speaker. Outside of business hours, Michal shares his wealth of knowledge as an Email Marketing lecturer at Kozminski University in Warsaw. You can reach out and connect with Michal on LinkedIn.