Google DMARC rule 2024

How this new Gmail rule will affect your small business

An inconspicuous modification to the DMARC policy on gmail.com is underway, and its significance might not be widely recognized – potentially exerting a substantial influence in February 2024.

In October 2023, Google and Yahoo collaboratively introduced fresh email sender criteria for incoming mail to their domains, slated to be implemented in early 2024. At present, these requirements primarily target bulk senders.

The announcement and its subsequent revisions have understandably captured the complete attention of the email industry. Nonetheless, there is another aspect within Google’s announcement that we believe is not receiving adequate discussion. One of the key points in Gmail’s guidelines for all senders is as follows:

Don’t impersonate Gmail From: headers. Gmail will begin using a DMARC quarantine enforcement policy, and impersonating Gmail From: headers might impact your email delivery.

In brief, if you operate a small business and employ an email-sending service to communicate with contacts, but your From address is businessname@gmail.com instead of a more professional address like hello@businessname.co.za, there’s a possibility that your emails could be directed to the spam folder starting in February 2024. Using a From address that ends with gmail.com, from a platform other than Google, may lead to complications.

What Does It Mean to Impersonate Gmail From: Headers?

Sending emails from any platform that is not a Google platform, but using a From address within the gmail.com domain, constitutes impersonation of Gmail From: headers.

For instance, if a small business uses platforms like Mailchimp, Braze, or Klaviyo to send emails with a From address such as “businessname@gmail.com,” it fails DMARC authentication. This failure occurs because the platform’s servers are not included in the SPF record for gmail.com, and the platform cannot DKIM sign such messages using the domain gmail.com. In essence, a message unable to pass DMARC authentication is considered an impersonation of that domain, making the act of sending emails in this manner an impersonation of Gmail From: headers.

Am I Affected By This?

If you regularly send emails from a non-Gmail platform but use a From email address that concludes with gmail.com, you will experience repercussions. Using the given example, if you send emails to contacts from an email platform with the address “businessname@gmail.com,” there’s a high probability that your emails will be directed to the spam folder by mailbox providers adhering to DMARC policies.

I’m Affected! What Do I Do?

In essence, if you’re sending business-related emails from a third-party platform, it’s crucial to use a domain that can be appropriately authenticated on that platform. The most suitable option is to utilize a domain that you own. Many small businesses have a domain for their website but may not have configured it for email. Numerous businesses send emails using addresses like “businessname@gmail.com” while directing customers to their website at www.businessname.co.za. A more advisable approach is to use an address such as “hello@businessname.co.za.”

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