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    Safeguarding Your Email Communications in 2024: Navigating Gmail and Yahoo’s New Rules

    Email marketing remains a cornerstone for financial advisors to connect with clients and prospects, share updates, and strengthen relationships. However, new rules put into effect by email giants Google and Yahoo in February 2024 are reshaping how bulk email senders must approach their communications. Here, we’ll explore the requirements set by these tech titans, the importance of compliance, and insights for financial advisors to navigate the changes while maintaining their ability to run campaigns.

    February 2024 Update – Essential Steps for Financial Advisors

    Both Gmail and Yahoo have taken a proactive stance in enhancing email safety and curbing the onslaught of spam. This collaborative effort seeks to protect recipients from unwanted emails, phishing attempts, and domain impersonation—all critical concerns for the financial services sector.

    As of February 2024, any large sender – anyone sending emails to more than 5,000 Yahoo or Gmail email addresses in a single day – must have the proper authentication for the email domain they’re sending from. Non-compliance with the new email authentication requirements may lead to delivery issues for senders. Even if you don’t have that many contacts, these best practices can help.

    Chances are, your IT already handled properly authenticating your domain when you first started sending bulk emails from the platform of your choice (MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc.). However, authentication wasn’t the only new requirement – and the implications of non-compliance extend beyond just email deliverability. Failure to adhere to these requirements may not only result in your communications being relegated to junk folders but could also lead to a loss of client trust and confidence.

    Here are three essential steps to maneuver the new email rules effectively:

    Authentication is Key

    Implement robust authentication methods such as DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), Sender Policy Framework (SPF), and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC). These protocols help validate the authenticity of your emails, assuring recipients that the communication is indeed from a legitimate source – helping prove that emails sent from your domain are real.

    If your eyes started to gloss over at the alphabet soup of IT jargon, that’s okay. On your email platform of choice, you should be able to find authentication in settings, likely under Domains or Security. Email providers will share clear-cut instructions on what to add and how.

    In our experience, if your bulk emails are at risk under the new sender rules, you will likely see a warning message when you log in to your email platform. Another telltale sign is if the “From” address in your recipients’ inbox shows the email service provider’s server instead of your company domain (e.g., jane+xyzRIA [at] That’s not a great look for the client experience.

    Reduce Spam, Enhance Deliverability

    Another aspect of the stricter measures implemented by Google and Yahoo is a lower spam rate threshold for senders. What does this mean in practice? Most importantly, you are sending emails to contacts for which you have permission to send emails. You aren’t buying email lists or scraping LinkedIn addresses and sending unsolicited communications.

    A secondary priority, though, is to keep a keen eye on unsubscribes and bounces. The latter are emails that did not arrive in the recipient’s mailbox for a variety of reasons. It can be due to their company IT filter blocking you, due to the recipient marking you as spam or junk, or, more often, it’s because the contact’s email no longer exists or has a typo. Not being adequately authenticated to send emails is also an increasingly common reason.

    Over time, too many bounces can prompt email service providers to mark you as spam, resulting in fewer emails delivered to your contacts. Mind you; this reduced deliverability affects your client communications as much as it does for the random newsletter subscriber.

    So, tailor your content to align with industry best practices, ensuring your messages are relevant and valuable, and make sure your contact lists are checked regularly and sanitized. These best practices not only improve deliverability but also reinforce your commitment to delivering quality information to your clients.

    Promptly Honor Unsubscribe Requests

    It’s important to respect communication preferences. Promptly honor unsubscribe requests to build and maintain trust with your audience. This not only complies with email regulations but also showcases your commitment to client satisfaction. Unsubscribes by clients or prospects are not the end of the world – you may still be allowed to contact them individually outside of bulk email services. Moreover, it doesn’t mean they hate your content; they may prefer to be informed in a different way – like print or in-person during your quarterly check-ins. Sometimes, though, it merits looking at what might have caused the unsubscribe, like too many emails in too short a period or irrelevant (to their situation) newsletter or nurture content.

    Final Thoughts

    The recent bulk email requirements set by Google and Yahoo present a good opportunity for financial advisors to reassess and enhance their communication practices. By proactively adapting to the rules, firms can maintain client trust and stay ahead of the curve in marketing themselves over email, which continues to be one of the best-performing channels for converting prospects into clients.

    If you’re not sure where to start or need a second opinion, get in touch with the team at Beyond AUM. We understand the importance of maintaining trust through secure communication. Just as you prioritize your clients’ best interests, we are committed to safeguarding our clients from risks associated with technology or platform changes.

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