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How Google & Yahoo’s new sender requirements affect you

What to expect?

Starting February 1st, 2024, Google & Yahoo will be enforcing new bulk email-sending guidelines. These requirements apply to anyone sending email to a significant number of recipients, which Google defines as more than 5,000 emails a day to recipients using their domains. Gmail and Yahoo! Mail will filter out or reject emails from non-compliant bulk email senders.

January 12, 2024
6 min read

What are the requirements? 

There are 8 requirements in total. This may seem like a lot, but the good news is that six of them don’t require any action if you’re using NationBuilder. The other two are easy to meet with the proper guidance.

How does this impact you? 

1. DMARC authentication 

What does this mean? 

Google and Yahoo will require all email senders to have a DMARC record (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) generated and added to the DNS records for their sending domain. This record follows a similar logic to your existing SPF and DKIM records, letting email service providers know you’re an authentic sender. In other words, that you’re not a “spammy” sender. 

If a DMARC record has not been set up for your sending domain by February 1st, emails sent to Google and Yahoo domains will begin to either be filtered out or not delivered by these email providers. 

How does this impact me? 

If you are managing your domain, action is required!

How can you tell if NationBuilder is managing your domain? You can check this by navigating to Settings > Domains in your control panel to see if the domain is indicated as “NB managed”.

If you’re managing your own domain, you’ll want to configure a DMARC record and add it into your domain management system. You can find DMARC record generators online, like Valimail, which will create a record and help you monitor the results. You can also simply look for “DMARC generator” to find a free online tool.

If NationBuilder manages your domain, we’ll add a simple DMARC record to your domain file automatically before the February deadline, so no action is required! 

2. Spam rates can’t exceed 0.3%

What does this mean?

While industry practice has always recommended keeping a spam rate as close to 0% as possible, Gmail and Yahoo will now be requiring that senders maintain their spam complaint rate below 0.3%.

How does this impact me? 

Google Postmaster Tools allows you to track deliverability insights tied to high-volume sends, including spam reports tied to your domain. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to avoid elevated spam rates while increasing supporter engagement. 

3. Reverse DNS records are configured for all IPs

What does this mean?

For this requirement, senders must ensure that all sending domains or IPs have valid forward and reverse DNS records, also referred to as PTR records. As NationBuilder provides IP addresses for your sending, we configure this automatically on your behalf. 

How does this impact me? 

No action needed!

4. SPF and DKIM authentication 

What does this mean? 

Moving forward, all sending domains are required to have SPF and DKIM authentication records set up. By default, all custom domains that have been authenticated for sending email in NationBuilder meet this requirement.

How does this impact me? 

To check whether you’re sending email from an authenticated domain, navigate to your broadcasters under Communications and see what email addresses are being used. Then, navigate to Settings > Domains and confirm that the domains for those addresses are all present, and are either “NB managed” or have all required values in place in the “Email authentication records” section.

If you have not authenticated your custom domain, reach out to our support team via in-app chat or at [email protected] so we can help you meet this requirement by February 1st.

5. RFC 5322 email configuration 

What does this mean?

All emails will need to be formatted according to the Internet Message Format standard. Put simply, this standard dictates the correct email format, including headers, footers and email bodies for sending bulk emails. 

How does this impact me? 

No action needed! Emails sent from NationBuilder are already configured this way automatically. 

6. Don’t send email from

What does this mean?

This one is pretty straightforward. You should not impersonate a Gmail domain and plug this given email domain into a broadcaster in your nation. Stick to your own domain name! 

How does this impact me? 

No action needed! NationBuilder does not permit adding email addresses from “free” sending domains to broadcasters, Gmail and Yahoo included. 

7. Add ARC Headers to all outgoing email

What does this mean? 

If you were to include a list-serv address (a mailing list service that forwards mail to other recipients) in your email blast, an ARC header would support correctly routing your original email.  

How does this impact me? 

No action needed! NationBuilder is designed to help you scale your relationship with individuals -- not reach recipients with whom you have no direct relationship. Since you’re abiding by our email AUP, this requirement won’t apply to you!

8. Enable one-click unsubscribe 

What does this mean? 

Moving forward, all emails must include a one-click unsubscribe, also known as list-unsubscribe. This grants your supporters the ability to unsubscribe via the “Unsubscribe” button located next to the sender’s address at the top of your opened email. 

How does this impact me? 

No action needed! NationBuilder emails are automatically configured to support one-click unsubscribes. Not seeing the “unsubscribe” link in your email as a recipient? Don’t worry; in addition to the configuration, Gmail does their own assessment of when to show the unsubscribe link that correlates to the number of other unsubscribes you’ve processed. 

How will these requirements affect your email program? 

As long as you ensure that you have a DMARC record on file for your authenticated sending domain, no other guidelines should require changes on your part. That said, the introduction of these industry standards suggests that it’s becoming increasingly more important to follow best practices for list maintenance and supporter engagement. 

How to avoid elevated spam rates and increase supporter engagement 

  • Respect the opt-in: when targeting folks by email, consent is crucial to ensure that these people won’t unsubscribe from your email updates, and worse yet, mark your content as spam. 
  • Maintain a healthy email list: cleaning your lists once a year can help you remain in the good graces of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Consider running a reconfirmation or sunset campaign to make sure you’re only targeting your most engaged recipients. 
  • Send to smaller, targeted segments: Moving people to action is all about sending the right message, to the right people, at the right time. The more targeted your message, the more likely supporters will engage with your content. 
  • Personalize your communications: a personalized email can boost your chance of leaving a meaningful mark on the recipient, increasing their likelihood of engaging and taking action. Consider using smart fields and liquid variables in an email to display dynamic content so that your mass emails feel like more of a 1:1 outreach. 


If you’re keen for more information, reach out to your Enterprise Account Manager (if you’re an Enterprise customer) or our Support Team, who are here to help you every step of the way. 

Madeleine Cazes

Madeleine Cazes

Senior Enterprise Account Manager based in London, UK. Madeleine in French. Maddy in English.

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