In 2024, the email landscape is undergoing significant changes, with both Gmail and Yahoo introducing new guidelines affecting those sending emails to personal accounts. What were once recommended best practices are now evolving into mandatory requirements for email senders.
If you’ve been hearing about these impending changes to Gmail and Yahoo email providers and find yourself unsure about what exactly they entail, then stay tuned. In this episode of the Unstoppable Real Estate Agents Podcast, Kim collaborates with tech expert Julie Hoffman from Your Versatile VA and Kim Hughes & Company team member Amy Snodgrass to delve into the details. Together, they explore how these changes can influence the deliverability of emails and emphasize why it’s crucial for real estate agents to comprehend and adapt to these developments.
Understanding the Changes:
The impending modifications aren’t confined to individual Gmail or Yahoo accounts but extend to the providers themselves. If your clients use Gmail or Yahoo to collect their mail, these changes will directly affect your email communication strategies.
The Shift Away from Generic Emails:
Real estate professionals who depend on free generic email providers like Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail for sending bulk emails without domain-based authentication will soon face restrictions. The era of sending mass emails from addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org is drawing to a close due to new policies. Mass emails sent without proper authentication may not be recognized, posing a risk of non-delivery to Gmail and Yahoo addresses.
Understanding Email Authentication:
The term “authentication” may sound technical, but Julie breaks it down into simple terms. Authentication involves adding a digital signature to your emails, verifying that they are genuine and have permission to be sent on behalf of a specific domain. This process prevents email spoofing, a common issue where fake emails appear to be from your own address, impacting trust and security.
How to Authenticate Your Emails:
To ensure your emails pass authentication, Julie advises implementing a DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) record. This involves obtaining a line of code from your email marketing service, transforming it into a CNAME record, and entering it at your hosting provider. This step adds a digital signature to your emails, confirming their legitimacy and increasing deliverability to Gmail and Yahoo users.
However, Julie does not recommend attempting this process yourself if you’re not familiar with it. Placing the code in the wrong location can inadvertently redirect your website, which is not a good situation. The redirection process can take up to two days to propagate and an additional two days to revert. To avoid this complication, it is strongly advised to contact your hosting provider for assistance in implementing the DKIM record correctly.
Following DKIM, Julie introduces two more crucial records for email authentication – SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance).
SPF (Sender Policy Framework): Another record obtained from your email marketing service. Entered at the hosting level. Verifies authorized IP addresses and domains for sending on behalf of your domain.
DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance): Necessary if sending over 5000 emails per day (on any given day). It establishes a policy for messages lacking DKIM and SPF records. The policy can range from doing nothing to specifying actions like sending to the spam folder or rejecting outright. Some email service providers automatically create DMARC policies, while others offer tools for customization. Without a specified policy, stating that no action should be taken qualifies as compliant.
Remember, while implementing these records is crucial for email authentication, it is advisable to seek professional guidance, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process, to avoid potential complications.
While the changes might seem overwhelming at first, Julie reassures real estate professionals that understanding and implementing these adjustments is relatively straightforward. By transitioning from generic email addresses to domain-based emails and authenticating emails through simple steps, real estate agents can maintain effective communication with their clients even as email providers enhance security measures. Staying informed and adapting to these changes is key for ensuring continued success in the ever-evolving landscape of digital communication for real estate professionals.