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Self-Publishing News: Gmail And Yahoo Have Changed Rules On Newsletters: Here’s What You Need To Know

Self-Publishing News: Gmail and Yahoo Have Changed Rules on Newsletters: Here’s What You Need to Know

ALLi News Editor, Dan Holloway

Did you know that the rules have changed for anyone using Gmail or Yahoo to send out their newsletters? I confess to my shame I didn’t until Holly made me aware of a conversation she’d been having on the subject. And then I started noticing it crop up in writers’ forums this week.

In short, since February 1st the rules have changed for anyone using gmail or yahoo mail who send newsletters. For Gmail specifically it's to 5000 or more people. These rules came into force at the start of February and had been trailed in technical publications at the end of last year, though I didn’t see wider coverage at that time.

The rationale for the changes (which you can find in full and very technical detail on this fascinating post by Nebula Consulting; or summarised in this somewhat easier version on Google’s blog) is to reduce spam. There are three big requirements. All of them can be managed within the Google ecosystem for Gmail senders. Yahoo have promised to work to do the same.

Those requirements are:
1. Authentication. You need to demonstrate that you are genuine. This means setting up DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) authentication;
2. One click unsubscribe option;
3. Low spam rates. No more than 0.3% of your newsletters should fall into people’s spam boxes

It’s worth noting that if you use another mailing tool, it will need to comply with these rules as well in order to send to Gmail.

Many of you will not yet have 5000 subscribers, of course. But many of you will, and you should look at how you send your mailing list straightaway. And those of you who don’t no doubt hope that one day you will so it's worth being prepared. You also need to be aware of the fact that recipients of your newsletters will still have these filters applied, so your newsletters may start getting a lot more bounces and a lot fewer opens if you don’t check you are doing this already. It could also be that rules will apply more widely in the future so being ready however many subscribers we have may be wise.

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Author: Dan Holloway

Dan Holloway is a novelist, poet and spoken word artist. He is the MC of the performance arts show The New Libertines, which has appeared at festivals and fringes from Manchester to Stoke Newington. In 2010 he was the winner of the 100th episode of the international spoken prose event Literary Death Match, and earlier this year he competed at the National Poetry Slam final at the Royal Albert Hall. His latest collection, The Transparency of Sutures, is available for Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Transparency-Sutures-Dan-Holloway-ebook/dp/B01A6YAA40


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