With Google's new rules for outreach and requirements for bulk email senders, Reply users need to understand and adapt to these updates.
This article provides a concise guide on the new email-sending policy, focusing on maintaining a low spam rate, meeting strict authentication standards, and providing easy unsubscribe options. It also explains what Google's Postmaster Tools are and how to integrate them with Reply, ensuring compliance with new standards and protecting your email reputation.
Google's Bulk Email Policy Updates
Starting in February 2024, Google is implementing new requirements for email senders, particularly those who send bulk emails. These updates are aimed at reducing spam and enhancing security and they include:
Mandatory Email Authentication: Senders must strongly authenticate their emails using standards like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, especially when sending volumes exceeding 5,000 emails per day.
One-Click Unsubscription: Bulk senders must provide Gmail recipients with an easy, one-click option to unsubscribe from commercial emails. Unsubscription requests must be processed within two days.
Spam Rate Threshold: A new industry-first measure, senders must maintain a spam report rate below 0.3% to ensure Gmail users are not overwhelmed with unwanted emails.
In response to recent policy updates, Reply now offers:
'Domain Setup' page featuring a Health Checker. This tool provides a detailed, real-time overview of your domain's setup, identifying and explaining any issues, along with solutions for fixing them. Reply will also send users notifications for connectivity problems or other concerns, ensuring you stay informed about your domain's health, which is updated weekly.
Spam Monitor tab which integrates with Google’s Postmaster API, giving users a clear view of their domain's spam report metrics directly from Google. This tool is essential for tracking and analyzing email traffic, especially for domains interacting with Gmail.
What Is Postmaster and Why Should You Use It?
Google's Postmaster Tools is a resource designed for email marketers. It offers an API that provides detailed data through charts, reflecting how your emails are handled by Gmail. This includes metrics on spam reports and delivery errors for emails sent to Gmail users. However, it's important to note that the tool doesn't offer insights into the methods of sending emails.
Why Use Postmaster Tools? This tool is invaluable for those who send bulk emails. It provides essential data on delivery success and spam reports, helping you to maintain compliance with Google's stipulated spam rate threshold, which is below 0.3%.
For additional information on the Postmaster tool, you can visit its official page.
Connecting Postmaster Tools to Reply Account
Linking Postmaster Tools to your Reply account enables easy monitoring of your domain's email performance, including spam rate metrics, directly from the Reply interface.
Here are the steps for the initial setup:
In Reply, click on your profile icon in the upper right corner.
Open 'Settings' and proceed to the 'Email Accounts' page.
All connected email accounts will be shown and categorized by providers.
Select the provider associated with the domain you want to monitor.
3. Linking Postmaster Account:
Navigate to the Spam monitor tab and click Connect Postmaster account to link your Google Postmaster account with Reply.io.
4. Signing in to Postmaster Tools:
You will be redirected to Postmaster Tools.
Sign in using the Google account authorized to monitor the domain (that has corresponding permission). Create an account if you don't have one.
5. Adding Your Domain:
In Postmaster, click 'Add' and enter your authentication domain.
Then, click 'Next'.
6. Verifying Your Domain:
Return to Postmaster and click 'Verify' to start the domain verification process.
Important Note: Verification may take some time. If you skip this step, you can always verify later by clicking on 'More' and then 'Verify domain' next to your domain. However, you will need to verify your domain at some point to view any data related to that domain.
Viewing Spam Rate Dashboard in Reply
Once your domain is verified in Postmaster, the Spam rate dashboard will be accessible in the Reply view in the Email Accounts → Spam Monitor tab.
You can select a timeframe, ranging from 7 to 120 days, to evaluate your domain's email performance. The spam rate is calculated daily, representing the percentage of emails marked as spam versus those delivered to the inbox.
The spam rate is the percentage of emails marked as spam by users vs emails sent to the inbox for active users. If a substantial number of emails are delivered directly to spam folders, you may see a low spam rate even though users may still be marking your inboxed emails as spam.
Keep in mind that Google Postmaster can only track spam reports after you've linked your domain to it. It does not provide historical data before the connection date. For newly added domains, wait approximately 3 days to start seeing the Spam Report data in Reply.
Important note about Postmaster:
Postmaster doesn't offer the ability to track either the specific source or the content of each email. It provides spam reports for all emails sent from your domain, regardless of their source. This means that the emails could be sent from any automation tool or even a personal mailbox, not exclusively from Reply.io.
Managing Data Access in Postmaster
If you are a verified domain owner, you can grant Postmaster Tools data access to other Google Account holders and add more accounts to be able to check your domain. Remember, you can only add users with a valid Google or Google Workspace Account.
To add someone to your domain in Postmaster, follow these steps:
Sign in to Postmaster Tools.
Select the verified domain and click 'More' → 'Manage users'.
Click 'Add' and enter the Google Account email of the person you're granting access to.
Notify the new user, as they won't receive an automatic notification.
Disconnecting Your Postmaster Account from Reply
To disconnect your Postmaster account from Reply.io, simply select the “Disconnect Postmaster account” option. This action will remove the connection-token from all domains associated with that Postmaster admin account.