There’s been a lot of buzz (and worry) about Google and Yahoo’s new email regulations, which will be rolling out in February 2024.
Some see it as a positive move, ushering in a new era of 1:1 emails (and no bulk or spam messages), moving away from the “pay and spray” approach for sellers.
Quite a few sales and marketing folks also worry it will make their jobs impossible (if not obsolete).
So, how do we (sales and marketing teams) move forward from here?
Let’s look at precisely what these email regulations say, what they mean for GTM teams, and how we can adapt to stay ahead of these groundbreaking changes.
What changes are coming to cold email?
Beginning February 1, 2024, both Google and Yahoo will implement stricter standards for cold emailing for those who send over 5,000 emails daily to Gmail and Yahoo mail users. Google and Yahoo account for most personal email accounts and almost 50% of B2B emails, meaning most likely this will affect you.
- Email Authentication: Bulk senders must set up email authentications using standard protocols such as SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail). Additionally, they must set up a DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) or join a shared one with their Email Service Provider (ESP).
- Spam Threshold: All senders must keep spam rates under 0.3%.
- Unsubscribes: Two unsubscribe options must be provided in each email. This makes it easier for recipients to opt out of communications they no longer wish to receive.
- Compliance Penalties: Brands that fail to comply with these regulations may face penalties, such as their emails being directed to spam folders or not being sent at all.
- Gradual Enforcement: Gmail will start enforcing these rules gradually. Non-compliant senders will initially receive temporary errors starting in February 2024, and by April 2024, Gmail will start rejecting increasing percentages of non-compliant sends.
What do these new regulations mean for revenue teams?
First and foremost, these regulations are non-negotiable and can have terrible consequences if not followed. For many teams who rely heavily on mass cold emailing, this will mean a paradigm shift in how they approach prospecting.
While higher email volume has more or less equaled higher results (AKA the “pay to spray” method), that’s no longer the case if you want to keep your domain in good health.
Even personalized emails, at scale, could trigger a handful of recipients to flag your message as spam…and push you over the new 0.3% threshold.
These changes signal a focus on personalization and multichannel outreach (email, phone, social, etc.) in sales. There’s no “one channel fits all” for lead generation anymore (if there ever was). Basically, there’s no way around putting in the work.
If you want your prospects to talk to you, you’ve got to put in the time, research, and effort to learn about them and their business needs. And ask yourself the golden question: If I were in their shoes, would my solution actually benefit them?
How can my sales team prepare?
With careful planning and a refreshed sales strategy, sales teams won’t have to worry about dropping their output. Here are our recommendations for smooth and booming sales in 2024:
- Diversify your sales channels. Invest in “old school” techniques like phone calls and direct mail in addition to newer strategies like social selling. Make sure your eggs aren’t all in one (email) basket.
- Consider account-based marketing. A prospecting approach that is super personal by nature, we run through how to get started with account-based marketing here.
- Review your email lists often. If it’s been a while since you’ve audited your email list, now is the time to take a look and clean it up. Remove folks who have long been unresponsive, and keep those who regularly engage with your emails.
- Embrace multi-channel outreach. Try warming up your prospects via LinkedIn or Facebook before calling them and then (thoughtfully) emailing to book a meeting. When you interact with someone over social media or the phone first, you suddenly become a *real* person – not just a name trying to sell something via email.
Refresh your 2024 sales strategy with Kixie
Kixie makes it easy to diversify your sales outreach. Make calls to new leads, schedule auto-calls, and create automation sequences that include SMS, calls, and email. It’s an easy-to-use sales engagement platform that allows reps to be more efficient while staying compliant.
Plus, our sales engineers are happy to set up custom automation for you for free. Here are a handful of solutions you can achieve with Kixie: