News article

Google and Yahoo’s new email authentication requirements and what this means for you

If you send out newsletters, you’ve no doubt heard about email authentication.

Effective February 2024, Google and Yahoo have implemented new sender requirements with the aim of enhancing inbox safety and reducing spam clutter.

Email authentication’s importance has surged lately, emphasised by Yahoo and Google’s changes. They highlight its crucial role in ensuring genuine emails reach recipients.

Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo are intensifying scrutiny on domain authentication, aiming to prioritise desired emails for users. If you use our newsletter service, rest assured, your emails are authenticated.

But if you’re with Mailchimp, HubSpot, or using free mail like or, you might have to take some necessary steps. Let’s explore further.

What is email authentication?

Email authentication is your shield against impersonators and spammers. It’s the difference between “legit” and “likely spam”. Without it, your emails risk rejection or getting lost in the spam folder.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) lacks built-in authentication protocols, making extra measures essential.

Authentication isn’t just about deliverability — it’s about safeguarding your sender reputation. ISPs need to know they’re dealing with you, not some sketchy imposter posing as “J0hn at P4yp4L” asking for credit card info.

When your email hits the recipient’s server, authentication success or failure determines its fate: inbox, spam folder, or oblivion. Failing to authenticate risks your emails being labelled as spam or rejected outright. Even with authentication standards in place, one slip up could spell disaster.

Enter DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail): the current gold standard. It uses cryptographic signatures to verify your domain, ensuring your emails are legitimate.

But fear not, we’ve got you covered. Yardstick clients using us/Dotdigital for newsletters have all the authentication bases covered. SPF? Check. DKIM? You got it. DMARC policy? Default. We’ve even got “custom from” addresses to elevate your brand and protect against spoofing.

What’s a “custom from” address (CFA) you ask? Well, when you sign up for newsletters with us, we will purchase you a CFA. This is industry best practice, allows you to build an independent reputation, and is a more trusted and fully branded recipient experience.

We are often asked why the “custom from” addresses don’t look exactly like the domain you use, and the main reason for that is to avoid spoofing as mentioned above, and to protect and enhance your brand reputation, which we’ll cover below.

Note, you will not be able to set up this level of authentication if you are sending from a free webmail or ISP domain like,,,, and so on.

Brand reputation

Utilising your own domain for email sending and applying DKIM authentication can significantly contribute to building your brand’s reputation and enhancing email performance.

This approach can make your emails stand out in recipients’ inboxes and, when coupled with best practices, can boost deliverability rates.

Let’s face it, receiving emails from appears far more professional than Recipients are likely to perceive the sender as credible and trustworthy, fostering confidence in the business relationship.

Plus, following top-notch email practices helps providers spot your emails, keeping them out of the spam pit. So why delay? Upgrade your email reputation today.

What’s next?

Sending newsletters through platforms like Mailchimp? You might need to authenticate your domain. Not sure how? Check out these quick tips:

First, figure out where your domain is hosted:

  • Think back to who set up your website or got your domain. They should be able to help.
  • If you got your domain from a big registrar like GoDaddy, your records are probably there.
  • Look through your bills or invoices for any clues.
  • Use a handy tool to find your domain’s DNS hosting provider here.

Once you know where your records are, log in and add those new CNAME records. Most hosts have similar steps, but just in case, here are some guides for popular providers:

Once your CNAME records have been published by your DNS host, you will need to check back into your email platform to confirm everything is set up correctly. Below are links on how to do this for some of the most popular email providers:

The takeaway

Implementing new anti-spam tactics may seem daunting for businesses aiming for a broad audience. But as these methods get better at filtering out junk, your legitimate emails shine brighter.

For those using their own domain for email sending, self-authentication or use of a custom from address when sending with us, can significantly enhance sender reputation and improve deliverability.

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t fret. Check out our newsletter service here – we’ve got you covered every step of the way. Or shoot us an email at or give us a ring at 0115 8965 300 to see how we can help.

Stay in touch


Sign up to receive our hints, tips & ideas to improve your marketing.
As you’d expect, we’ll never pass your details to anyone else and if you don’t like what we have to say, you can unsubscribe at any time.