five free tools for email bulk spam sender compliance

Five free tools for email bulk sender compliance

Enforcement penalties begin this week for bulk email senders. below are five free tools brands can use to maximize email deliverability and make sure they land in the inbox. But first let’s take a look at the timeline.

In October, Gmail and Yahoo announced new guidelines for bulk senders of email. Technically, enforcement began on Feb 1, 2024. But the real penalties start this Monday, April 1, 2024.

As of April 1, Google will start rejecting a certain amount of email sent from bulk senders to personal Gmail users.

Compliance has three main components:

  1. Properly configure and authenticate your email
  2. Provide easy unsubscribe options
  3. Make sure you’re not sending unwanted email

Five Free Tools for Email Deliverability

Here are five free tools that make it easier for organizations to stay compliant with these guidelines.

Free DNS and email authentication from Cloudflare

You probably know Cloudflare as the provider of CDN (Content Delivery Networks) and other services to help scale and protect large websites. But you may not know that they have a great, free DNS service, which includes authentication for email. Cloudflare is a great way to manage your DNS, and gives you a shortcut to fast cybersecurity services from them if you need them in a hurry in the future.

Cloudflare has a post here about how to properly configure and authenticate your email server, and it’s a great explainer, even if you keep your DNS elsewhere.

If you have access to your domain name, Cloudflare is a great place to point your nameservers.

Gmail Postmaster Tools by Google

Postmaster Tools by Gmail is free and simple to configure, as long as you have access to your DNS for your domain. If you’re at a large org, and don’t have access, you may still be in luck. As long as one person on the domain has previously set up Postmaster Tools, anyone else with a Google account from that email domain can view the Postmaster reports.

There are several different reports you can see with Postmaster Tools, but the two you likely care about most are Domain Reputation and Spam Abuse Rate.

Google has said that organizations must keep their spam rate below .01% on average (likely a monthly average) and must keep their daily spam rate below .03%.

Domain Reputation has four cohorts: High, Medium, Low, and Bad. Obviously, High is where you want to be.

Depending on how much email you send to personal Gmail accounts, you may not see results every day, or even every week. But you can adjust the date range to get the most recent data.

Email Deliverability Monitoring from Stack Moxie

Stack Moxie is a testing and monitoring product for marketing operations. The free account includes a couple of helpful tools for email senders.

Postmaster Checklist integrates with your Postmaster account and monitors it for you. You can set custom alerts for Domain Reputation and email abuse rate, so that you get notified if your score falls to dangerous levels.

If you use HubSpot or Marketo for email marketing, you can connect them to Stack Moxie and automatically get monitoring for the health of your email marketing, including SPF, DKIM, Email reputation, Sync times, and API Usage.

And if you have a sales team that sends automated emails through a system like Outreach or Salesloft, Stack Moxie can check those emails for opt-out links before their sequences go live.

DMARC diagnosis from Valimail

How many cloud servers are sending email from your organization? It may be more than you think. And they all contribute to your bulk sender status and your email abuse rate. Valimail has a free diagnostic service so that you can see how many cloud servers are sending email on your behalf.

Opt-in email subscription management from Email Octopus

One-click unsubscribe won’t be enforced until June. But it’s an important step for reducing spam abuse rate. So it’s highly recommended for all commercial and promotional senders, as of April 1.

Email Octopus is free up to 2,500 users, and includes email authentication, opt-in subscriptions, and one-click unsubscribe. So you can be confident you’re sending emails people want, and that they can easily opt out when they change their mind.

It may be counter-intuitive, but sending more high-quality emails can actually improve your standing as a bulk sender. Spam abuse rate is a percentage of overall emails that people react negatively to. So proper use of an email platform like Email Octopus can ensure a happy audience and reduce your overall risk from other email-sending platforms at your org that may not have the same quality standards.

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