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NEW Email Rules for Author Newsletters in 2024

I have good news and bad news, but first, I want to apologize for covering an email topic AGAIN. Good grief, isn’t there anything else to discuss besides author newsletters?

Sorry, but this is an important topic to understand IF you have an author newsletter or IF you plan to have one in the future.

Safeguarding Author Newsletters and Avoiding Spam Complaints

We all hate spam. Google and Yahoo have cooperated to roll out the same new email authentication rules for all senders on February 1, 2024.

Good news: Going forward, you may receive fewer spammy emails from folks who are don’t meet all the requirements to reach your Gmail or Yahoo inbox. Hopefully, that means less spam. Fewer phishing attempts. (Fingers crossed.)

If you adjust to the new rules, your author newsletter is more likely to reach your subscribers.

Bad news: If you have an author newsletter, you need to be aware of the changes, or your newsletters may go straight to spam or be blocked entirely instead of being delivered to your subscribers.

Who Needs to Know about the New Email Rules?

Don’t panic. If you don’t send out more than 5,000 emails in one day, you are probably safe (so far). If you have a super-duper subscriber list already, then you need to take action right now. If you are building a super-duper (my word of the day) list, be kind to yourself and take care of it ASAP.

Unsplash: Philip Oroni

Both Yahoo and Gmail have been clear that the 5K limit is not absolute; senders with smaller lists can be affected.

This article is NOT going to cover the how to of authenticating your domain and setting up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records. The procedures differ by email service provider (MailerLite vs. ConvertKit vs. Author.Email, etc.) and web host (SiteGround vs. Blue Host vs. Insert Name Here.)

Things to Know Now:

  1. You need a custom domain. For authors, that is probably your author name or your chosen brand. If you do not already own your own domain, go to NameCheap.com or GoDaddy.com or Siteground.com to search for your desired custom domain. Grab it and pay for it.
  2. Follow directions from your email service provider to set up you SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records.
  3. Make certain your sending email address is for your custom domain, not a personal email address. For Writing Pursuits Tips, the sending email address is kmckee@writingpursuits.com instead of a gmail address.
  4. You do NOT need a website. This is a restatement of point 1 above: You need an authenticated custom domain (like kathresemckee.com), but you can build a website later. If you already have a custom website for your author brand, that’s great; check out what your email service provider and your web host want you to do about adding the required DNS settings.
  5. Avoid spam complaints. If someone unsubscribes to your list, LET THEM GO. Do not continue to email them. (This should go without saying, but here we are.) Give folks control over what they receive. If it has been a while since you mailed your list, remind your subscribers how they signed up and ask them to unsubscribe if they want to stop receiving emails; that’s better than someone reporting you for sending spam.

Resources:

Question: Are you prepared for the new email authentication rules? Ensure your author newsletters land in inboxes, not spam folders. Share your thoughts or questions below, and let’s navigate these changes together.

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