Following CSA Criteria Pays Off: Yahoo and Gmail Tightening Their Rules

Yahoo and Google recently made a significant announcement in the world of email by teaming up to combat spam and enhance email security for their users.

This common announcement is a milestone in the email industry, as these major players have started to collaborate to address the persistent issue of unwanted and malicious emails by aligning strategies and introducing new requirements for bulk senders in 2024.

Be sure to check out the official statements released by Yahoo and Google which provide detailed information about their requirements and guidelines.

A collaboration between these two major actors has been unprecedented, and it demonstrates their strong commitment to improving the overall user experience and creating a more secure and trustworthy email environment.

The Certified Sender Alliance, a strong advocate for high-standard email marketing practices, is delighted to witness this joint commitment to “best practices” by two industry giants. It serves as compelling evidence that adhering to industry standards and implementing high-quality email best practices in email marketing pays off and will ultimately lead to improved deliverability rates and engagement levels.

Or, to put it another way, senders who do not follow best practices will very likely encounter serious issues with email delivery.

Yahoo’s and Google’s message is crystal clear: responsible email marketing practices yield positive results, encouraging marketers to prioritise authentication, quality content, proper list management and effective engagement strategies.

In today’s digital era, effective email communication is vital for businesses to connect with customers. Any failure to follow best practices, to not respect users and to miss implementing proper authentication measures can have serious consequences on deliverability and reputation, affecting the business.

The wind of change

Over the years, spam and phishing have emerged as a huge challenge, with spammers constantly employing new tactics that are posing increased difficulties. Industry leaders need to unite their efforts to combat it effectively to protect their users.

What these changes mean for senders

The forthcoming adjustments in requirements from both players represent one of the most significant developments in recent years. They are not revolutionary; rather, they represent crucial components of long-established, well-known email marketing best practices for maintaining high-quality email deliverability. Unfortunately, many senders have yet to fully embrace these practices.

Key changes for senders

Yahoo and Gmail have outlined three key changes for senders to prioritise:

  1. Authenticate email: Implement SPF, DKIM, and set up a DMARC record with at least a “p=none” policy.
  2. Make unsubscribing easy: Implement a Single-Click-Unsubscribe option.
  3. Send only wanted email and keep spam complaints low: Aim to maintain a spam complaint rate below 0.3% for Gmail. Yahoo does not specify a threshold.

These requirements have been part of the CSA criteria for many years already, which means that CSA certified senders already possess a solid foundation and have less to be worried about. Additionally, certified senders have the advantage of being able to easily track authentication and complaint issues of their mailings through the CSA Certification Monitor.

Who will be impacted?

Both Gmail and Yahoo state that these changes apply to “all senders”. While Gmail has supplementary requirements for high-volume senders (with over 5,000 messages daily), Yahoo’s definition of “bulk senders” remains unclear.

When will it happen?

The official start dates are 1 February 2024 for Gmail, and the first quarter of 2024 for Yahoo.

Prepare early! Don’t underestimate the approaching deadlines. It’s essential not to procrastinate in making necessary adjustments, as the deadlines are closer than they may seem.


Change can be challenging, but it’s essential for the success of email as a communication channel.

Google and Yahoo’s efforts to prioritise security are pivotal steps towards the future of email and the protection and respect of email recipients. Welcome these changes as an opportunity to enhance the email experience, add value to each recipient, and create a more trustworthy and effective email ecosystem for businesses and users.

Google and Yahoo are not introducing anything new; they are simply realigning and reminding of the already existing best practices that every single email marketer should adhere to respect their recipients and ensure successful email delivery.

Let’s not forget, these two giants are just the tip of the iceberg. As the email industry continues to evolve, more players around the world will undoubtedly emerge and enforce stricter requirements. It is wise to stay ahead of the game and prepare now for what lies ahead.

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