If you use a Gmail email address for your business, you may find that some of your emails don’t reach their intended recipients come June 2016.
Google is helping to curb spam and spoofing by changing their DMARC policy.
DMARC allows email senders to publish a policy telling participating email providers (which include AOL, Comcast, Hotmail, and Yahoo! Mail, in addition to Gmail) how to handle messages that are sent from their domain but aren’t authenticated. Starting in June, Gmail’s policy changes to “reject” which means any email that purports to come from Gmail.com but is really sent from a different domain will be rejected.
Depending on the service you used to send your email, you may receive an automatic bounce message that says, “Unauthenticated email from [ssc][/ssc] is not accepted due to domain's DMARC policy.” Or you may never realize your email was not delivered.
Not everyone who used Gmail for business will experience issues with email deliverablity. However, you are more likely to experience problems if you employ any of the following in your business:
- Contact forms on your website.
- Online shopping cart systems, both WordPress plugins (Woocommerce, eStore) and hosted systems (1shoppingcart, Infusionsoft).
- Accounting and invoicing software (Freshbooks, Quickbooks).
- Email Service Providers (MailChimp, Constant Contact, Aweber).
- Online Scheduling Tools (Timetrade, Appointy).
Some online platforms may have already implemented a solution for Gmail users on their system, which will ensure that your emails are delivered even after this change is implemented at Gmail. For example, at MailChimp, they will automatically add send.mailchimpapp.com or mail.mailchimpapp.com to your Gmail email address in the “sent from” field to ensure your campaigns are delivered.
These types of workarounds help to ensure your emails are delivered in the short term and don’t suddenly stop come June, but long-term, you’ll want to set up an email address that is linked to your domain.
And while the process can be a pain, and often very frustrating, you only need to do it once. Once it’s set up, it’s done and makes your business look much more legitimate and professional.
This is what you need to do to ensure ALL of your emails reach their intended recipients come June:
- Take inventory of all of the emails that are sent on your behalf from somewhere other than Gmail.com. Check if any of these platforms have instituted workarounds that change the sending email address for you (Search for "DMARC" in their help files). If you have even ONE domain sending email on your behalf that doesn't change the email address for you, you need to change the sending email address associated with those emails before June 1.
- Register a domain for your business, if you haven't already done so. I recommend Canvas Host or Google Domains.
- Create an email address linked to your new domain. I recommend @ as a good start (avoid info@).
- If you want to continue to use Gmail to manage your new email address, import the emails into your Gmail account using POP3. Watch the video below for step-by-step directions.
- Update the "sent from" email address for all of the software platforms you identified in Step 1.
While these changes at Gmail may mean more work for you in the short-term, they will result in less spam for all of us. And that's a good thing!