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Bulk email send changes: Best practices for Outreach and beyond

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We received lots of great questions during the live webinar. Here are answers to some of the most common ones. For additional support, please reach out to our sales team. 

Google and Yahoo are aiming to reduce the amount of spam emails received by their users, as well as improve email security. To accomplish this, any bulk sender of email will be subject to strict new requirements in order to avoid experiencing email deliverability issues. Enforcement will be gradually rolled out, as Google & Yahoo monitor compliance through the first half of the year. While Google and Yahoo may slowly phase in reinforcement of these regulations, Outreach encourages our customers to avoid any potential deliverability issues by taking action right away.

Anyone who is a bulk sender will be impacted by these changes. A bulk sender is defined by Google and Yahoo as an organization sending 5,000 or more messages each day to the Google or Yahoo network. This daily threshold pertains to all emails originating from your entire sending domain, regardless of the platform or method used to send them.

This includes any emails sent to or from Google or Yahoo addresses. This not only includes generic or addresses, but any email addresses serviced by these companies.

Any org that is sending over 5000 emails across all of their email addresses daily will need to follow these steps. We still highly recommend that those companies that are not sending over 5000 emails across all of their email addresses follow these recommendations as they will help with their sender reputation.

Read more: The Outreach Email Deliverability Playbook

The 5000 limit is an aggregate of your entire organization’s IP and domains.

This is a per day limit based on emails sent across the entire organization, not just emails from Outreach. It is also recommended that you try to keep your email sending volume consistent and avoid large spikes in sending. 

The 0.3% abuse rate is calculated with data exclusively from the volume of abuse reports received via the “Report Spam” function or its equivalent. This means, regardless of whether a recipient has blocked a sender or whether the user filters the customer to their Spam folder, the only data point that will be used in determining whether or not a sender is <0.3% abuse rate is the user reports.

Starting in February, 2024 senders that exceed the 0.3% spam complaint rate threshold may have their messages go directly to the spam folder and are ineligible for mitigation. 

Google addresses the SMTP error message in their Workspace Admin Help section of their site. Within that page you can check the details of the error message and take actions to address the issue.

Google and Yahoo both provide tools that allow senders to check their domain for issues, review error messages, and take actions to meet the compliance requirements.

Google Postmaster

Yahoo Sender Hub

If your unsubscribe link isn’t working for an extended period of time, your messages won’t meet Google’s one-click unsubscribe requirement. Senders who believe they are receiving excessive amounts of rejections can follow a mitigation process through Google for email delivery issues. Yahoo also offers similar support via their Specialist Contact form.

No, it does not need to align with the domain. However, the list-unsubscribe header does need to be signed as part of RFC8058.

Google is setting these requirements on the sender – not the domain level. Google’s article specifically calls out senders, not Sending IP or Sending Domain. Additionally, adding more domains is a temporary solution that will not permanently solve deliverability issues. Investing in your company brand and following best practices is the best way to ensure email lands in the inbox

Yes, when messages are rejected, Google will send a rejection code and a reason for the rejection. Data will also be available via the Postmaster Tools. For Yahoo, the customer can check their Complaint Feedback Loop to see the compliance issues.

While these changes won’t apply to Google Workspace accounts today, we expect this policy to be extended to all recipients soon. That said, we strongly recommend that B2B Customers audit their contact database and remove any personal Gmail addresses associated with corporate contacts, as this will limit the risk of unnecessary spam complaints. 

We also recommend reviewing and adhering to Outreach’s Best Practices Checklist as these best practices can improve sending performance today and ensuring good habits in place will avoid any business disruptions in the future. We encourage all customers to follow these guidelines to promote the best deliverability. These guidelines are considered best practices for all providers and adopting the guidelines ensures the best reputation possible for your organization.

If the customer is at the stage of being locked out then they’re most likely not compliant with other email regulations in addition to these being introduced by Google and Yahoo. In this case, we should advise the customer to check with their legal or compliance departments to evaluate and correct any sending habits.

Most medium/large businesses easily exceed this with marketing emails. You can check with your IT Email Admin and email marketing (marketing automation) teams to get a better idea of how many emails your organization is sending. Additionally, several mailbox service providers offer dashboards like Google Postmaster Tools, Yahoo Sender Hub, and Microsoft SNDS that report volume as well. 

We are ensuring that outreach-provided unsubscribe links are compliant with RFC 8058 to make sure that our one-click unsubscribe links prevent erroneous opt-outs.  

Outreach recommends all customers use as many reporting tools as possible. Many B2B companies continue to send email to addresses for a variety of reasons, including sending to smaller businesses that have not invested in a domain name. Microsoft offers a similar dashboard called Smart Network Data Services (SNDS) for tracking deliverability within their network.

The enforcement of best practices will not change current spam detection strategies. These requirements are in addition to the logic and enforcement that currently exists around spam detection. 

Senders with spam complaints over 0.1% have been known to see a negative impact on deliverability. Enforcing these rules is not in lieu of spam detection models, blacklisting, or lock-outs. Monitoring reputation and deliverability through these tools may give you a signal of problems before you experience deliverability issues through other providers.