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The big email standards update from Yahoo and Gmail with Marcel Becker of Yahoo

Email’s Not Dead: Season 5, Episode 2

The big email standards update from Yahoo and Gmail with Marcel Becker of Yahoo

Email's Not Dead

About this episode:

In fall of 2023 Yahoo and Google made a major announcement requiring all bulk email senders to enable email authentication standards to prevent bad actors from continuing to send spam. Why did Yahoo want to create a new standardization? We sat down with Marcel Becker who made the announcement on behalf of Yahoo and had a very philosophical conversation. Don’t miss this! Email’s Not Dead is a podcast about how we communicate with each other and the broader world through modern technologies. Email isn’t dead, but it could be if we don’t change how we think about it. Hosts Jonathan Torres and Eric Trinidad dive into the email underworld and come back out with a distinctive look at the way developers and marketers send email.

Meet your presenters

Jonathan Torres

Jonathan Torres

Manager of the TAM team at Sinch Mailgun

Eric Trinidad

Eric Trinidad

Technical Account Manager II at Sinch Mailgun

Marcel Becker

Marcel Becker

Sr. Director Product Management at Yahoo


Email’s Not Dead - S5, Ep. 2: The big emails standards update from Yahoo and Gmail with Marcel Becker of Yahoo



Eric Trinidad: Welcome to Email's Not Dead. Your podcast by Email Geeks for Email Geeks. My name is Eric and with me as always, is my brochacho. JT. JT, how are you doing, sir?


Jonathan Torres: Doing all right, man. Doing good. Thanks for the intro.


Eric Trinidad: Yeah, man. Thanks for coming out. You know, we've had a very busy week so far coming off the holiday high, you know, and looking forward to the future. And with that, I think we have a very special guest with us today, Senior Director Product Management at Yahoo! Marcel Becker. Marcel, how are you doing today, sir?


Marcel Becker: I'm good. It's a little chilly where I'm at right now, but I'm good otherwise.


Eric Trinidad: Yeah, right. Where are you at? You don't have to give us your address. Just general regions.


Marcel Becker: Bay Area in California.


Eric Trinidad: Oh, right on.


Jonathan Torres: I think chilly there is cold for Texas because Texas, it doesn't get too cold. And when it does, it gets really cold. So.


Eric Trinidad: Yeah, right now we're at a balmy like 60 degrees today and it's a little bit humid, but we're okay. We're dealing with it.


Jonathan Torres: It is what it is. It is what it is. It's just going to be on here, you know, talking about email, talking about all the things around email, like, I enjoy it. We get to have fun with it.


Eric Trinidad: Yeah, for sure. You know, wanted to bring you on today. Some changes that are coming up, some things that are being enforced in the near future. And you know, it's good to have somebody from the source kind of providing us some feedback and, you know, trying to clear the air and some of this stuff. Marcel, would you mind giving us a little bit of a preview of what's going to be happening in the New Year?


Marcel Becker: Yeah, totally. And I'm not sure what is happening in the New Year?


Eric Trinidad: Yeah, well, we were informed back in October. There's going to be some new requirements that are going to be enforced around the February timeframe.


Jonathan Torres: We can sum it up real quick. It going to be three changes, authentication, authentication, authentication.


Eric Trinidad: Yes.


Marcel Becker: That is pretty much it. So I think my work is done.


Eric Trinidad: Okay. All right. Good game, everybody. High fives all around.


Jonathan Torres: Thanks everybody.


Marcel Becker: I want to say nothing is really happening in terms of how we handle and treat email. Right. Because all of these things which we jointly announced with Gmail are really things which we have talked about and put out there and documented as sending best practices or requirements for a long time, like in some cases a decade. We really break them down. These three things which are you need to authenticate your email, you need to make sure that you provide an easy unsubscribe option to users. And of course, you need to stay under a certain spam threshold. Like these are things we wanted senders or senders should be doing for a long time already. And when you look at them, they're not unreasonable. In my book, they make a ton of sense that are no brainers. We really come at this from the customer experience perspective, right? We want to make sure that our users have the best possible experience. They get the emails they actually want, and we help them get rid of the emails they do not want, right? And then we look at these requirements authenticating your email, and so we really understand who the heck are you, right? Helping users to get rid of email. That's where the unsubscribe stuff comes from. And also making sure people get the email's they actually ask for and they don't get any crap in the inbox. That's where they spam stuff comes from.


Eric Trinidad: Yeah. Because I know, like, I definitely hate when I have to unsubscribe from something, and it's just like, Okay, you don't want to see this anymore. Can you please write us a letter? Send it directly. You'll hear back from us in about three weeks. We'll let you know if you get off that. But then they're hitting me up, like every twice a day for the next three weeks, you know.


Marcel Becker: Precisely. Yeah.


Jonathan Torres: We kind of cover like the why is definitely within that statement, you know, trying to get better. Right. As a community, I think everybody needs to get a little bit better with email. Like it's what we always strive toward and what we always think about whenever we're framing in context for the podcast is how do we improve as senders, right? How does the sending community get better at doing what we should all be doing, being good participants here? And you know, when it comes to this and the changes that are being made, I think the outstanding question is, and you may not have an answer for this and we may get into the theoretical and opinions and things like that. But the why now? Like is there any inclination is to like the why today. You said you've been talking about this for about ten years, like what's that triggering point that says like, hey, let's do this now?


Marcel Becker: Yes, that's a good point, right? You can get very philosophical about it and probably spend like an entire evening somewhere, which anybody's saying. But I remember being on stage somewhere probably ten years ago. We talked about with a group of folks as well, where we talked about "no auth, no entry." Right. And we said this is something we should be striving for. This is something we should be working towards because it makes a ton of sense being able to identify who is sending an email in a positive way just helps, Right? Doesn't necessarily mean that if you authenticate your email, you know, you get it passed into your inbox or we can identify you as a spammer. That's not really the case, but it really points or helps us identify who we are and then assign the reputation to your identity. And if you send good stuff and people want your email right, then it's a very positive signal and you can identify it if you send crap and people don't want that. It also helps us to identify that, right? It makes it just easier for us to help our users get the best experience, help and spam fighting and also, quite frankly, free up some of the resources. And as we progress through the last decade, this problem just got worse in a way, because the email volume keeps increasing. The amount of emails people have to wade through and deal with keeps increasing. Right? We all know this from our own experience. There's just a lot of noise and we may have bought it or maybe I wanted it, maybe I did not. And then there are bad actors trying to piggyback on somebody's supposedly good reputation or whatever it is, and good reputation of certain sending platform where there's a lot of spam coming out from large cloud providers. And at some point we on the mailbox provider side, we just said, okay, that's enough. We need to do something to help us help our users to get to a better user experience. And we also need to help us in a way, we need senders to help us, help them to get to the inbox if they're good sender, but also keep the crap out at some point. And we believe that the technology was there and has been there for some time. And we also believe that based on the conversations we had within the industry or working groups in the industry like M3aawg and others, that the sending community should be ready to support these changes from a pure technology perspective. So we did not see any reasons why anybody should not be able to do these things which would have been around as best practice. But the adoption was still very, very small because that's the part we can debate, right? Incentives cause why is that? But we said, okay, let's just put a stake in the ground and just say if you want to send marketing email, if you want to get into the user's inbox, here's the things that we did beyond just the basic technical requirements which people have to follow already.


Jonathan Torres: That's awesome. I think it covers so many things that I think even from our perspective, right from the sending side and the people that we know and the people that we've communicated with, I know I've told senders so much like, hey, do this authentication piece. It's one of those things that I know is helpful that it helps the community at large. I think incentive after incentive that's been put out there, you would think, hey, there's going to be adoption, BIMI is coming out, there's going to be an adoption. You know making it easier, you know, making it so much simpler for people to adopt it. And it still hasn't had an adoption. And one of the things that I want to point out from what you said, because it's really one of the things that resonates with me and whenever I talk to somebody that is doing sending at any capacity, I always say that the ISP's responsibility is to their user base. So if you're not respecting what you're doing, what you're sending like to respect their user base, they have to do what they need to do to respect their own user base, to help their user base, to make sure that their user base is protected. And we have to be good citizens in how things are being sent out and make sure that we're doing the right things in what we're sending to play within that sandbox. Like, it's definitely something that, you know, it's a privilege. It's not a right and means to do the right things to to do that. So like, I just kind of wanted to touch on that because it really does resonate with me and I feel validated. I feel heard, you know, And I hear like. It's one of those things that like you have a responsibility.


Marcel Becker: To add to that. I like to say it's not just our user base, right? It's our mutual user base as a brand. Instead of reaching out to all our users. It's also their users and they should have, you know, their best interest or best user experience in mind as well right? We are in this boat together at the end of the day, and if we can work together to create that great experience and we're consumers to like always, we do this internally. Like I ask people when they come up with an idea or suggestions like, Would you use that? And if not, why, right? So put yourself in the user's shoes or, you know, just be a user. And we are all consumers as well. Would you love to click on that? Would you love to actually receive these emails? And if not, why not?


Jonathan Torres: Yeah, that's a great perspective.


Eric Trinidad: Yeah. That seems to be like an early ongoing theme with this season is just be human, right? Like if it's right by you and you would do it, you know, then. Yes. But if it feels weird, don't do it. Which is a bigger story for life. I feel in general.


Jonathan Torres: Putting yourself, you know, in the recipient's shoes. Right. In the user's shoes, I think is definitely a big part of that. When it comes to that, sending piece. You know, as people are getting ready and preparing. I know there's been a lot of questions. I'm sure, if you're not already tired of talking about this. I'm just wondering how tired you're going to be by February, you know, talking about this topic, because I know everybody's got a lot of questions that it seems to be the same repeating questions over and over, which I know we're going to ask again here. But like, you know, when it comes to user preparation, like I know there's different things that we're already talking about. We're talking about of that authentication piece, but what are the key things that that people can start doing now, start doing today to get ready for this change to happen?


Marcel Becker: Most of these things should be things people should have been doing for a long time, like authenticate your email, put an unsubscribe link in there, monitor your spam rates. I think what you should be doing now is all of these things effectively, if you do not understand or do not know how to properly authenticate your email or what DMARC really is or how it really works, go find an expert. There are so many resources out there and the bulk of questions we really get is around authentication. What do I need to sign? How does DKIM work? What does it mean when a domain needs to align? Right? These are all things, you know, I would love to answer. And you know, there are other experts out there, the companies out there, and they are happy to take the money or even even folks sharing advice for free. Right. And there are free resources available as well and have been for decades in these cases. So go out, educate yourself, really understand what authentication means. Likewise with unsubscribe, this technology is not new, has been there for some time, has been documented. Go read up on it what it really means. What is one click unsubscribe? What does the RFC 8058 actually say? How does it work? All of these things.


Jonathan Torres: Thank you for calling that out. For the most part, I think a lot of us here have made a career of people paying for that advice, you know, and paying for those experts. You know, and I know from from even my side, like I actually have written internal articles on how some of this stuff works, what it all means, you know, like when it comes to SPF and DKIM and like how to put that together and make sure that, you know, DMARC then ends up being aligned. And, you know, I've done that internally and I'm willing to share that knowledge. And I know I've helped contribute to blog posts that we have like on our website. We can go get those free resources to say, okay, how do I do this? One of the things I need to consider and how do I implement it correctly, but I think it is definitely one of those things we're talking to an expert really does help out and I don't know if anybody else is on this out there listening to this podcast, but reading RFC articles and guidelines, I know it's not the funnest thing. I'm one of those crazy people that I'll go there and digest it and I like know and understand, you know, from a technical level and a technical perspective of what I need to do. But if you have the capability and desire to do that, like that is 100% like that's going to be the most helpful thing. But there's always experts out there who are ready to help digest what that means and then what it takes to implement that, right at any different level. And depending on who you're sending with. I know we talk about things from a Mailgun perspective here.


Marcel Becker: That's key as well, right? I don't expect that the marketer should go read an RFC and really understand the nuances. Right. I don't necessarily expect the marketer to really understand what does it really mean to sign to list unsubscribe headers, with the DKIM signature and all of these things. Right. What I would love is for companies like you or other tool providers really to step up and say, hey, we can solve this in code because I believe it's totally solvable. We can make this really as simple as literally just click a button to send your stuff like as you normally do. And we do the heavy ligiting in the background. You don't need to worry about any of that. And I see that happening with a lot of companies out there. I also understand a lot of edge cases and when things were like, Ooh, we really need to look at how does this work, How would we solve for that? And I'm really happy to engage in these conversations as well, which is one of the reasons why and if you ask why February or why now? Right. One of the reasons why I actually did not give a date from the perspective was precisely that I did not want to say, hey, by February you need to do X, Y, and Z, and we expect everybody to be in compliance. I want to engage in conversations and understand what are the edge cases. Are any cases which we do not see. Are there any use cases where we need to work together with the sending community to maybe find a solution which helps these good senders to get the email to our customers right, because that's the experience we want to preserve. We want to be humans at the end of the day and make sure we don't disrupt it unnecessarily. But at the same time we still want to put the stake in the ground. This is not open ended. We're like, okay, you know, let's have this conversation for another ten years and maybe then something will happen or maybe not. Right? Now we want to put a little more pressure on the industry.


Eric Trinidad: It definitely takes a lot of mutual respect from all parties involved, right? Like with any good relationship, it's going to take work and open communication. But that's great that yall are not flipping the switch,  "ka chunk" like everything is going to be stopped right here. But understanding what senders are going through and and hearing what the community has to say about some of these issues.


Marcel Becker: And of course, some of these things are easier to to enforce and implement right? And easier to be understood on the sending side, right? Like authentication, like Gmail already started enforcing some of these things. And I'm sure you as well as other senders have seen that already. Right? Because that's binary. You need authenticate or you don't. Some of the other things are a little harder to enforce without causing collateral damage. Might be the unsubscribe link or spam rates and things like that.


Jonathan Torres: That's one of the things that we appreciate from from our side. Just to call that part of it out right? You know, you coming here and talking with us and that people have the opportunity to hear this, you know, from the sending community for all the senders out there that are really trying to do the right things that know that, you know, first of all, that they're informed that there is going to be changes and there's going to be things that are going on. I think that's just a nice thing to still see in the email community that we have this participation from all sides and that we can help, you know, from our perspective, like we're able to help like we're hopefully doing a service by doing this podcast and making sure that, you know, the word is heard and that people know and understand what's going on and and get ready and start preparing for those kind of things. One of those things that we, I think should be ready for that everybody is mostly prepared for. It's just a matter of like making sure that all the senders get a chance to hear it and are fully ready. So I know we're trying to do our part for sure. Do you have any inclination on like how much this is already going to do as far as we're removing some of the sending from a platform or things that we know are going to fail? Because I know one of the big things that people should have already been aware of and people should have been doing is the spoofing thing, like they should have stopped that already. We asked people to stop doing that already. And I know there's the ignorant spoofing where they just don't know that they shouldn't be doing that, you know, still impersonating domains like Gmail and Yahoo and just sending from their personal email address. But they're sending bulk messages out to customers that they really shouldn't be doing because it's coming from a different platform. But then there's also the ones you know, we know there that are sharing a space and doing things like that where they're, you know, unintentionally spoofing, but they're still doing the spoofing thing. Do you have any idea of like how big of an impact that will be?


Marcel Becker: You know, leveraging or using consumer domains for bulk email and is really not so much of an issue on our side since we have had a DMARC reject policy since 2014 already. It is a huge issue for Gmail, and I don't want to speak too much for them. I welcome that they now finally are using this because their platform is a major emitter of spam or unwanted emails using the Gmail consumer domain. But I want to concentrate a little bit more on the inbound policy is like having senders leverage DMARC in these lanes and there's one reason why for DMARC specifically, yes, we would love for everybody to protect their brand from being spoofed, but also help users to really make sure that if they get an email from a specific brand, they can be reasonably sure that this is actually from this brand and that's what DMARC is designed for. But you also realize that this is a little harder to actually implement, and that's one of the reasons why we started with is simple requiring authentication, SPF and DKIM make the first step and publish a policy of none and actually monitor reports, because that is the very first step to actually understand your own sending best practices and who is sending emails on your behalf. And the very first step in fixing whatever might be broken there.


Jonathan Torres: That's a real good point. I know that it gets a little technical, you know, kind of understanding the DMARC policy and what the policy enforcement means and then the reports that come back from that. But I know we previewed a little bit of this episode in our previous episode, and to preview a little bit more into the future, we definitely have experts that are coming in, talking a little bit more about that stuff. And, you know, we want to make sure that that stuff is heard because there are some really great companies out there doing some really good work on what that means and, you know, helping people implement that and process those things because it's super important, you know, knowing and understanding what's happening with your email, who's sending as you. I think I would want to know if somebody was trying to impersonate me out there in the world. So, you know, that's definitely one of the big, big things for sure. And when it comes to like a DMARC and the SPF piece, I know most senders are already covered with that. They're already doing most ESPs, at least. Right. Are sending with that already implemented? A lot of smaller providers are even starting to implement that and make sure that they have that posted on there. And then the next piece down is the you know, the unsubscribed portion. I just want to unpack that a little bit, too. And just like what that means and what exactly is being monitored on there, because I know that there's certain things we can can't do, some things that are automated and some things that are beyond the automation point that take a little bit more. So if you can expand just a little bit on that portion.


Marcel Becker: Yeah, totally. And to really clarify what the requirements said because that's the other questions we're getting. What does it mean one click unsubscribe? Already have a link in my body is this one click unsubscribe or if I put the list headers in there, what about bots and all of these? So when we talk about acquiring lists, one click unsubscribe. We are very specifically talking about putting list unsubscribe post headers into the header of an email. That is what is specified by RFC 80.


Jonathan Torres: 58.


Marcel Becker: 8058. Thank you very much. I need to . I've been saying that to so much in the last days.


Jonathan Torres: It comes a string of numbers now.


Marcel Becker: Yeah. And actually what this means is if you're sending an email to an email provider or an email application which understands the RFC 8058. That you will see within the UI of the email application, you see a little unsubscribe before this, right? But this is what Microsoft's doing, what Google is doing. That is what we are doing. This is what Apple is doing, right? You probably have all seen this somewhere and it really helps to just shove a button in the user's face if you want to, where we tell them, you know, if you really want to get rid of this, here's a way to do this easily and very conveniently without having to mark the amount of spam, because that would actually be the alternative option for a user. And we've seen this over and over again. A user is not sitting there and saying, Hey, I don't want this email anymore. Let me see where I can find this unsubscribe link in the body. And let me click on this and then let me follow through all the hurdles and hoops and whatever I need to do on that web page. No, nobody's doing that. This is too hard. I want to get rid of this email. I just hit the this is spam button and that's why we want to make it easy. But at the same time, we also don't want to penalize the senders unnecessarily. If this is legit email and somebody's subscribed to hopefully and they want to get rid of, we don't want them to mark it as spam, which can hurt the reputation of the sender at the end of the day. Right. We want them to unsubscribe and we have seen by implementing this unsubscribe in the UI or even telling receivers when they actually hit mark as spam. We have a page where we say, Hey, do you want to unsubscribe instead if the sender meets the requirements? We have seen the the spam modes go down and being reduced by 30 to 40%. So I think this is a win win situation. Better user experience was a better for senders. That's why we as well as Gmail acquired it going forward. At the same time, the other part of that requirement is fee honoring unsubscribes after two days because even though some senders have this nice little ordnance in the header, they do not respect that. Right? So a user clicks on this. They trust us that we're doing this the right way, but then they come to us and complain, Hey, you know, I clicked on unsubscribe for this one brand, but I keep receiving emails from them. Right. Not a great experience.


Eric Trinidad: No, no.


Marcel Becker: No. We are violating users trust, the brands are violating the user's trust in this case, right? Not great. And that's why we basically said, look. Yes, from a CAN-SPAM perspective, you can wait ten days. Is this reasonable? Because what a user would expect, probably not. Right. So unsubscribing immediately. Yeah, maybe reasonable. So, you know, let's say two days, that's probably reasonable, right? That's also something the user could reasonably expect.


Jonathan Torres: As the technology has improved. There's so many spaces that as soon as they hit that button, it's all automated. They're immediately off of that list. And I think it's definitely, you know, warranted. And yeah, like the CAN-SPAM hasn't changed in quite a while wehn it comes to that portion of it. So I mean, it's definitely, I'm sure, warranted a review at the very least, you know, in two days I think is definitely reasonable. Like I definitely don't see a problem with that. Thats definitely good to have.


Eric Trinidad: You brought up a good point regarding the spam rates themselves. If they are over like a 0.3%, that's a little bit higher than what we enforce on our end. Is that over, I know we talked about this in the past, but just to kind of reiterate some of these points for other users that I haven't heard you before, is that over a specific time range or how does it look on your end?


Marcel Becker: Let me address the number first. You also get a lot of questions like why is there a 0.3% and oh my God, oh my God, am I able to meet that? We chose 0.3% because there are other companies and programs out there. That's the requirement for them already. Right. So I think it's just aligning then also internally, that could be a threshold where if your traffic sustains a spam rate you know, above 0.3%, you're probably already in a world of hurt anyway. Right. Because generally, we actually look at much, much, much smaller numbers. But it is a number which resonates with the industry and that's why we chose it and we just made it public. It's also not a new thing, right? If people say or if people ask us like, okay, this is a new policy, why doing this? No, it's not new. We already always have looked at spam rates generally, right? If you have as high spam rate already, you're probably already seeing deferrals on the other side. Right. You're probably already seeing bounces or spam filtering on the gmail side. That is already happening. But all we did is just put a number out there so you can actually monitor it a little bit better. The other question, what's the time frame you're looking at? So I put this out as a joke in a way, but it's still true. It's it's more than a day, less than a year. If you hit a peak for some whatever reason, right. And you made a mistake on the sender side, or somebody decides to mark all your email as spam and you hit like a 1% spam rates or whatever, we will not hold those against you. We will look at a reasonable amount of time, you know, weeks, months to see what the volume is. If you constantly hover around that threshold, you're probably doing something wrong and you already know that you're doing something wrong. Right? So you should start doing something right. If you usually have a good rates and then there's an outlier, nothing would happen.


Eric Trinidad: Not going to get struck down. Right on, it's good to hear.


Jonathan Torres: I know when it comes to us and and granted, I know our platform and we have certain thresholds for spam complaints and complaint rates that we do to you know, hard disable somebody. But when it comes to the advice that we're giving people is to be far below that. And one of the things that I like to tell people in the past is, hey, if you're not seeing any spam complaints, that's probably not a good thing. Like, there's going to be some level of people that are, you know, those people that are going to be really unhappy. They're going to hit that button. But the only way they can hit that button is if the message is already going into the inbox. And the reason that came to mind is because I know that's where the calculation is coming from, Right. Like, we don't have visibility necessarily into everything that's going into the inbox, but we can make inferences using those kind of methods. But I know when it comes to the spam complaint that you're monitoring from the Yahoo! side, it's going to be the messages that are going to the inbox already because that's where people will complain from. And then compared to how many are clicking, then the spam button.


Marcel Becker: You know, to clarify, when we talk about spam rate, right, it is the number of emails awarded in spam versus the number of emails delivered to the inbox. And yes, it could very well be that most of the emails are going to spam folder already. Your spam on rate might be very small, but at that point in time you probably already see deferrals from our side, right? You might already see throttling or other issues. And to get there you have to go through, you know, a world of pain before, right? It's not that this happens all of a sudden, there are signals you can look at. There are signals we provide which will tell you that you probably are doing something wrong. Also, depending on the platform you're on, we actually do share inbox placement data. Like you can actually see what emails are going to the inbox, which is what emails are going to spam what is my actual spam rate. Right. Not inferred. So we do show that data in some cases. Also going forward, we're looking at improving the data or the insights on our postmaster platform. So you should be able to monitor that a little bit better.


Eric Trinidad: That's awesome.


Jonathan Torres: Sender portal?


Marcel Becker: We call it Sender Hub.


Jonathan Torres: Sender Hub. I was close. I felt it.


Marcel Becker: Postmaster side, whatever you want to call it. Any of these URLs work as well.,, Whatever, all of it works.


Jonathan Torres: Awesome as insight grows. And I know like senders are always curious about that. And you know, the more information you can get from any source is really good. So, you know, we always suggest to do that, you know, just to kind of rather throw it out there as free advice. When it comes to the error messages. I know there's already failures that that we notice and error codes that we kind of pay attention is going to be a whole new set of error codes that are going to be informative of, you know, what exactly is happening and why messages might be deferred or blocked.


Marcel Becker: Yes, they will be. So for some of the new things, when we talk about unsubscribe link enforcement, we will have new error codes specifically telling you that, you know, this is being bounced or throttled or whatever because the unsubscribe link is not there. Right. Or it's being bounced because you're not authenticating the email right, but probably already are seeing this with Gmail. Other areas like your spam rates. Like I said, this is nothing new, we just put the number out there. But we already doing this today. So if you're getting a TSS04, I think thats the famous error code. That is most likely because you're close to an unfavorable spam rate. Similarly, some of the DNS RFC requirements. We are already rejecting email if your email is not meeting some RFC requirements and we tell you why.


Jonathan Torres: One of the other ones that I know people have been really fixated on is the 500 message per day threshold.


Marcel Becker: 5000.


Jonathan Torres: Yes. Thank you. Thank you. I know I've already heard you say this and I'm going to spit it out. And then just to confirm, I heard you correctly, because sometimes my ears don't work to well. Really that that 5000 messages per day is, you know, kind of like a posted number or something we can kind of like use as a guidance. But if you're sending in bulk to a lot of recipients and, you know, similar messages that are going out, that is going to be bulk sending, that you are considered a bulk sender at that point, is that right?


Marcel Becker: You are. And there was a reason why I actually did not put a number out there. Gmail, they did. And I think might be regretting it. But I think we were aligned with Gmail and us. So no there is no hard number. It's not 5000 or 6000, 4000. Right? For many reasons. One of which is, it's not like when you're sending 4999, but you don't have to follow any of these requirements. Right? No. If you're sending a lot of the same emails to a lot of people, you're a bulk sender, period, and you will have to meet these requirements. Yeah, that's pretty much it. And it's in the thousands, right? People should know if they are a bulk sender. I mean, if you're a small mom and pop shop and maybe send a few hundred emails and or it's just coordinating things or even small mailing lists like no youre not a bulk sender. Also if, because we get these questions as well, like you are a company and you have people individual emails from the same domain to a lot of other people. Right. That's not bulk mail, right? That's people to people messages, just because they're sending a lot. It's not bulk mail. Right. It's you're sending the same message to a lot of people. Essentially you printed a flier and then you're distributing it. Whether you're distributing 1000 or 10,000, you're still distributing a flier and it's still marketing stuff.


Eric Trinidad: So just in case people were thinking about gaming the system.


Jonathan Torres: Don't.


Eric Trinidad: Don't even try.


Marcel Becker: Yeah, that's all ready the thing as well, Right? Snowshoeing and all of these things that's already happening where people think, hey, you should send the same message from like 5000 different IP addresses. Nobody will notice. No, we will find you. You're still a bulk sender.


Eric Trinidad: Yeah. Yeah.


Jonathan Torres: It's funny the way that logic tends to spread around. They think they've outsmarted the system. But really, no.


Eric Trinidad: Well Marcel I know we're coming up here on time. I wanted to say again, thanks just for coming out and speaking with us today. If people want to find out more information, I know we have a sender hub, but any other documentation that people should review out there?


Marcel Becker: Yeah, I would say watch the space, watch our blog. I believe. Otherwise go to We will be updating the best practices page with the actual requirements soon within the next couple of weeks. Like I said, we wanted to wait for a little bit more input. I was vague on purpose on the blog post, but we will put more details on there. Otherwise already go to the sender hub there are all the best practices, like essentially all requirements we have, which we will be enforcing are already documented there and there are links to what does DKIM mean? How does DMARC work? What's SPF? Right. RFC 8058 how does it work? All of that is already documented. You don't have to wait for us to update this. Plus you know Gmail page same thing. They have a very very good page up there with links to more information and go there right now and read through it.


Jonathan Torres: Yeah don't wait.


Eric Trinidad: Yeah. Act now.


Eric Trinidad: Well, once we confirm that Thomas will put it in our show notes here. He'll be able to distribute that information nationwide. Thomas, if people want to find out where this documentation can be found, where can they go?


Thomas Knierien: Yeah. Ladies and gentlemen, you can also reach out to us and look at the podcast at We will make sure that we have these resources and links that Marcel was talking about today in the show description. So you can follow along stay up to date with all these things coming down the line. And with that being said, up next, we're going to have Chad White talking about his new book and talking about the email marketing side of this update and how it's going to affect email marketers and stuff like that. And then after we're going to have our friends over from DMARCIAN on to talk about the DMARC side of this whole update. So stick around and make sure you're still listening.


Eric Trinidad: Right on. Again, Marcel, thanks again for your time. Appreciate you. And hopefully we'll see you in the bay soon.


Marcel Becker: Thank you. And looking forward to it and more philosophical conversation.


Eric Trinidad: Yeah.


Jonathan Torres: I love it.


Eric Trinidad: Thanks, everyone.

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