It’s 2024. Is your email outreach making it to the intended recipients? Are your reports showing decreased opens or other signs of a lack of engagement? Don’t assume it’s your content strategy. A missing technical tool configuration may be to blame. 

You may have heard that Apple made big changes in 2021. Now Google and Yahoo are poised to make more changes that require action. The reality is that your supporters and advocates may have a harder time seeing your organization’s newsletters, events and programs sent through these valuable, time-tested channels without updates to your platform..

Apple’s 2021 changes – a precursor

Before diving into the changes at Google and Yahoo, it’s crucial to understand what Apple has already implemented. Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) feature, introduced in 2021, significantly changed how email marketers measure engagement. The biggest change was this: 

MPP hides users’ originating server IP addresses and loads all email content remotely, making it difficult to track opens accurately

Why did this matter?

This makes traditional metrics like ‘open rate and click rate”’ no longer reliable indicators of user engagement for a significant portion of your audience

Apple Mail users, particularly across iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices, account for 57% of general users – a significant segment that cannot be overlooked (source: Litmus, July 2022). 

MPP is a game-changer, emphasizing the need for other meaningful engagement metrics and new content-driven strategies not just in reaching intended audiences, but also in reporting how those audiences consume your content.

What’s to come – a tech primer

Ensuring your emails are authenticated in this evolving landscape becomes even more critical. Three important components work in concert to make this possible. 

  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework)
  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) 
  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) 

When configured correctly, this works similarly to a traveler’s passport with TSA Precheck enabled, verifying with a validation process that the incoming email is coming from who it says it is, and a policy explaining how mismatches should be handled. These steps confirm your email’s ID and signature, and send clear instructions to the email provider, collectively ensuring that your email is recognized as legitimate and not spam.

Google and Yahoo’s upcoming changes

Following in Apple’s footsteps, Google and Yahoo are now tightening their email filtering rules. These changes will likely focus on enhancing security and user experience, meaning stricter scrutiny of emails for spam-like characteristics. Without proper SPF, DKIM, and DMARC configurations, your emails could be increasingly filtered out, never reaching your audience’s inbox.

A Solution

All bulk email senders must properly set up SPF and DKIM and publish DMARC policies. If you’re unsure how to check your settings or configure these settings, PTKO can help!

In the face of these significant changes by email giants Apple, Google, and Yahoo, adapting your email strategy to stay abreast of changes like this is not just advisable, it’s essential. The digital landscape is shifting, and staying ahead means keeping your communication channels open and effective. Prioritizing email deliverability through proper authentication practices will ensure your messages continue to reach and resonate with your audience.