Gmail Bulk Sender Rules: Preparing for April 1st Updates & Beyond

Back in October, Google and Yahoo announced their new bulk sender rules

These rules, which effectively drew a line in the sand when it came to spam complaint rates, were a big change in that this was the first time any big email provider had given specific directives. 

The new rules?

  • Mandatory digital email signing (domain authentication)
  • 0.3% spam complaint rate threshold

The updates, rolled out February 1, 2024, were a surprise to many and certainly presented a new challenge for email marketers – especially outbound email marketers.

In fact, as we dug into just how these new rules would impact outbound marketers, we found that a lot of people were going to be in real trouble.

The thing is, since the announcement of the new guidelines, we haven’t seen much chatter about it. 

Until now. 

It seems this is more of a slow rollout than a big change that would have an immediate impact, starting with domain authentication. 

April 1st Domain Authentication Requirements

According to Gmail’s group product manager, Neil Kumaran, all bulk senders* will be required to authenticate their email beginning April 1, 2024. 

What’s key here is the word required.

While email authentication should certainly be the norm by now, the fact Google is requiring it shows how serious they are. 

They are so serious that they are flat-out going to reject emails that don’t meet the requirements!

From Forbes:

“Starting from April 1, Google will reject emails from bulk senders unless they meet new authentication requirements. This strict rule is aimed at reducing the amount of spam that lands in Gmail inboxes and enhancing the security of Gmail users. By implementing these new requirements, Google is aiming to prevent malicious actors from using unauthenticated or compromised domains to deliver their dangerous payloads and reduce unwanted spam.”

As you can see, there are real repercussions here for those who choose not to adhere to the Google guidelines. 

Sounds like it’s time to get your emails in line if they aren’t already.

*Note: Current bulk sender rules refer to 5,000+ email sends to Gmail users

Staying in Line with New Google Guidelines

Authenticating your email account is simple and honestly, the majority of ESPs have this capability built in. 

Here are links to a few of our partner sites:

Along with ensuring your email is authenticated, there are other parts of the spam rules that still need to be adhered to, including unsubscribe links. 

In our original deep drive, we noted that clear unsubscribes were crucial. Make it easy for people to unsubscribe and they are less likely to mark you as spam.

Well, come June 1st, not only do bulk senders need to have an unsubscribe, they have to have a one-click unsubscribe option that is processed within 48 hours.

As for the spam complaint rate threshold?

I think we are going to see more about that as these updates continue to roll out. 

In the meantime, make sure you are creating an outbound email marketing program that focuses on warm leads, personalized messaging, and best practices.

How Can Help Prevent Spam Penalties?

One of the main reasons emails get marked as spam is because the recipient has never heard of the sender. 

Our inboxes are already so crowded – don’t bother me with something I’ve never even heard of, right?

That’s where comes in. 

We identify people who are already on your site. 

People who are engaging with high-intent pages.

People who haven’t received an email or ad previously.

These are the people you want to target. 

Forget the cold email lists of the past you had to buy. These are the people who are going to open your emails, engage, improve your email deliverability, and drive up revenue!

Ready to see how we can help?

Sign up for free and start identifying visitors who actually want to hear from you.

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