I hope you aren’t freaking out about upcoming changes to Yahoo and Gmail inboxes.
We are all going to be okay.
Spam prevention measures are fundamentally a good thing for consent-based marketers.
These new measures are designed to protect people from unwanted emails and make inboxes better, including yours. The goal is to keep out spammers, which is good for us since, as consent-based marketers, we are not spammers. (More on that later. Spam may not mean what you think it means.)
For the record, consent means:
✔️Your subscriber expressly filled out a form or ticked a box requesting to be added to your email list.
✖️They booked a call with you that one time.
✖️They abandoned cart on one of your products but not before entering their email on your 2-step checkout page.
✖️They downloaded a freebie from your website.
Here’s an example of what clear consent looks like:
I had to start with consent because it’s the very heart of my work and goes way beyond ticking a box.
Let’s assume you’ve got that part handled.
Next (and you’ve probably got this handled too):
One-click unsubscribe will now be required by Gmail and Yahoo. None of this multi-step hoop-jumping that makes me want to yell, “WHYYYY?” every time I get redirected to a landing page that says, “Enter your name and email to unsubscribe” or “Select which emails you want to continue receiving.” Bitch, I don’t want any emails. That’s why I clicked the button!
Email service providers like ConvertKit, Active Campaign, or Mailchimp already do this by default. But if you are, say, an Ontraport user with something fancy set up where subscribers have to de-select the lists they don’t want to be on (which I guarantee they find very annoying), it’s time to revisit this.
…and if you’re sending bulk email manually from your Google account with 93 names in the BCC field, Lord Vader save you, and please immediately sign up for a free ConvertKit account.
You still with me?
Maybe you’re nodding along like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, Tarzan, I’m getting consent and people can easily unsubscribe. Do you think I was born yesterday?”
You still have to pay attention and make a few changes.
Now is a great time to scrub your list because Google is doing a massive purge of inactive accounts. More great news! My high school email account firstname.lastname@example.org is finally going to be permanently deleted. (Whew!)
This change is happening already.
Continuously emailing inactive subscribers is bad for deliverability. Chances are your email service provider is already purging hard bounces, aka invalid emails. (As I learned when I went running scared to my Sandra Booker, my Fractional COO, and she was like, “Calm down, Tarzan. ConvertKit automatically deletes those.”)
But what about people who aren’t engaging with your emails? People with valid email addresses who just don’t open or click your emails?
I’m going to save that for episode 2, k?
These Gmail and Yahoo updates are not a do-nothing situation, but they are also not a major threat to your livelihood. You can handle this. You’ve already been trained in best practices if you come from the “email from a friend” school of marketing.
Let me repeat: this is a great thing for consent-based marketers. It means better vibes for everyone’s inbox, and fewer unwanted emails, which is what we all want.
Stay tuned for part deux.