Authentication Changes at Yahoo! Impact Email Marketing

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Delivering emails into your subscribers’ inboxes is a big part of what we do around here; keeping out unwanted email is what email providers do. In a move to prevent abuse or phishing scams, Yahoo! has made a big change to the way they verify emails coming into their system; a policy that will impact everyone, but especially email marketers using a From email address of @yahoo.com. Anyone using an email address from Yahoo!, but not mailing from their Yahoo! account could see an increase in bounces or emails going to spam. This kind of change could become a trend that other email providers follow, so it’s important to understand what’s going on.

Yahoo! Authentication Changes Impact Email MarketingWhat changed?

Yahoo! changed how it uses Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) validation (here’s a good description of DMARC.) Basically, if your From email address doesn’t match the sender address from the mail server, Yahoo! may think the email is fraudulent, or spam, and block it from their system. As an example, if you send an email with a From address of @yahoo.com, but it’s actually coming from your email service provider’s server, this will be a problem. Yahoo! has made this change to combat the rise of phishing and spam emails being sent to and from Yahoo.com users.

Will this change affect you?

If your From email address has @yahoo.com, but you’re not sending the email directly from your Yahoo! account, this change will affect you. This will impact all email service providers that allow you to edit your From email address. Yahoo! suggests other instances as well:

  • Email Service Providers (ESPs) sending for businesses using Yahoo addresses
  • Services coordinating groups of people, like mailing lists, sports teams, online courses
  • Websites where visitors may share with their friends via email, like news and shopping sites
  • Other small business services, including business web portals and calendaring solutions, that send mail between customers and businesses
  • ISPs and other mailbox services that allow their customers to send mail with addresses outside the service’s control
  • Mail forwarding services

In the new VerticalResponse, you have the option to customize the From email address. If you’re using this feature and set your From address to an @yahoo.com email address, this is will impact your emails. If not, this change doesn’t affect you. VerticalResponse Classic doesn’t allow this type of From address masking, so your emails won’t be impacted by this change.

What should you do? 

Due to this change, it’s no longer a good idea to use an @yahoo.com email address as your From address. If you’re a VerticalResponse customer, you can find more info on how to do this under Default Email Settings or under the Header Settings options.

What about other email providers?

Right now, only Yahoo! is making this change, but it’s possible that other companies like Gmail and Hotmail will in the future. One thing you can do is use a From email address from a private domain you control like yourname@your-company.com. You can get one through our sister company, Hostopia.com. Another option is to use From addresses using Gmail or Hotmail accounts, though they could potentially be affected in the future as we’ve mentioned.

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