Gmail has previously announced that “some time” in June 2016, they will be adjusting their DMARC policy.
This will mean that you’ll only be able to reliably send emails from a @gmail.com email address through Gmail’s own servers. Any SMTP service other than Gmail’s will no longer be allowed.
Yahoo and AOL have already made this change, back in 2014, and Microsoft is reportedly going to make the change in 2016 as well (for sending from hotmail.com, live.com, msn.com and outlook.com email addresses).
Hold on, what’s DMARC?
DMARC is a reasonably new technology that allows owners of a domain name (like gmail.com) to definitively say which servers can be used to send emails from that domain name. It makes use of already existing protocols (SPF and DKIM), but it adds instructions for the recipient’s mail server, so it knows what it should do with the email based on the SPF/DKIM tests.
So, what do I need to do?
We highly recommend sending all emails from an email address at your own domain name. e.g. email@example.com.
Almost all of our members already have their own domain name(s), but if you don’t then now is the time to register one, using a domain name registrar such as GoDaddy. You’ll need to have incoming email setup at your domain name, so you’ll be able to receive emails that are sent to your email address. Recommendations are Rackspace Email ($2/user/month, minimum of 5 users), Zohomail (free for up to 25 users), and G Suite ($5/user/month).
You need to check all of your sources of emails that get sent through SMTP2GO (you can view your sent emails from the ‘Reports > Activity’ page in our web app), and then see which emails are being sent from one of the disallowed domains mentioned above. Then, make any changes you can to ensure that those domains are no longer used.
One example is a website/application that sends emails from its users’ own email addresses. For example, if a user wants to send an email to their friend, the website could send that email from that user’s own email address. That will no longer work if that email address is @gmail.com. A solution is to get your website to actually send the emails from a “friendly from” email address, which will still show the sender’s name when the recipient looks at it, even though the email is actually sent from an email address at your own company. e.g.
firstname.lastname@example.org can be sent as “Example User” <email@example.com>
A good tool for checking DMARC records of domain names is Dmarcian. Technically speaking, the record for gmail.com is going to change from “p=none” to “p=reject”.
What if I do nothing?
Soon, any emails sent from any of the domains mentioned above will be rejected by some recipients. We’ll still attempt to deliver all emails, but we would expect to see a large drop in deliverability for them.