Email Authentication Email News

Who Is a Bulk Sender? Are You Classified as a Bulk Sender?

Are you wondering whether you count as a bulk sender? Learn if you are here.

Buckle up, email senders. Starting in February 2024, Google and Yahoo are making major changes to email-sending requirements, and at the heart of this initiative stands a key term: bulk sender.

Google’s guidelines originally applied to “bulk senders,” but they’ve since updated the terminology to simply “email senders.” However, while Google’s requirements apply to all email senders, there are more stringent conditions for bulk senders that meet certain classifications.

So, under these requirements, who is a bulk sender? And, more importantly, are you classified as a bulk sender?

Here’s why understanding your sender classification matters:

  • Delivery Destination: Gmail and Yahoo are tightening their belts. Emails from unverified or poorly authenticated bulk senders might face delays, get rerouted, or even be rejected.
  • Reputation Matters: Complying with the new rules helps build trust with email providers and keeps your sender reputation sky-high. This means your emails are more likely to reach their intended destination.
  • Smooth Sending: Ignoring the new requirements will disrupt your email flow, leading to frustrated recipients and missed opportunities.

Understanding your sender classification and navigating the new rules isn’t rocket science. Below, we’ll help you understand Google and Yahoo’s definition of a bulk sender and, should you meet those classifications, guide you to becoming compliant.

Who Is a Bulk Sender?

Here’s the definition according to Google:

A bulk sender is any email sender that sends close to 5,000 or more messages to personal Gmail accounts within a 24-hour period. Messages sent from the same primary domain count toward the 5,000 limit.

Sending domains: When we calculate the 5,000-message limit, we count all messages sent from the same primary domain. For example, every day you send 2,500 messages from and 2,500 messages from to personal Gmail accounts. You’re considered a bulk sender because all 5,000 messages were sent from the same primary domain: Learn about domain name basics.

Senders who meet the above criteria at least once are permanently considered bulk senders.


These new authentication requirements apply if you’ve ever crossed the 5,000-message threshold in a day (even once, even if it was years ago). Transactional emails, marketing blasts, forwarded jokes—they all fall under the authentication microscope.

Once a bulk sender, always a bulk sender. Your sender status is permanent, and exceeding the daily volume limit just once stamps you as a high-volume sender forever. Changing your email practices and sending volume later doesn’t change your status.

Yahoo hasn’t given us a specific number, but if you’re blasting out high volumes (similar to Google’s numbers) on their platform, expect them to scrutinize your sending practices.

Why Does the Bulk Sender Classification Matter?

As a bulk sender, you are responsible for embracing and propagating email-sending practices and requirements to make the inbox a better, safer place for everyone. Before, things like authentication, one-click unsubscribes, and reduced spam rates were industry best practices—now, Google and Yahoo are making them sending requirements.

And that’s better for everyone, including your brand.

Your bulk sender classification isn’t a barrier or a punishment. It’s an opportunity. Following these new guidelines and requirements opens doors for enhanced deliverability, stronger brand reputation, improved user experiences, and deeper connections with your audience.

More of your wanted messages will reach your recipients’ inboxes, while unwanted phishing and spam mail (that’s been clogging up the inboxes) will go bye-bye. That means more attention and engagement with your opted-into emails—and that’s better for your bottom line.

However, if you don’t follow the guidelines required for your bulk sender classification, your emails won’t reach Gmail and Yahoo inboxes. And that means you’ll miss out on opportunities to engage with your audience, which is a double-edged sword considering they asked to receive your messages when they opted-in to your marketing or transactional channels.

What to Do if You’re a Bulk Sender

Have you crossed the 5,000-email threshold and become a bulk sender? Congratulations! This new label isn’t a scarlet letter—it’s a badge that comes with increased responsibilities and opportunities. Here’s how to navigate the new Yahoo and Google sender requirements and ensure your emails land where they belong.

While these changes started going into effect in February, non-compliant mail will start to be affected in April.

Yahoo and Google timeline

1. Authentication

Authentication protocols (SPF, DKIM, DMARC) verify your identity as a legitimate sender, building trust with email providers and securing your path to inboxes.


DMARC provides valuable reports on how your emails are treated across domains. It tells email providers how to handle your messages if they fail SPF or DKIM checks. While you’ll ultimately want to get to an enforcement status of p=quarantine or p=reject, you’ll need at least p=none to satisfy Google and Yahoo’s new requirements.

dmarc policies

“For messages sent directly to personal Gmail accounts, the organizational domain in the sender From: header must be aligned with either the SPF organizational domain or the DKIM organizational domain. Although we require bulk senders to set up both SPF and DKIM authentication, only one of these needs to be aligned to meet the sender alignment requirements…

To ensure reliable authentication, we recommend all senders fully align DMARC to both SPF and DKIM. It’s likely that DMARC alignment with both SPF and DKIM will eventually be a sender requirement.”


Need help getting your DMARC set up and configured correctly? We’ve got your back. Our Email Marketer’s Guide to DMARC helps you learn how to implement DMARC without all of the confusing terminology.

3. DNS

This one’s your map to email legitimacy. Configure your DNS records properly to ensure everyone knows exactly where your emails originate.

4. Unsubscribe Links

Prominently display clear and accessible unsubscribe options, demonstrating your commitment to a positive email experience. Remember, open doors foster trust and engagement.

Google requires a one-click unsubscribe link per RFC 8058.

5. Spam Rate

You’ll need to maintain a low spam rate of < 0.1%. Monitor this number closely, identify and address any spam triggers, and strive for continuous improvement.

6. Encryption

Safeguard your data and build trust with secure email encryption. Google says you need to “use a TLS connection for transmitting email.”

It strengthens email security and contributes to better deliverability, enhanced brand reputation, and a more trustworthy email experience for your recipients.

For these requirements, IT and marketing will need to work together, but starting that conversation can be challenging. Use our free email template to get the ball rolling.

Embrace the New Requirements with Valimail

Google and Yahoo’s new requirements make these email-sending standards non-negotiable—you either adopt these bulk sender conditions or risk not getting your messages delivered. The choice is yours.

If you’ve chosen to adopt the new requirements (good for you)! We’re here to help. Valimail isn’t just a compliance coach—we’re your inbox champions. Our comprehensive solutions make navigating the new landscape seamless and efficient:

  • DMARC Enforcement: Achieve continuous DMARC enforcement with Valimail Enforce without the technical headaches, ensuring smooth sailing through Google and Yahoo’s requirements.
  • Authentication Suite: Implement industry-best authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC with ease, building trust and securing your email journey.
  • Expert Guidance: Our team of email deliverability experts is at your side, providing ongoing support and guidance as you conquer the ever-evolving email frontier.

Ready to secure your rightful place in the inbox? Don’t wait for April to creep up. Start your journey to compliance today with Valimail Align.