Ashley Prior, Digital Marketing Manager

QUICK SHOT: Are Your Nonprofit Emails Ending Up in Spam?

What marketers need to know to improve email deliverability

If you work at a nonprofit organization, you know how vital a tool email is for communicating with your donors, volunteers and supporters. However, recent changes in email deliverability standards from major providers like Google and Yahoo have made it even more crucial for nonprofits to stay on top of their email game. Ignoring these standards could result in your emails ending up in spam and not being seen by your donors.

In a recent article by M+R, they discuss the new standards set by Google and Yahoo to improve email deliverability for users. These changes include stricter authentication protocols and a focus on user engagement metrics.

While these updates may seem daunting, they actually present an opportunity for nonprofits to enhance their email deliverability and marketing strategies, and ultimately, increase their impact. Here are some steps you can take to stay ahead of the curve:

It’s crucial to use security measures like SPF, DKIM and DMARC to authenticate your emails if you want to ensure your emails reach their intended recipients. This will not only improve email deliverability but also protect your organization from phishing attacks and safeguard your organization’s reputation.

Click here to read more about setting up these email authentication protocols.>>

If you are a current BDI client partner, we will be reaching out soon to confirm your current record set up and assist if updates are needed!

With Google and Yahoo placing more emphasis on user engagement metrics, nonprofits need to send relevant and engaging content to their subscribers. Consider segmenting your email list and personalizing your messages to increase engagement.

Keep an eye on your open, click-through and bounce rates. If you notice a decline in these metrics, it may be time to reassess your email strategy and make adjustments accordingly.

The new standards by Google and Yahoo have emphasized this metric, highlighting the importance of respecting user preferences. If a significant number of users are choosing to unsubscribe from your emails, it must be taken as a signal to evaluate and adjust your content and frequency of communication.

In addition to these technical steps, it’s also important for nonprofits to maintain a positive relationship with their subscribers. This means providing valuable and relevant content, respecting subscriber preferences and avoiding spammy tactics

Well-orchestrated, relevant and timely communication can decrease unsubscribe rates, ensuring your messages reach those who genuinely resonate with your cause. Remember, it’s about building meaningful connections rather than just having large numbers on your mailing list.

At the end of the day, these updates to email deliverability will ultimately benefit nonprofits by ensuring that their messages are reaching their intended audience. By staying informed and taking proactive measures, your nonprofit can continue to effectively use email as a tool for communication and impact

Don’t let these changes scare you – embrace them and use them to your advantage! So, keep sending those important updates, donation requests and event invitations with confidence. Your subscribers will thank you for it. Remember, staying ahead of the curve is not just about following standards; it’s also about delivering meaningful content that resonates with your audience. Keep up the good work, and watch your impact grow!

So, what are you waiting for? Get started on implementing these measures today and ensure your emails continue to make a positive impact. And if you need any assistance with this process, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at BDI. See you in the inbox!

How to Implement Your Email Authentication Protocols

Ready to dive deeper into email deliverability? Here’s a brief overview of three essential security measures you should have in place. If you are a BDI client partner, a member of our digital team is available to assist you with making updates as needed. Reach out anytime at

  • Setting up SPF (Sender Policy Framework): This email validation system is designed to prevent email spoofing by verifying sender IP addresses. To set up SPF, you need to add an SPF TXT record to your domain’s DNS server. This record indicates which mail servers are authorized to send mail for your domain.
    • The syntax might look something like this: “v=spf1 ip4: ip4: a -all.” This essentially allows emails to be sent from the IP addresses specified, and denies all others.
  • Implementing DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail): DKIM adds a digital signature to the headers of your email, which is then validated by the recipient’s mail server. This helps protect your emails from being tampered with in transit.
    • Setting up DKIM involves generating a public-private key pair, adding the public key as a TXT record to your domain’s DNS records, and configuring your email server to sign outgoing mail with the private key.
  • Deploying DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance): DMARC is a policy that helps receivers determine what to do with unauthenticated emails. To set up DMARC, you need to add a DMARC TXT record to your domain’s DNS records. This record specifies your policy and where to send reports about DMARC failures.
    • For example, a DMARC record might look like this: “v=DMARC1; p=reject;” This tells receiving servers to reject unauthenticated emails and send reports about failures to a specified email address.
  • Ashley Prior

    Ashley Prior, Digital Marketing Manager

    Prior to joining BDI, Ashley gained extensive digital marketing experience working at both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing and entrepreneurship, she has served at charities nationwide, including the Alzheimer’s Association and several educational organizations. Her work has spanned everything from social media management to email marketing, event planning and public relations.

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