Google’s Bulk Email Restrictions & Prospecting Methodology for 2024

Published on January 15, 2024 by Sawyer Middeleer

Email restriction

Big changes might be coming to email prospecting, and sellers should be prepared. Google and Yahoo recently announced policies for bulk email senders starting February 2024, which threaten to disrupt email prospecting as we know it.

Per their new policies, organizations that send more than 5,000 messages a day to Gmail and Yahoo Mail users (including corporate emails) with spam complaint rates of over 0.3% will have their messages automatically blocked.

Additionally, email senders will be required to satisfy the following requirements:

  • Email authentication: bulk email senders must authenticate their email using security protocols like SPF, DKIM and DMARC.
  • One-click unsubscribe: emailers must offer subscribers a one-click unsubscribe option in every message sent.

Impact to Sales Teams

Over the past several years, the use of automated sequences in email prospecting has proliferated. Most B2B sales teams today utilize software like Outreach and Salesloft to orchestrate sequences, which may reach 100’s of prospect inboxes per sales rep per day. These products enabled sellers to amplify their prospecting efforts and are a big factor behind why 40% of sellers claim that email is their most effective sales channel. Since ChatGPT was released, AI-powered email writing software has proliferated, making it easy to “personalize” emails by the thousands.

Many sellers are reliant on this software, but recipients’ inboxes have become more and more crowded. According to research from Insight Partners, email reply rates have dropped and the number of touchpoints required to create a sale opportunity has increased from 200-400 per account to 1,000-1,400 over 5 years. Automation and AI have played a significant role in driving this cycle of increasing email volumes and lower conversion rates.

With these new restrictions coming into effect, something has to give. Sales teams will be risking account suspension by continuing to send massive amounts of promotional emails that trigger the 0.3% threshold. (Simple math = 1 in 300 emails.) An incredibly stringent standard for email abuse!

Sellers will need to adapt their strategies, skillsets and tooling to be successful in 2024. If you are reading this, you are likely wondering how to prepare for these coming changes. We are experts in prospecting strategy and will show you how to win in 2024.

Step 1: Audit Email Domain Health

Every sales leader should audit their email domain health and resolve monitor spam abuse warnings, now. Google offers a free diagnostic service for high-volume senders that generates spam abuse reports in just a few simple steps:

  1. Navigate to https://gmail.com/postmaster/
  2. Enter your domain address

Enter domain

  1. Verify domain ownership

Verify domain

  1. Analyze your results

Analyze results

Take this moment to also examine the tools and processes you are using for email campaigns. Make sure to authenticate your email using a major security protocol and have processes in place for monitoring key KPIs like email deliverability and spam reports.

Step 2: Embrace a Value Selling Mindset

Once you evaluate your email health, the next thing that everyone who prospects over email should do is focus on sending fewer, better emails. This doesn’t just mean using better templates. Instead, the winning mindset in 2024 is one that prioritizes a value selling approach.

By value selling, we mean adopting a sales approach that emphasizes understanding and addressing the specific needs and challenges of each prospect. Value sellers focus on crafting personalized, informative, and relevant messages that demonstrate a clear understanding of the prospect's unique business needs. In essence, value selling is about understanding your prospects deeply and positioning yourself as a trusted advisor rather than just a vendor.

Per Salesforce, 87% of business buyers expect sales reps to act as trusted advisors. This approach not only increases the chances of engaging prospects but also builds a foundation for stronger, more meaningful business relationships. LinkedIn’s research found that 82% of top performers say they perform research “all of the time” to understand their prospects before reaching out.

Value selling emphasizes taking a consultative approach throughout the sales cycle from prospecting to post-close. We’ll cover this strategy holistically in a future guide. But for now, we’ll delve into how to effectively implement this approach in your email prospecting workflow.

How to Execute a Value Selling Strategy

Implementing a value-based prospecting strategy in 2024 comes down to 3 things: messaging, targeting and timing. If you get each of these elements right, there’s very little chance your emails will wind up getting flagged as spam.

  1. Messaging

The most critical step to standing out in a prospect’s inbox is delivering a relevant, personalized message. While “personalized” icebreakers have been popular for years, this shallow approach won’t cut it anymore. Instead, create messages that are informative, relevant, and demonstrate a clear understanding of the recipient's unique business situation. In the words of Sam McKenna, Founder of #samsales Consulting, “show them you know them.”.

Conduct in-depth research to grasp prospects’ pain points, interests, and needs. Then, craft your emails to address these insights directly and succinctly. Focus on how your product or service can solve specific problems or add tangible value to your prospects' businesses.

Here are some information that you should consider researching prior to reaching out:

  • Recent news about your account, including product launches, business results and leadership changes
  • Your prospect’s current role, job experience and common connections
  • Market trends and competitor activity that impacts their business
  1. Targeting

To improve email targeting, start by analyzing your previous campaigns. Identify the characteristics of individuals and companies that drive conversion and prune your list to focus on people that match this persona. Your low-relevancy contacts waste reps’ time and increase the risk of spam reports. This will help you to build signals around buyer intent.

Intent data are the insights gathered about a prospect's online behavior that indicate their potential interest in your product or service. By tracking digital footprints, such as website visits, content engagement, and search queries, sellers can identify prospects who show interest in their solution. Utilizing intent data within your sales workflow allows for the creation of highly tailored and timely outreach efforts that are less likely to end up as unwanted spam.

  1. Timing

One of the most crucial factors that separates great sales motions from good ones is the use of triggers. Sales triggers are events or changes within a company or an individual's professional sphere that signal a potential opportunity for a sale. These triggers can include critical organizational changes like mergers and acquisitions, leadership hires, or announcements of funding rounds. For instance, a company announcing expansion into a new market might need new software tools to support this growth, presenting an opportunity for sellers.

By aligning outreach with these triggers, sales professionals can ensure their messages are timely, relevant, and impactful. This proactive approach not only increases the effectiveness of the communication but also demonstrates to prospects that you are informed about their business priorities and equipped to partner with them to solve thorny challenges.

Step 3: Level Up Your Value Selling Game with Aomni

Aomni’s AI agent completes up to 8 hours of critical value selling tasks in just 15 minutes. Sales reps who use our platform recapture up to 50% of their day and redeploy the time to closing more revenue. Using Aomni, you can:

  • Access up-to-date research on their prospect accounts
  • Effortlessly identify individuals who fit their buyer personas
  • Create highly relevant personalized sales emails

Our data shows that better research drives email relevancy. Emails written by Aomni drive up to 50% better conversion rates for our users than alternatives because they are personalized with hyper-relevant details that can only come from researching dozens of sources.

Conclusion

We believe these new email policies are a positive development for the world of sales and marketing. Those who adapt to these changes will be positioned to take advantage of the less crowded inboxes.

By the end of 2024, we expect sellers who truly embrace this change will book more meetings through email than ever before. Instead of sending 5000 emails with a 1% response rate, they'll send 1000 emails with a 10% response rate.

Whether you’re excited or nervous about the new future of email prospecting, Aomni can help you adapt to the new normal. We would love to learn what you are doing to prepare for these coming changes. Let’s chat.

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