Last May, the web giant announced in a detailed article a change in its inactive account policies in an effort to defend users against security threats. In practice, this means that starting December 2023, any Google Account that has not been used or signed into for more than 2 years will be deleted by Google.
A few things you can do to avoid any issues:
- Define a sunsetting policy for your inactive contacts, removing them from your opt-in lists
- Always exclude from your campaigns contacts who have been inactive for 2 years (you can even reduce this time period to 1.5 years)
- Delete all useless data to comply with GDPR
Why you should care
Such a change should not be taken lightly as its ramifications go far beyond losing the content of your old mailbox. From a marketer’s point of view, this news implies that a certain amount of contacts found in your database will not be reachable anymore. Not only will they not receive your emails, but hard bounces will now be generated, causing your reputation as an email sender to potentially crumble.
As you know, it can take up to months to build a good reputation, but only one full-base campaign with a poor deliverability score to negatively impact your general performance.
What you should do now
Although it is generally relevant to try and reactivate inactive contacts from your database as part of your marketing plan, the new 2-year mark implemented by Google is to be kept in mind when doing so.
To avoid putting your future campaigns and your reputation in jeopardy, we advise you to set up a filter in Target that will exclude contacts that have not been active in the last 2 years and were created more than two years ago to use it in all of your campaigns starting December 2023.
As a general rule of thumb, you should also avoid full-base campaigns at all costs and only target a few inactive contacts at a time to limit the number of hard bounces. However, remember that contacts are sometimes too old to be reactivated in a relevant way and that you should only keep the data you actually need and use. You would not want to fall into a spam trap.
If you want to learn more about inactive reactivation campaigns, you should check out this article.
Please remember that GDPR compliance implies that you have to delete any personal data you are not using. So if you have contacts in your database to whom you will never send a message again, you should delete them.
More change is to come in 2024 as Google and Yahoo are about to change their bulk senders policy, adding new requirements regarding email authentication, unsubscription, and reported spam. As a Splio client, you have been informed during setup about all the necessary authentication settings. Please make sure you have done all the required actions.