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Yandex requirements for honest mailing lists

The present document describes what “Yandex” considers to be an honest mailing list. This is not a public offer and it does not imply any obligations for Yandex or its email service to services that perform mass distribution of emails.

The document reflects the industry-specific best practices of major ISPs and email services and complies with ASTA regulations and recommendations as well as with “Internet Usage Rules”. The algorithm of distinguishing mailing lists and spam is proprietary information of Yandex and is not meant for publication or discussion.

The minimum requirements for honest mailing lists are as follows:

  1. Subscription procedure:

    • (Mandatory) A mailing list can only be utilized upon the recipient's explicit demand or agreement.
    • (Mandatory) The email address of the recipient must be explicitly confirmed by the recipient themselves.
    • The addresses of recipients must be validated before being added to the mailing list database.

  2. Unsubscription procedure:
    • (Mandatory) Each message must contain clear instructions on how to unsubscribe from the mailing list. The unsubscription procedure itself must not require any sophisticated actions from users, such as password recovery, registration, or authorization. The unsubscription procedure must not take more than 10 minutes for the recipient.
    • The message body must explicitly display the recipient's address.
    • (Mandatory) The message must have the list-unsubscribe header formatted according to RFC standards. Once a user follows the link in this header, the unsubscription procedure must be performed immediately.
    • (Mandatory) All unsubscription links specified in the message must be valid.
  3. Message header:

    • The message subject must be clear to a user and must not be confusing or misleading.
    • The subject must be the same in all messages within the mailing list.
    • (Mandatory) The From field must display the actual email address associated with the originator of the mailing list. If the messages coming to this address are handled by a software bot, then the reply messages must contain clear and precise instructions on how to contact your technical support.

  4. Proper network identification:

    • (Mandatory) The software which utilizes mailing lists must also analyze the replies. If the target email server sends notification that a user does not exist, then the user must be removed from the mailing list.
    • (Mandatory) The host which utilizes mailing lists must be assigned a static IP address with properly configured reverse DNS lookup. The registration data of the domain owner must be valid and publicly available through the WHOIS protocol.
    • For proper identification, the domain name must be informative rather than automatically generated similar to x.y.z.w-in-addr-arpa or dsl-4-3-2-1.provider.net.
    • The host utilizing the mailing list must not be used for sending ordinary messages.
    • (If the previous requirement cannot be met.) The domain name specified in the From field must not be used for sending ordinary messages and must clearly identify the originator of the email. For instance, the notifications about new posts on the forum hosted on domain example.ru should be sent from subdomain forum.example.ru while the newsletter subscription should come from news.example.ru, etc.
    • (Mandatory) All messages must be signed using the DKIM or DMARC key (or, alternatively, the SPF record must be configured on the domain).

  5. Other requirements:

    • Changing information about the sender or a landing page for any links in the messages is prohibited.
    • It is not recommended to use short URLs.
    • All links in the message text must be provided in full domain name format rather than in the form of IP addresses or URL encoded domain names.
    • (Mandatory) A message must contain standard headers used for mass or automated distribution of emails, e.g., Precedence: bulk (junk, list, list-unsubscribe, etc.). All links in a message must allow for automatic unsubscription from the mailing list.
    • Headers and general format of a message must comply with the requirements of RFC 5322 and the MIME standard. A message must also contain valid headers Date and Message-ID.
    • The actual encoding must be specified in each part of a message. Messages containing multiple texts in various encodings are not allowed.
    • When the mailing list is performed in HTML, a message must not contain any JavaScript, ActiveX, or other potentially malicious objects.

Attention! Yandex.Mail reserves the right to treat messages from mailing lists that do not comply with the mandatory requirements of this document as Spam or completely decline their delivery. Note also that meeting the optional requirements will significantly reduce the risk of your messages being marked as Spam.