Email is one of the most common and effective ways for businesses to communicate with their customers, partners, and prospects. However, email marketing can also be challenging, as you need to ensure that your messages reach the intended recipients and not get lost in the junk or spam folders. This is not only important for your reputation, but also for your revenue and customer satisfaction. Therefore, it’s essential for businesses to understand and follow the best practices for email deliverability, especially as the email landscape evolves and becomes more complex.
This year, both Google and Yahoo are increasing their requirements for sending emails to better protect recipients from spam and spoof emails. In October 2023, they released a joint statement that some authentication methods would now be required.
What are the new requirements?
To build trust for your domain and increase your inbox deliverability rates, there are a number of requirements you must meet. It has always been a best practice to have SPF, DKIM, and DMARC in place on your domain. However, Google and Yahoo are stepping up their requirements and emails without these DNS records will be more likely to end up in the spam folder.
SPF, DKIM and DMARC records help mail receivers authenticate that the email has come from the correct source, that it hasn’t been tampered with in transit, and has rules set if either of the first two requirements aren’t met.
What is SPF, DKIM, and DMARC?
SPF (Sender Policy Framework)
SPF is a protocol used to prevent sender address forgery. It allows an organization to publish authorized mail servers in their Domain Name System (DNS) records. When an email is sent, the receiving server checks these records to verify that the email has originated from a server permitted by the domain’s administrators (e.g. Microsoft 365). This verification helps in identifying and blocking emails from unauthorized sources, thus reducing the risk of spam or phishing attacks originating from your domain.
DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail)
DKIM adds an extra layer of security by attaching a digital fingerprint to outgoing emails. This fingerprint is linked to your domain, allowing the receiving server to validate that the email hasn’t been tampered with during transit. This process ensures the authenticity of the email’s content and sender, providing recipients with assurance about the email’s integrity.
DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance)
DMARC is a policy framework that unifies SPF and DKIM authentication mechanisms. It allows domain owners to specify how an email should be dealt with if it fails SPF or DKIM checks. For example, do you want the emails to be blocked or quarantined.
What if we don’t meet the requirements?
If you are sending emails without SPF, DKIM, and DMARC enabled, it’s more likely that Google and Yahoo will send your email to the recipient’s junk folder, or not deliver it at all. While the initial terms set out by Google and Yahoo seem to be targeting large bulk senders, it’s anticipated that these changes will filter down and be an expectation for all senders very soon.
How do we implement this?
For any of our managed clients we will be in touch soon to discuss the requirements and get you all set up.
If you are a pay as you go client, or not a client of Heliocentrix, you can complete the form below to receive our free guide explaining how to get started setting up SPF, DKIM and DMARC.