Authenticate Emails with DMARC for Better Deliverability
How Is DMARC Related to Email Deliverability?
DMARC stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance and is a DNS protocol that uses the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM).
It’s important to start by saying that a DMARC record isn’t a free pass into inboxes or will automatically get your domain removed from a blocklist. If it were that simple, spammers would set up a DMARC record before they send out emails. But everything you can do to show that you’re working to keep email users safe improves your deliverability rate, and DMARC authentication is no different.
Mass email campaigns can be highly effective for marketing teams to move people through their sales funnel or reach new clients. However, the benefits of mass email marketing are also the biggest problem with mass emailing: there are a lot of people trying to send consumers a lot of messages. Since ISPs work tirelessly to keep junk out of their recipients’ mailboxes, you have to monitor your reputation to ensure that your emails get into people’s inboxes.
Your DMARC record shows ISPs that you’re working consistently to be a safe sender. Your DMARC record also gives you feedback about your deliverability so you can make improvements to your email campaigns and reach more of your target audience.
ISPs are more likely to let messages from DMARC authenticated through to the recipient because they trust authenticated domains. Your DMARC record helps ISPs identify you as a secure domain providing content that intends to harm the recipient. Because of this, a DMARC record improves email deliverability by validating the security of the message. DMARC allows you to get more messages into people’s inboxes instead of their spam folders.
What Does it Mean to Authenticate Your Email with DMARC?
Authenticating your email with DMARC means that you set up a public record of your domain on the DNS network. The system is used to prevent malicious content from being sent. DMARC authentication lets you show that you’re invested in your client’s safety and helps your server understand what to do with any incoming messages you receive.
Why Is it Important to Authenticate Your Email with DMARC?
Authenticating your email with DMARC assists with deliverability and your domain reputation, but it also provides phenomenal benefits for you as a sender.
Of course, a published DMARC record keeps your subscribers safe, but it also keeps you safe from cybercriminals impersonating your business and sending content pretending to be you. If an email is sent from a domain that without your DMARC stamp, ISPs will know that you aren’t the one sending out malicious content, and the bounced email won’t affect your reputation.
DMARC gives you complete visibility to all the content sent under your domain. If a cybercriminal hacks your domain, the reports you get from DMARC will indicate that messages were sent from your domain. If you don’t recognize these emails, it’s a sign that your account has been compromised. You’ll get a full report of how many emails you send, how many were rejected, and who they were sent to.
A DMARC record makes it easier for ISPs to recognize your address and identify you as a reputable sender. On top of that, DMARC makes it easier for you to warm up your inbox faster because ISPs will be able to recognize you quicker than they would if you didn’t have authentication.
If you use the reports, DMARC gives you insights into why you’re having deliverability issues. These reports enable you to identify any problems and make alterations.
How Does Authenticating Your Email with DMARC Improve Deliverability?
DMARC combines the abilities of the two existing email authentication protocols (SPF and DKIM) to allow a domain administrator to publish a public policy in their DNS records. This policy specifies which protocols are implemented when an email is sent to a recipient or an incoming message is passed back to the sender. Additionally, DMARC records indicate how the domain wants a server to handle rejected or malicious messages. The record will specify whether the administrator wants the message to be bounced back to the sender or redirected to a secondary inbox for quarantine.
Authenticating your email with DMARC makes it easier for ISPs and receiving email servers to verify that your email is actually sent by you and not someone spoofing your domain. DMARC was created to ensure that spam, spoofed, malicious, or illegitimate mail doesn’t make it to the recipients. DMARC authentication shows ISPs that you are concerned with your recipients’ online security.
How to Authenticate Your Email with DMARC
Thankfully, you don’t have to hire a coding genius to authenticate your email with DMARC. Publishing a DMARC record can be done in a few simple steps.
Go to your DNS hosting provider and log in to your account. Look for the option to create a new DMARC record or the TXT section to alter. Finding the section will vary based on your hosting provider, so contact your provider for assistance if you have any questions about locating the DMARC record setup.
Once you’re in the setup for DMARC, you’ll have to input the necessary data for your domain. There are three fields you must fill in when creating a new record:
2. Record Type
The specific labels on these fields may vary based on your provider, but they should contain similar or recognizable language to what we listed above. But if you’re having trouble figuring out what information you need to put where, it’s best to contact your provider.
For the host or name, you’ll likely input “_DMARC,” and the hosting provider will add it to your domain. If you’re using a subdomain, you’ll typically use “_dmarc.subdomain.” so if you’re setting up a record for your domain “@website.com,” you’ll type in “_DMARC” under name, and the provider will automatically input “@website.com.”
For the record type, you’ll choose “TXT.”
Under value, you’ll include at least two tag-value pairs on your DMARC record: “v” and “p.”
You’ll have a value for “v,” which will always be v=DMARC1 for your first record. The value for “p” is combined with “none,” “quarantine,” or “reject” to let the server know what they should do with an incoming message. The tag you type in will read like “p=none.” Most people start the value of a new DMARC record with “p=none” so they can monitor any issues through the domain’s SPF or DKIM without missing any incoming messages.
Each tag in the value list needs to be separated by a semi-colon for the command to work. If you want to receive reports (which we recommend), you can use the “rua” tag to request an email performance report. As your DMARC record ages, you can set up more advanced tags, but it’s best to start with the basics and work your way up. So your first DMARC value might look like this:
v=DMARC1; p=none; firstname.lastname@example.org
Once everything is configured, all you need to do is create or save the record for it to go into effect.
And voila! Your DMARC record is set up!
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