What Is DMARC?
DMARC makes it easier for ISPs and receiving email servers to determine the authenticity of incoming and outgoing email messages originating from a specific domain. The protocol was set up to ensure that spam, spoofed, malicious, or illegitimate mail is delivered to recipients.
DMARC works as an extension of SPF and DKIM, the two existing email authentication protocols. This allows a domain administrator to publish a public policy in their DNS records to specify which protocols are implemented and used when an external email server receives outgoing mail. A DMARC record also indicates how rejected or malicious messages should be dealt with and whether the administrator prefers the message be bounced back to the sender or redirected to another inbox.
How to Set Up DMARC
Go to your DNS hosting provider, log in, and find the option to create a new record or the TXT section to alter. The navigation will depend on the hosting provider you use, and if you have any questions about getting started with setting DMARC through your provider, contact them directly.
When creating a new record, there are three fields you absolutely have to fill in:
- Record Type
The specific labels on these fields may vary based on your provider, but they should fall under the same general category. Again, if you have any questions, it’s best to contact your host provider directly.
For the record type, you’ll opt for “TXT,” and for name, you’ll likely input “_DMARC,” and the hosting provider will add it to your domain (or “_dmarc.subdomain” if using a subdomain). For the value, you must include two tag-value pairs on your DMARC record. You’ll have a value for “v,” which will be v=DMARC1, and the value for “p” is put together with “none,” “quarantine,” or “reject” to indicate what should be done with an incoming message. The tag would look like “p=none.”
It’s best to start the value of your new DMARC record with “p=none” so you can identify any issues through your domain’s SPF or DKIM without rejecting or quarantining messages. If you want to insert an additional value, you can use the “rua” tag to send an email performance report to the address you specify. Each tag in the value list needs to be separated by a semi-colon for the command to work.
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.
Once everything is set up the way you want, all you have to do is hit the create or save button to process the new record.
How Does DMARC Influence Email Deliverability and Domain Reputation?
Whether the emails are being sent cold or to subscribers, mass email campaigns can be extremely effective for businesses to move people through their sales funnel. However, mass email marketing can come with problems if the sender doesn’t take precautions. If your sender reputation is neglected, you could end up accruing spam reports and potentially have your domain or IP placed on a blocklist.
Having a DMARC record for your domain lets ISPs know that the sender is working to ensure that they’re practicing good sending habits. Publishing a DMARC record allows your domain to receive feedback about your email authentication so you can improve your email authentication with SPF and DKIM.
ISPs inherently trust DMARC-authenticated senders and are more likely to let messages from them through to the recipient. As ISPs work to weed out spam and malicious content, having a DMARC record shows that you’re putting in the effort to establish a secure domain that isn’t trying to harm the recipient. Because of this, a DMARC record improves email deliverability by helping the sender validate the safety of the message. This way, you get more messages into people’s inboxes instead of their spam folders.
Of course, a DMARC record isn’t a golden ticket to inboxes or to get your domain removed from a blocklist. If that were the case, spammers would simply set up a DMARC record and call it a day. But with domain reputations, every little bit you can do to show that you’re working to keep email users safe helps.
What Are the Benefits of DMARC?
Along with improving your deliverability rate and domain reputation, DMARC comes with many benefits for your marketing team.
- Security – Publishing a DMARC record keeps your subscribers safe, but it also keeps you safe from cybercriminals impersonating your business. If someone tries to send an email “from you,” but it doesn’t have the DMARC stamp, ISPs will know that you’re not the one at fault for sending out malicious content.
- Visibility – Using DMARC allows you to keep tabs on all the content sent under your domain. If for any reason your domain is hacked, you’ll be able to figure out that something’s wrong before you would without the authentication. Many email users don’t realize their account has been hacked until they run out of storage or someone tells the sender that they got a weird message from the sender’s address. With DMARC, you’ll get comprehensive reports of how many emails you send out, how many were rejected, and who they were sent to.
- Identity – Having a DMARC record makes it easier for ISPs to identify your address and verify that you are a safe sender. Warming up your inbox becomes infinitely more manageable with the help of DMARC.
- Solve Problems – With the aid of SPF and DKIM, DMARC provides insights into why certain emails are unable to be delivered. This allows you to improve your sending practices so you can reach more customers.
How to Get Started with Improving Your Email Delivery with DMARC
Once your DMARC record is published, you’ll have access to reports that will help you improve your deliverability and reputation. But processing these reports can be tedious, so it can be helpful to employ a tool to help you make the DMARC reports more comprehensive. Warmup Inbox’s platform allows you to warm up your inbox while monitoring reports from DMARC, DKIM, and SPF with our live performance tracker. Additionally, our platform helps you keep tabs on the health of your inbox by surveying all of the various factors that impact deliverability and reputation.
As you get more comfortable with your DMARC record, we can help you figure out ways to create more advanced settings that will help you improve your standing. We’ll help you make all the codes and reports make sense so you can focus on providing your subscribers with the best content possible. To try Warmup Inbox for free, click here.
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