Reach the inbox – Email authentication standards [Infographic]

By 24 March, 2015Email Marketing

Getting an email to your recipient’s inbox is a lot more tricky than you might think.

Not only will you have to steer clear of junk and spam filters but email server policies may also block your emails due to lack of security certificates and validated domains.

Adding to this you need to ensure that nobody tries to send out emails in your name, leaving your brand and reputation vulnerable to the so called phishing emails.

Research shows that in just two months more than 325 million emails were rejected by mailbox providers for being unauthenticated.

The good news is, that there are solutions out there that will help you reach your audience and keep your email domain safe from phishing attempts.

This infographic explains how the three most prominent authentication methods (SPF, DKIM and DMARC) play together to help you reach the inbox of your recipients.

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Email authentication standards (DKIM, DMARC and SPF)

Email authentication infographic

To better understand the delivery of an email, here are a few words that are good to know.

Properties of an email:

  • Return Path. While in transit, emails have a return-path address. If the email cannot be delivered to its destination, it would be returned to this address. It would typically be the address of the email service provider handling the sendout. Machines reply to this address. Think of this as the sender address that you would put on the back of an envelope on a “real” letter.
  • From address. This is the visible from address on the email. This is the address that people can reply to once they received it. Think of this as the sender information you would have on your letterhead. Just as in real life you could write just about any address here to make it look good or even to trick people.
  • The body is the actual content of the email analog to the text on a letter.
  • The sending server is the service that delivers the email you wrote.

Now, if you receive a letter from an email service with one name, with an unknown address on the envelope, and your trusted sender’s address on the letter inside… how do you really know it is to be trusted? Tricky right? And that is why many legit emails never make it to the inbox of the recipient.

Luckily there are solutions in place to make the recipients know for sure that your emails are to be trusted.

  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework)- Certifies that the delivery service is on the list of allowed servers to send emails with the given “return path” on the envelope. This is enabled for all eMarketeer customers by default.
  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mails) – Authenticates that the from address on the letter is correct and valid and that the body (the content) has not been changed.
  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance)- Lets you define your policy on how the above two (SPF and DKIM) should be used, and allows recipients to report back any violations. For instance, you can prevent any other servers than the defined ones to deliver emails in your name thus preventing fraud and phishing.

If you’re curious about how you can secure your email sendouts and maximise your deliverability, read more about implementing best in class email delivery standards.

As the Chief Marketing Officer at eMarketeer I constantly come across inspirational sources of content, amazing customer cases as well as fun and educational stuff that just begs to be shared. I hope my writing can spark ideas for your own marketing projects.

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