5 things you should know about DMARC

By 27 mars, 2015Email Marketing

Supported by the world’s largest email providers and adopted by top brands – DMARC is protecting more than 60 percent of email boxes worldwide.

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance) is designed to reduce email abuse and help you improve your email delivery. It defines how email receivers perform email authentication using the existing SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) mechanisms.

This post lists 5 things you need to know about the DMARC email authentication standard.

1. Email authentication is about protecting your brand

In the real world we do not want people or organisations to claim to represent us if they don’t. Why would this be any different in the digital world?

DMARC helps you ensure the integrity of your brand by protecting it from fraud and phishing attempts by cyber criminals. Email is one of the most important communication channels you have to both win new business as well as maintain your relationship to current clients. Therefore no organisation can afford to have their email sender reputation damaged as this reflects directly on the brand reputation. If your email setup does not meet the best authentication standards your risk being subject to fraud and phishing attempts as well as not reaching the inboxes of your recipients.

You might think that fraud and phishing only hits big banks, insurance companies and other similar businesses, but even small businesses can be targets of these scams.

2. Authentication means reaching inboxes and raising revenues

From the get go the email channel really did not come with a lot of security and the concept of authentication was completely absent. So naturally, since email marketing became an effective tool for marketers, spam and fraud also grew rapidly.

With DMARC recipients can safely assume that emails coming from your domain are really from you. With this authentication your emails will more easily pass email security systems and reach your recipients.

DMARC.org did a research after it’s release, showing that more then 325 million emails were rejected because the mailbox provider was unauthenticated.

Each time an email fails to reach its recipient, revenue and relationship is lost. By implementing DMARC, your email campaigns are better set up for success and you will be better equipped to drive more leads through your sales funnel and deliver more sales.

3. Developed by the tech leaders

When the guys that lead the industry set bold goals and develop new standards, you know you can’t look away. Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Bank of America and many other companies have gotten together to finally try to stop the email fraud attempts by cybercriminals. By developing DMARC they have sat a new standard that protects both you and your organisation and your recipients from the cybercriminals.

Thanks to the involvement from these companies DMARC gained fast adoption from the email service providers. The standard protects over 60 percent of the worlds consumer mailboxes and companies like Amazon, AOL, Google, Groupon, Paypal etc. all use DMARC to protect both themselves and their customers.

4. DMARC works with the existing email security system

You may have heard about SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (Domain Key Identified Mails) which are both intended to reduce email fraud. DMARC is built to complement these two systems. Both SPF and DKIM are really strong solutions that help authenticate your email send outs. However they were not built to work hand in hand, but as stand-alone services. DMARC bridges that gap in order to provide an even more powerful protection. This means that with DMARC both SPF and DKIM get more powerfull then if you use them as two separate solutions. When using them together DMARC checks if the SPF and/or the DKIM are passed successfully, and also if it aligns with the DMARC policy. If it does not align with the DMARC policy then the email fails to pass through to the recipient even though it may have passed SPF or DKIM on its own.

5. The bad guys are avoiding authenticated senders

A really great thing about DMARC is that your recipients don’t really need to understand it. Your authentication along with DKIM and SPF will keep them safe from malicious emails in your name.

This means that imposters who then try to use your domain will run into obstacles and potentially be reported back to you as fraudulent activity with your email domain. That is not a risk a cyber criminal is willing to accept and he will move on to easier targets that are not DMARC authenticated. A company that has seen a drastic change is PayPal. They have “lost” the number one position as being the most phished brand in the world. This means that the criminals no longer focus that much on PayPal but instead moved on to other companies that aren’t protected with DMARC. Cyber criminals are often persistent and find new ways and new brands to exploit. Remember it is the opportunity that makes the thief and if we’re not protected, the possibility that they will try to exploit our brand is growing.

What to do?

Learn more on how DMARC, SPF and DKIM plays together in our Email Authentication Standards Infographic.

If you currently using or considering eMarketeer rest assured that we have you covered with best in class authentication mechanism based on the industry standards explained in this post. Out of the box you are SPF verified and with our Secure Email Domain upgrade your fully authenticated with DKIM and DMARC as well.

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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