- DMARC Compliance, email deliverability, email marketing, trusted sender score
By David Barnes
Public Sector and Large Corporate IT Managers regard any email marketing campaign as “spam” and see it as their duty to eliminate it. Marketers on the other hand fight to get what they see as valuable product information through to appropriate decision makers or purchase influencers. Now the IT Managers have a new weapon in this ongoing information war … “DMARC”!
DMARC – Domain Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance is a protocol that ensures that an email sent to a prospect / recipient has a domain that conforms with specific authentication requirements. In essence it checks that the email campaign is being sent from a legitimate email address and domain.
The DMARC anti spoof protocol is being rolled out globally, particularly here in Australia and is focusing on the Public Sector and large business enterprises. So if they are your target market you could find all your email communications blocked, effectively locking you out of your market segment.
From a marketing perspective the most significant change when a DMARC project is completed, is the change to the campaign return-path. For most organisations that use email service providers (ESP) for campaign email, it is the ESP’s domain (i.e. MailChimp, Constant Contact etc) used in the return-path The return-path is the domain that the receiving email services use to rate email sending reputation and ip address reputation. This will change, if DMARC is correctly implemented to your domain and therefore it is your email reputation that is being affected (good or bad) for the first time.
Put simply, a bad reputation means all email (not just campaign email) may not be received by intended recipients. A bad reputation can take as long as 18 months to repair and must be managed and watched closely. A good reputation will mean amazing results that you would not have enjoyed on the shared return-path before. This takes time to build and maintain, but can be destroyed with one bad list upload so watch out.
Protection from Domain Rejection Risk Implementing DMARC correctly, will stop your domain from being used in a SPOOF email attack. That means the cyber criminals cannot use your domain in an email attack, such as a phishing attack or business email compromise attack against more than 90% of email users.
The issues come from not implementing DMARC correctly or not at all. If your email domain cannot be trusted and customers or the general public suffer any loss due to your domain being used in an attack, not only are you now liable, your brand will suffer as well as your email domain reputation. Whilst this seems all very technical these are the questions you need to satisfy when talking to your IT team:
- Is the DMARC record set to “reject”?
- Is the record covering all emails (100%)?
- Are we using double check only email providers.
- What is our Trusted Sender Score.
Zulu eDM & Zulu Trusted Sender is an ESP and we have been both involved in the implementation of the DMARC program at the Public Sector level and also worked with email marketers do develop their conformance strategies. These email marketing users are provided with the conformance program we have developed and avoid the risk of blacklisting, while gaining better approved access to their target decision makers. We are happy to work with existing ESP providers to implement the DMARC program if needed.
If your organisation is using an ESP service for email campaigns that is not compliant, you could find your domain and all emails from it blacklisted.