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Email Authentification: How Google Changes Will Affect You

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The following blog was originally published in Top Rope Media’s Marketing Blog which provides marketing tips and strategies relevant to cleantech brands and businesses.

 


 

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, email remains a cornerstone for you and your business to connect with your audience. However, recent changes in email authentication and DMARC policies by major email service providers are sending ripples throughout all industries.  This poses a challenge for you if you send marketing or sales emails to a list of subscribers.  In addition, this includes emails that come from email marketing applications such as HubSpot, Mailchimp, Salesforce, or Klaviyo.

 

In this blog post, we’ll delve into how these changes will impact you and explore steps you can take to comply and ensure your emails reach your intended recipients.

 

What is Email Authentication

 

Email authentication is a set of techniques used to verify the identity of the sender and ensure the integrity of email messages.  This helps prevent email spoofing, phishing, and other malicious activities. By confirming an email comes from the domain you claim it to originate from, your email can reach its intended recipient’s inbox.

 

What is a DMARC record?

 

A DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) record is a type of DNS (Domain Name System) record that specifies how email servers should handle messages that fail DMARC authentication checks. DMARC records are published in the DNS records held with your domain hosting provider and provide instructions to recipient email servers on how to process emails from your domain.

 

While DMARC has been instrumental in enhancing email security, recent policy changes are forcing people like yourself to reassess their email practices. One of the significant impacts of these policy changes is on email deliverability. With Google and Yahoo tightening their DMARC policies, emails that fail authentication checks may be blocked or diverted to spam folders.  As you might realize, this significantly reduces your ability to reach subscribers.

 

email authentication

What You Can Do to Authenticate Your Emails

 

Changes from both Google and Yahoo are prompting anyone sending out marketing or sales emails to revisit their email authentication strategies and to comply with updated DMARC policies. Here’s the official notification from Google, and here are some essential steps to ensure your emails get delivered and are not blocked or sent to spam folders:

 

1. Authenticate Your Email Domain:

 

By authenticating your domain, you enhance your email deliverability and mitigate the risk of being flagged as spam. If you use an email service provider such as Mailchimp, Salesforce, Hubspot, or Klaviyo, they have instructions that walk you through the process. This will require you to edit your DMARC record.

 

In addition, you can take this a step further by reviewing both your SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM records (DomainKeys Identified Mail) to verify the legitimacy of your email domain. Your DMARC, DKIM, and SPF records can all be edited within the DNS records of your domain hosting provider.  Your web developer or website maintenance provider can help you find and edit these records. If you will be going the  DIY route and have never worked on your website or with your hosting service, read this blog on managing a WordPress website first.

 

2. Monitor DMRAC Reports and Gradually Make Changes:

 

Regularly monitor your DMARC reports and all other reports provided by your email marketing application. Watch for any changes to your rate of deliverability along with your open rate. Analyzing these reports allows you to identify unauthorized senders and take necessary actions to safeguard your domain reputation.

Once you gain confidence in your setup, enforce stricter email authentication measures as needed.

 

3. Collaborate with Your Web, Email, and IT Teams:

 

Foster collaboration between marketing, IT, your email provider, and your web developer or web maintenance provider to ensure alignment on email authentication strategies.  By working together, you can implement effective security measures while maintaining optimal email deliverability and performance.

 

4. Educate Subscribers:

 

Educate your subscribers about the changes taking place and how you are implementing best practices to help them distinguish legitimate emails from phishing attempts. Provide guidance on identifying suspicious emails that look like they might come from your business. Finally, encourage your subscribers to report any suspicious activity.

 

5. Stay Informed:

 

Keep up with the latest developments in email authentication standards and adapt your email marketing strategies accordingly. At Top Rope Media, we write monthly marketing blogs to keep you abreast of changes across all digital marketing services. We also include DIY Tips so you can learn how to manage your marketing systems internally, without having to pay an outside consultant!

 

Final Thoughts on Email Authentication

 

In conclusion, changes in email authentication present both challenges and opportunities. By proactively implementing robust email authentication measures, monitoring DMARC reports, and collaborating with internal teams, you can navigate these changes successfully.  In addition, you can maintain optimal deliverability of your marketing and sales emails to ensure they reach your intended recipients.

Remember, email authentication is not just about security. It’s also about building trust and credibility with your audience. Safeguard your brand reputation and foster stronger connections with your subscribers in an increasingly competitive digital landscape.

 

For more Email Marketing Tips, check out some of our blogs:

 

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