What You Need to Know About DMARC and How It Affects Your Email Deliverability

Ok, this is big. And it affects your business if you send email to your customers. Let us do an easy breakdown of what DMARC is and how it might affect your email marketing campaigns.

What is DMARC? 

According to the Wikipedia:

Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance or DMARC is a method of email authentication, that is a way to mitigate email abuse. It expands on two existing mechanisms, the well-known Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), coordinating their results on the alignment of the domain in the From: header field, which is often visible to end users. It allows specification of policies (the procedures for handling incoming mail based on the combined results,) and provides for reporting of actions performed under those policies.

Also check out this great Word to the Wise breakdown. 

But that’s a buncha geeky malarky, so here’s the breakdown:

Let’s say you send email from an ISP like AOL or Yahoo! these companies want their users to send email “from” a Yahoo or AOL address when they are sending email from those websites. Why? Because spammers like to fake the from address and often use one of these domains to do that.

So if you use an aol.com From address when you send through an ESP they might look fraudulent, even though it ain’t so. So what happens? Emails may go to the spam folder or just plain old rejected. 

More ISPs other than AOL or Yahoo! (like Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) will likely be doing this as well. So if you have an Email Service Provider (ESP like VerticalResponse or Mailchimp) that is telling you that you need to change your From Label, it’s all good, it’s just so your email will get delivered.

Bottom Line?

If you’re sending emails using the “from address” from an ISP like AOL, Yahoo!, Gmail, make sure you’re using those email clients to send email. If you’re using an ESP, use your company domain like “yourname@yourcompany.com” not “yourname@aol.com” to send email.