Maximizing Deliverability

5 W’s of DMARC

As many of you probably know, there’s a new kid on the email authentication block. That new kid is DMARC, and the first public version of the specification is now over a year old. While still in its infancy, DMARC has made some large strides over the past year with announcing that DMARC now protects almost 2 billion of the world's 3.3 billion consumer inboxes and 80% of the consumer inboxes in the United States. So, if you 're not entirely sure why you need to care about DMARC, I've put together the following “5 W’s of DMARC” to help shed some light on the subject.

What is it?

DMARC stands for "Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance." It is a technical specification that allows senders to tell recipient domains (ISPs) what do with their email if authentication fails. The standard also allows for the sender to receive reporting back from the ISPs, which will allow the sender to get a better understanding how and when the sender’s brand is being used in email.

Who should use it?

Any company or organization that sends email and is concerned with protecting their brand should use DMARC.

When should you use it?

With every mailing! The great thing about DMARC is that once you set up your record, you let the authentication that you already have in place (SPF & DKIM) do the work for you with every message that goes out.

Where did it start?

DMARC was established out of necessity. The individual authentication methods that were already in existence (SPF & DKIM) were having positive effects with regards to delivery, but they did very little to protect a sender’s brand. PayPal first started looking into a new solution in 2007 to protect their brand and later collaborated with other industry leaders such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, JPMorgan Chase, AOL and others to develop a standard.

Why should I use it?

DMARC allows the sender to have more control over what happens to messages that fail authentication at the receiving end of the email chain. The sender’s DMARC record tells the receiver to block email or send messages to the spam folder if that authentication fails. It also lets the sender know who is sending email, falsely claiming to be the sender, as well as legitimate organizations who SHOULD be sending email on the sender’s behalf, but incorrectly (or not at all) authenticating.

So if you haven't already adopted DMARC, I hope these five "W's" have convinced you to do so. If you're not sure how to get started, any top-tier email service provider with a deliverability services team should be able to help you with the process.

Posted by: Sean Wirt at 4:07 PM
Categories: DMARC, Domain-based Message Authentication

Earn the Respect of Your Customers with Teamwork

One thing that has always been extremely important to me my entire life has been teamwork. From the time I started to play sports I realized how important teamwork was in order to be successful. However, as we get older, we often forget this simple fact. In this day and age, even when we look at our favorite sports teams, most of the time we focus on one or two key players that are the stars and not the rest of the team that helps them achieve their star status.

What does teamwork have to do with email deliverability you might be asking yourself? Well, everything. No matter what your focus is within the digital marketing eco-system, you are on a team and must work with others to ensure that you are reaching your customers and sending them relevant campaigns.

More times than I would like to admit, I have worked with various companies that had no idea who, or what departments, were creating and sending email messages. The problem with this is that if there is not a single vision and global understanding of how your customers are being communicated to, there is a chance that you will lose them as a customer in the long run.

This could happen for a number of reasons; most commonly this is due to over-communication. Without a global view of the various campaigns that are getting sent to each and every customer, there is a good chance they might find the number to be too high for their liking. Because of this, I usually present a number of opportunities to clients in order to reduce the likelihood of this occurring and to, in turn, improve email deliverability .

1. Perform a messaging audit. For most larger companies, there are different departments that are sending campaigns promoting their particular piece of the business. Many times there are opportunities to work together and combine various programs that potentially can increase your ROI.

2. Control message frequency. Determine the maximum number of messages a customer should receive from your organization in a specified time period. When I first started in this industry many years ago, I would have never believed that there would be an entire business model based on sending daily emails to the company’s entire list. But organizations like Groupon, LivingSocial and others have made this acceptable. The key is to understand if this will work for your business model and if you are setting the proper expectations with your customers. If your company is sending out campaigns from so many different departments that even you aren't aware of them and are surprised to see them,  don’t you think it is likely that your customers will be too?

3. Create a preference center. Allowing your customers to determine the types of messages that they wish to receive as well as how often they want to receive them enables you to maintain that customer in your database with less of a chance of losing them to an unsubscribe or a spam complaint.

As we all work hard to get through this holiday season, remember that you must respect your customers and the valuable space that they are allowing you to take up in their inbox. In order to continue this relationship, it is important to understand how your entire company is communicating with them, and work together as a team to keep them as a customer.

Don’t think that these are things that you can do on your own—you need your entire team. Together, you can continue to be successful as a brand and as a digital marketing organization, because you will continue to reach your customers' inboxes.

Learn about other email deliverability solutions we provide at StrongView.

Posted by: Spencer Kollas at 1:31 PM
Categories: customers, preference center, message