Major email providers like Gmail, Microsoft, AOL, and Yahoo are all adopting a new DMARC policy to stop mass spammers. And the bulk emails you send to your subscribers may end up in their spam folder because of it. If your email list is your gold mine, then you need to be in-the-know about what’s going on.
This post is an invitation to cut through the noise, the misinformation, and put our collective heads together to help folks get on top of the issue and fix it.
What’s Up with Emails?
Anybody can get an email account with Gmail, Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo and others. In fact, those are the prime providers for spammers.
There is no verification of the account owner. And likely no way to track them down, as all the info in the account can easily be falsified.
So, there’s no way for law enforcement agencies to stop the spamming. Until now.
DMARC to the rescue
DMARC stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance.
In short, it ensures there is a digital paper trail so that law enforcement can track down the email account holder.
The emails must be tied to a domain.
Domain registrars like GoDaddy and NameCheap have to collect way more info than email services do, including billing info, for folks to purchase a domain.
The From address is the key
To send an email of any kind, a “from” email address has to be included.
The new DMARC policy requires that “from” address to be one that includes a domain extension, like email@example.com instead of an email provider extension like firstname.lastname@example.org
What you should check
It’s likely you use a bulk email service like Mailchimp, Aweber, Mad Mimi or such to send emails to your subscribers.
All of them require certain info, like your “from” address, along with other info in the footer about who you are.
Check that “from” address.
If it has a domain extension, you’re fine.
If it has an email service provider extension, like Gmail, you need to change it.
Domain Age Counts
Email spammers are going to be scrambling to change their “from” email address to something domain related.
It’s likely that they will go out and purchase a new domain name to do that.
Domains that are less than a year old are considered suspicious for this reason. In fact, domains that are less than three months old are more likely to end up in a spam folder than anything else.
It’s about the domain age, not the email age
So, if you’ve had your domain for a while, it has age on it.
If you start using a domain-related email address suddenly, that’s fine. The email can even be brand new.
Nobody cares how long the email has been around.
They only care how long the domain has been around.
Verify domain email with bulk email service
I use MailChimp, as do most of my clients, so I’m more familiar with that.
For a long time now, MailChimp has required a verified domain-related email for the “from” address.
That’s because this anti-spammer campaign stuff has been going on for a couple of years now, and they got ahead of the curve to help ensure that emails sent from MailChimp were properly delivered.
If you know of other bulk email services that also require a verified domain-related email for the “from” address, please leave a comment to let us know.
Get your email off your host
I’ve been jumping up and down about this for a couple of years, especially in the last year.
There are a lot of reasons to get your domain-related email off your host and onto a professional email service, like GApps. GoDaddy has a nice service too. Rackspace Email is another good choice.
You may need to update your MX records to make all of this work.
That could include your:
- SPF setting
- DKIM setting
I’m not going to dive into technical details about those two here. Just know that making those changes is a lot easier with a company that has support dedicated to your email service.
Other email records
If you are using a CDN like CloudFlare, it may have your domain-related email MX records on file.
So, if you do need to make updates, be sure to check all 3rd party vendors that may be involved too.
I have folks on my team that specialize in GApps and can help you set up a domain-related email, and/or help you move your email off your hosting. Contact me
Got something to add?
I hope you’ll add your $.02 in the comments on the blog post.
It takes a village.
The more we all know, the more folks we can help get through this.