SPF, DKIM, DMARC Best Practices for Email DeliverabilitySeptember 28, 2018 | by
If you’ve noticed a recent decline in email engagement, it could be that your users are no longer receiving your emails. Email authentication and email security protocols change day by day, and your email deliverability depends on how well you understand the different types of authentication process such as SPF, DKIM, DMARC and the best practices on how to leverage them.
What is “Email Deliverability?”
A person’s inbox can get dozens if not hundreds of spam emails and malicious emails throughout the week. Email services are designed to identify the hallmarks of unwanted emails, stripping them out of a user’s inbox before they even see it. One way they do this is through authentication; making sure that the email has been sent from the person claiming to have sent it.
Emails are authenticated through multiple types of technology:
- SPF. Sender Policy Framework (SPF) verifies that the mail server that is sending the email is the same as the email address that is connected. This can be particularly important for those using third-party services or managing email deliverability, as sometimes you may be sending emails through a different service than your domain.
- DKIM. DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) matches public and private headers to determine whether an email was initiated from the correct and valid domain. Not only does this ensure that the email was sent by the right person, but it also validates whether the email was changed in transit.
- DMARC. Domain Message Authentication Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) is a compliance protocol which uses DKIM and SPF protocols, along with the From domain. This system is designed as a standardized and streamlined form of message authentication and denial.
Together, these technologies work to ensure that emails are being sent from the right place and that they have not been altered.
Best Practices for Email Deliverability
- Authorize your email service provider to send emails on behalf of your domain. If you haven’t done this, the Sender Policy Framework will likely return your mail as undeliverable.
- Learn about and implement email authentication standards. Guidelines for DMARC and other email authentication protocols are available so that you can ensure that all of the emails you send are compliant.
- Use multiple authentication standards. Different ISPs will use different types of authentication protocol, so you need to be compliant with as many of them as you can be.
- Pay attention to your stats. You may not know that your emails aren’t being delivered unless you check to see whether they’re being engaged with. In addition to email authentication services, there are also spam filters which are constantly evolving.
- Use a domain with a good reputation. Your email domain does matter. Mail services track the reputation of individual mail servers, as those with bad reputations are more likely to be sending spam. It’s often best to use your own domain to avoid this.
And, of course, it should go without saying that you need to avoid email spam — if you’re sending too many emails out, your domain could rightfully get flagged or black-listed.
Managing your email authentication and deliverability is an important part of any email campaign. MassMailer.io can help you ensure that your emails all meet deliverability standards — automatically. To get started today, sign up for your free trial of MassMailer.io
10 Best Practices for Email DeliverabilitySeptember 25, 2017 | by
Improving upon your email deliverability isn’t just a way to enhance your marketing strategy it’s actually necessary if you want to avoid being blacklisted by spam filters. If you’ve found that your email deliverability has been reduced (or you just want to head problems off from the beginning), follow these 10 best practices.
1. Create professional, polished emails.
Most spam emails are riddled with spelling errors, bad grammar, and incorrect formatting. Professional emails can be built via templates through Salesforce email marketing, making emails less likely to get blocked or deleted.
2. Include custom content.
Content can be tailored to a customer and their behavior and past purchases, with eCommerce and CRM integration. This can be as simple as addressing a customer by name and as complex as suggesting them products that they would likely be interested in.
3. Track your email analytics.
Tracking emails are often done through tracked links and downloads. Tracking analytics is the only way to identify whether emails are actually being read. If bounce rates and engagement go down, there’s likely an issue with the emails that you’re sending. Salesforce campaigns can be tracked automatically with the help of products such as MassMailer.
4. Don’t rely on purchased email lists.
Email lists are not likely to host individuals who are interested in your product and many of the emails on the lists may be inactive and therefore bounce. Most email lists that are purchased from a vendor are going to have very low engagement with a new company and their product.
5. Obtain Dedicated IP address.
Invest in a dedicated IP address from email service providers like MassMailer. A private IP address will eventually build out its reputation but will also not be subject to blacklisting and bouncing caused by other individuals, as can happen on a shared IP address.
6. Make it easy to unsubscribe.
If users can’t unsubscribe they will either begin filtering out or rejecting emails, which means that your metrics will go down. A user who wants to unsubscribe is not likely to become a user who wants to make a purchase regardless.
7. Verify email addresses first.
Rather than requiring individuals to sign up for your mailing list, you should get them to willingly opt-in by providing value. Verifying email addresses during this process will ensure that emails aren’t bounced.
8. Keep file sizes down.
There are still email servers that will bounce back emails for being too large. If your email contains a lot of media, it’s possible that it’ll be rejected before even being downloaded. Make sure that your photos are optimized and that any large files such as videos are remotely hosted.
9. Frequently cull your lists.
If Salesforce email tracking shows low engagement, it’s time to go over your email lists and remove any email addresses that are being returned undeliverable or that have never even downloaded your emails. It’s likely that these email accounts are abandoned and will be throwing your success metrics off.
10. Don’t email too often.
Once a week is fine. Even once a day can be acceptable if you have timely information to share. But emailing customers multiple times a day is a surefire way to get blocked, which is going to simply bounce your emails back to you. Remember less is often more.
By following the above practices, you should be able to increase the quality of your email lists and improve upon your email deliverability as a whole. Remember: when it comes to email marketing, it’s about getting users engaged rather than simply trying to connect with as many users as possible.
Understanding Email DeliverabilityJuly 29, 2017 | by
What does it mean when an email isn’t deliverable? It can mean a lot of things not necessarily that the email address is incorrect. When an email is sent, it is sent to an email server for processing. This processing can be denied for a number of reasons.
Reasons for Failed Email Deliverability
An incorrect email address. By far the most common issue that occurs is due to a typo or even an intentionally fake email address. A single incorrect letter is going to ensure that an email is never delivered at all.
A technology problem. If the email server is down, it’s not going to be able to receive emails. Most modern email software will be able to resend an email that has bounced, but you may also receive a notice and have to send the email again manually.
A full inbox. Emails can also be bounced back to you if the individual’s inbox is full. That is rare now that many people have significant storage space, but it still can happen and you may never be notified of it.
A too large email. Many servers do have an upward limit on the size of emails that they can send and receive. If you’re sending a lot of data at once (which generally isn’t advisable), your email may be bounced by the server.
A bad reputation. Emails may also fail to be delivered if you are on blacklists. Blacklists are maintained by spam protection organizations and are intended to identify companies sending out mass unsolicited emails.
The Consequences of Poor Email Deliverability
For those who are running an email marketing campaign, the consequences of poor deliverability are substantial. The more your emails are rejected, the more likely it appears that your company is using outdated email lists or trying to cull addresses from less than interested contacts. This can ultimately get your company blacklisted, resulting in fewer emails delivered over time and that will create a cyclical effect.
Reducing the Risk of Poor Email Deliverability
Make sure to validate email addresses. When customers are registering for your site or signing up for your newsletter, they should be prompted to verify their email address to make sure that it is accurate and that it can currently receive emails.
Avoid “spamming” your customers. If you keep sending emails, you’re more likely to get blacklisted which will eventually mean that a lot of your emails are going to come back undelivered.
Try not to send overly large emails. Your emails should be well-optimized, not only reducing the possibility they are bounced but also making them faster and easier to send.
Email deliverability is a very important metric for any organization to track. The more deliverable your emails are, the more likely you are to reach and engage your audience. If you have poor deliverability, it’s very likely that you are using outdated email addresses and that you may need to cull your email list. An email campaign management suite can help.