Email is a crucial communication tool for businesses, but ensuring that your emails reach their intended recipients can be challenging. The spam filters and security measures used by email providers can sometimes block legitimate emails from reaching their destination. One way to improve email deliverability is to set up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. In this article, we will explain what these three acronyms mean and how to set them up for your business.
SPF stands for Sender Policy Framework. It is a method of authenticating the email sender’s identity by checking the IP address of the sending server against a list of authorized servers for the domain in question. SPF works by publishing a DNS record that lists the authorized sending servers for a domain. When an email server receives an email, it checks the SPF record to see if the sending server is authorized to send emails for that domain. If the sending server is not on the list, the email may be marked as spam or rejected altogether.
To set up SPF for your domain, you need to create a TXT record in your DNS settings. The record should include a list of the IP addresses or domain names that are authorized to send email on behalf of your domain. For example, if you use Google Workspace to send emails, your SPF record might look like this:
v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com ~all
This record tells email servers that any server listed in the “_spf.google.com” domain is authorized to send email on behalf of your domain. The “~all” qualifier at the end of the record tells email servers to mark emails as suspicious if they come from a server that is not listed in the SPF record.
DKIM stands for DomainKeys Identified Mail. It is a method of digitally signing emails to verify their authenticity. DKIM works by adding a digital signature to the header of an email. The signature is generated using a private key that is kept by the sender, and it can only be verified using a public key that is published in the sender’s DNS records.
When an email server receives an email with a DKIM signature, it checks the DNS records for the sender’s domain to retrieve the public key. It then uses the public key to verify the signature and confirm that the email has not been tampered with in transit.
To set up DKIM for your domain, you need to generate a public/private key pair and publish the public key in your DNS settings. Most email providers offer tools to generate DKIM keys and help you configure your DNS settings. For example, in Google Workspace, you can generate a DKIM key by going to the Admin console, selecting “Domains,” and clicking “Authenticate email.”
DMARC stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance. It is a method of setting policies for email authentication and providing feedback on how emails from your domain are being handled by email providers. DMARC works by combining SPF and DKIM, and it allows domain owners to specify what should happen to emails that fail authentication checks.
To set up DMARC for your domain, you need to create a TXT record in your DNS settings that specifies your DMARC policy. The policy can include instructions for how to handle emails that fail SPF and DKIM checks, as well as instructions for how to report back to the domain owner.
For example, a basic DMARC policy might look like this:
v=DMARC1; p=none; rua=mailto:[email protected]
This policy tells email servers to do nothing (p=none) if an email fails SPF or DKIM checks. The “rua” tag specifies an email address where reports should be sent if an email fails authentication checks.
It is important to note that setting up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC is only one part of improving email deliverability. These methods help ensure that your emails are not flagged as spam or rejected by email providers, but they do not guarantee that your emails will reach your recipients’ inboxes. To further improve your email deliverability, you should follow best practices for email marketing and avoid common mistakes that can cause your emails to be flagged as spam.
Here are some best practices to follow
- Build a clean and engaged email list: Don’t buy email lists or scrape emails from the internet. Instead, build a list of subscribers who have opted-in to receive emails from your business. Regularly clean your list by removing inactive or invalid email addresses.
- Use a recognizable sender name and email address: Use a name and email address that recipients will recognize and associate with your business. Avoid using generic email addresses like “[email protected].”
- Write a clear and engaging subject line: Your subject line should accurately reflect the content of your email and entice recipients to open it. Avoid using all caps or excessive punctuation, as these can trigger spam filters.
- Personalize your emails: Use the recipient’s name and other personalized information to make your emails feel more relevant and engaging.
- Keep your emails short and to the point: Most people receive a lot of emails every day, so keep your emails concise and easy to read. Use bullet points or numbered lists to break up long blocks of text.
- Include a clear call-to-action: Your email should have a clear goal, whether it’s to encourage recipients to make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, or attend an event. Include a clear call-to-action that makes it easy for recipients to take the desired action.
- Test your emails before sending: Test your emails in different email clients and devices to ensure that they look and function correctly. This will help you identify and fix any formatting issues before sending your emails.
In conclusion, setting up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC is an important step in improving email deliverability for businesses. These methods help ensure that your emails are not flagged as spam or rejected by email providers. However, it is important to follow best practices for email marketing and avoid common mistakes that can cause your emails to be flagged as spam. By following these guidelines, you can increase the likelihood that your emails will reach your intended recipients and achieve your email marketing goals.
Combining User Messaging with Marketing Automation.
In the realm of email marketing, there are various strategies to entice new customers. One powerful approach is leveraging automation, utilizing specialized software to send out emails based on predetermined triggers.
Automating your email and push notification campaigns can significantly enhance efficiency by freeing up valuable time for other essential business tasks. Moreover, it provides valuable data on customer segments, helping you identify the most effective strategies for each group.
For those seeking an easy-to-use tool for user messaging and marketing, or those looking to test the waters without committing resources upfront, we highly recommend Cloudmattr – our all-in-one customer engagement platform.