Is Your Email a Spam-Trigger? An Overview of DKIM, SPF and DMARC

How dkim ,spf and dmarc can vouch for your email

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Don’t you just hate it when you spend time crafting the best email but then nobody gets to read it?

In email marketing, the risk of being rejected from the inbox is always there, regardless of how perfect your email and send-outs are handled. Why is that?
Simple answer: it’s caught in the spam filters. Almost half of all emails circulating in cyber world are spam, and to prevent these “evil emails” from contaminating our inboxes there are now spam filters in place throughout the email’s journey. No matter how innocent your email is, if it’s not signed by the right authentications your email might as well trigger those spam filter.
So what can we do to make sure the email passes through those “gates” with flying colors? Of course, in addition to handling and creating the email properly (the tactic Email Warm Up is one way to go), we also need to team up with the “good guys” – aka email authentication services. To provide high-quality email marketing, it’s important to be registered for these services since they will then vouch for the email being valid. We don’t want to look like cyber criminals and spammers, do we?
To understand what kind of services that are provided, we give you an overview of the three most important email authentications.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_text_separator title_align=”separator_align_center” color=”grey”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]With the click of a button, the email leaves your server and starts its trip towards the inbox. The first stop is with DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][text-with-icon icon_type=”font_icon” icon=”icon-user” color=”Extra-Color-2″]DKIM: Just like an ID, its task is to validate the creator of the email (that’s you). DKIM adds a digital signature to the email header and at the same time, it stores a public key online that matches the digital signature. When the email is closer to reach the final destination (the inbox), the recipients’ server accesses the public key. If that key still matches the signature on the email header, as it did when it was sent, DKIM authenticates that the from-address is accurate and that the content wasn’t changed during its journey. So, DKIM tells the recipient that the creator of the email (again, that’s you) is actually who he or she claims to be, just like an ID.[/text-with-icon][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]The email got the signature from DKIM, and the email is sent to the next verification. As DKIM validated the creator of the email, the next step is to authenticate the sender (two different services, mind you! The creator and the email service provider are two different components). It’s time the email meets Sender Policy Framework (SPF).
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][text-with-icon icon_type=”font_icon” icon=”icon-envelope” color=”Extra-Color-2″]SPF: Like the online postman, SPF ensures that the email service provider uses a legit domain that’s allowed to send emails and establishes that the email has a proper return path. The return path tells the email where to go if the email cannot reach its wanted destination. Think of it as the sender address you put on the envelope of a “snail mail” letter.[/text-with-icon][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″ animation=”none” boxed=”true” column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″][vc_column_text]

Increase your chances of reaching the inbox with our Cheat Sheet for Ultimate Email Deliverability. Download here.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]So, the email has its ID and the postman took it closer to the destination. The email was validated by both DKIM and SPF (very good), but since there are no policies or rules telling the recipient’s server what to do with the emails, that’s not quite enough. The recipient’s server might just say “so what? Nobody told me what to do with your email, I might just report you as spam anyways.” This is why the email also must pass DMARC.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][text-with-icon icon_type=”font_icon” icon=”icon-ok-sign” color=”Extra-Color-2″]

DMARC: Like customs, DMARC tells the recipients’ servers what to do with emails that are validated or not. When registering for DMARC, three policies are to be decided:

  1. Must all my emails be approved by SPF and DKIM?
  2. What happens to emails when they are approved by SPF and DKIM?
  3. What happens to the emails that are NOT approved by SPF and DKIM? (three options here; reported, rejected or quarantined. As DMARC has a reporting feature, recipient and sender can automatically communicate with each other if an email looks suspicious.)

[/text-with-icon][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_text_separator title_align=”separator_align_center” color=”grey”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]In conclusion, remember to be registered for all of these for a smooth email journey.
DKIM works as an ID and authenticates the creator of the email.
SPF is the online postman, ensuring the sender is legit.
DMARC, as the customs, decides where the email should go.
If you want to be “best in class,” the secure email service we offer includes all three of these authentications.
As soon as you have their permission saying that you are not spam, all I can say to your qualified email: Welcome to the inbox.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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