What is email authentication and why is it important?

When it comes to email marketing many assumptions are made.

The biggest one is about how easy and quick it is to get started with an email. Open an account with Mailchimp, Hubspot, or Flowmailer, upload your contacts, create a pretty template and press send. No?

Sending emails is more complicated than it may seem and in this article, we will go over the WHY of email authentication. Every day over 300 billion emails are sent and almost half are considered spam.

What is considered as spam email?

Spam comes in many shapes and sizes.

Spam can be created by a sender disconnected from its audience who sends too much useless content, or by a sender who has purchased a list of emails, or even by a scammer who is trying to collect data by being deceitful.

So how can inboxes protect you and minimize the number of times fraudulent or spam emails end up in your inbox?

Emails Authentication is one of the factors that helps inboxes protect their users. 

What is email authentication?

Authentication within an email is a technical solution that helps verify if a particular email is coming from who it says it has been sent from.

On a more technical level, email authentication corresponds to SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. These standards are used to help verify the identity behind an email. Each standard protects your business and domain reputation on different levels.

  • The Sender Policy Framework

    The Sender Policy Framework or SPF , allows senders to define from which IP addresses authenticated emails can be sent. Any IPs from tools that send using your sender email address should be contained in your SPF record.

  • DomainKeys Identified Mail

    DomainKeys Identified Mail or DKIM on the other hand, allows the receiving inbox to check that an email was sent and authorized by using a digital signature that is encrypted and can be verified.

  • Domain-based Message Authorization, Reporting & Conformance

    Domain-based Message Authorization, Reporting & Conformance or DMARC needs a working SPF and DKIM record, in order to be implemented and enforced. It allows you to control what happens to emails that are not authenticated with a valid SPF and DKIM record and will notify you when that happens.

Not all inbox providers look and enforce all methods of authentication, so it is important to understand that this is not the only defining factor when a spam filter makes a decision between the inbox and the spam folder. Everyone who sends using a domain they own can establish these policies.

Why does email authentication matter?

Authentication is a key component to your deliverability overall as inbox providers such as Gmail use it, among other factors, to make decisions.

When sending using an external email provider such as Mailchimp, Hubspot, or Flowmailer, you are sending emails with your identity (your domain name) and their IP addresses which are owned by them and not associated with your domain.

A receiving inbox can see this by looking at the authentication behind an email.

Depending on the reputation of the domain and IP, your content, that past history of emails associated with this domain and IP, incoming mailboxes will make a decision for your email’s placement.

Just like trying to get into a bar with your older brother’s ID, your chances of getting in are dependant on other factors you may not have full control over. It is always better to control your online identity, the same goes for your sender email address.

Every email marketing tool will allow you to authenticate your sender domain fully.

If you ever need help implementing these changes, you can always request the authentication DNS Records for SPF and DKIM from the support team of your email marketing software or hosting provider you are using.

Contact us, and MailSoar’s expert team will help you set up your email authentication to start sending protected emails.

The email authentication from a company point of view

If your SaaS application sends email—and nearly every modern app does—you definitely need to implement one or more forms of email authentication to verify that an email is actually from your product.

Think of it as a digital identification card: it protects your brand, identity, and reputation. Properly configuring email authentication standards like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC is one of the most important steps you can take to safeguard your app’s reputation.

 

Why is this?

Without mechanisms for email authentication, email spammers can change the source address of emails at will and try to sneak through spam filters and other defenses.

Phishing scams work much the same way, with the sender address changed to appear as if the message had originated from a legitimate sender.

Cybercriminals frequently send emails without authentication and copy the brand look and feel of banks, social networks, and other well-known entities to entice recipients into clicking through to fraudulent websites where user information like passwords or account numbers can be stolen.

How MailSoar can help you with your email authentication?

By putting all the email authentications we just see, you are limiting the potential for email fraud and helping your emails reach your consumers.

If you want to be sure to always get the best deliverability and never landing in spam caused by email authentication, Mailsoar’s team can help you now make your emails as secure as possible with:

  • Audit of your email infrastructure to review the key areas potentially causing you trouble
  • Implementation of all the email authentication 
  • Implementation of all monitoring solution
  • Implementation of the immediate recommendations to improve your KPI’s quickly as possible

 

Contact us now and we will help you set up your email authentication to be sure that no one is using your domain without your agreement.

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