You could say that Email Authentication is like a security system for emails. It’s about confirming that an email message is genuine and not forged. By using technical protocols like DKIM, SPF, and DMARC, it ensures that your email messages reach the recipient reliably and prevents scams like phishing and spam. Essentially, email authentication protects your brand and online identity.
Even though it sounds technical and perhaps a bit complicated, it’s crucial to ensure that your email messages get through, especially if you’re sending emails for marketing purposes.
The email provider or ISP (Internet Service Provider) uses authentication to identify and confirm the sender through their IP address and to ensure the delivery.
Imagine this – due to inadequate protection, your domain or server gets compromised, your emails don’t reach your subscribers, and your metrics turn red….
Even though authentication might sound like a tech expert’s territory, as a marketer, you bear a significant responsibility. If authentication fails, your email messages will either be rejected or end up in recipients’ spam folders and get blacklisted.
There are some technical standards and methods you can use to prevent serious fraud, delivery failure, or failed authentication by setting up correctly:
DKIM, or DomainKeys Identified Mail, is like a digital signature for emails.
When you send an email message with DKIM, it adds an encoded signature showing that the message truly comes from the sending domain and hasn’t been altered on its journey to the recipient. It helps confirm that the email is genuine and not forged by scammers. So, in essence, DKIM ensures that your email message is reliable and hasn’t been tampered with along the way.
SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is like a list of authorized senders for your email domain.
When you use SPF, you specify which IP addresses or servers are authorized to send emails on behalf of your domain. It helps prevent email forgery, as recipients can verify if an incoming message actually comes from an authorized source. SPF acts like a kind of filter, ensuring that only legitimate senders can use your domain’s address to send emails, helping protect against spam and phishing.
DMARC, or Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance, is the one that combines SPF and DKIM protocols. It provides extra protection against phishing attacks and secures your deliverability.
Authentication acts like a defense wall to protect your brand, identity, and reputation from identity theft and other threats.
So, if you want to avoid scammers slipping through the system and prevent damage to your domain’s reputation, make sure to have authentication, especially DMARC, in place!