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Understanding How Yahoo’s DMARC Changes Affect Your Email Campaign

The past few days have been pretty tumultuous for the email marketing world, and that’s putting it lightly. In a surprising move, Yahoo decided to switch up how it handles email verification, leading to a major headache for brands that use this domain to send out promotional messages to customers. If this is news to you, don’t worry – it is to most of the rest of the industry as well. To help catch you up to speed, here’s a quick rundown of what happened and what you need to do to make sure you stay in contact with every member of your mailing list.

What Happened Exactly?

As part of a new approach to email, Yahoo augmented its Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) reject policy. Basically, that’s a fancy way of saying that emails sent to the people on your list en masse from an @yahoo.com address – or the @yahoo.ca, @ymail.com, and @rocketmail.com variants – might get bounced or rejected under the new authentication policy. The reason why? Because they’re coming from an outside platform and not directly from Yahoo’s servers. Currently, the known providers bouncing these messages include Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, and Comcast.

Why’d Yahoo Do This?

Yahoo did this to break mailing lists and ruin email marketing, right? Not exactly. While it is a bit of a roadblock for brands currently using these addresses, this wasn’t the plan behind the change. Actually, Yahoo’s reason for making the switch centers on spoofing attacks made against its millions of users – the mass amount of bounces is an unfortunate side affect that’s part of a larger plan for enhanced security. From that perspective, it’s pretty hard to blame Yahoo, but it doesn’t make it any easier for companies to deal with the fact that these emails are now running right into an authentication brick wall.

Protecting Your Mailing Lists Moving Forward

Now that you’re all caught up, it’s time to build a rebound plan and get back in touch with your audience. First on the list – stop sending out emails with a Yahoo reply address. These messages never make their way to your mailing list members’, as they will only continue to bounce. Once you’ve got this under control it’s time to make a switch with which domain you use.

If you’re thinking short term, there’s plenty of free options out there that don’t currently set off the Yahoo red alarm, like Hotmail or Gmail. However, there’s no guarantee that Yahoo’s new DMARC configuration isn’t the start of a new trend among all the major email players. To permanently protect your ability to show up in your subscribers inboxes, you’re going to have think a little more long-term. What this means is going with a domain that you own or operate to prevent any future hiccups like the one inadvertently caused by Yahoo’s attempts to cut down on all the real junk mail.

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