As a seemingly endless stream of new threats to consumer security seek to compromise your dedicated inbox following with each passing day, it’s only natural for these highly valuable customers to become more and more wary of inbound messages and content. Of course, simply acknowledging the reality of the situation and proactively easing the concerns of your contact list membership are two entirely different things.
With this in mind, let’s set aside a moment to talk about why embracing Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) is essential to your brand’s sustained email marketing success, as well as how best to go about the process of adoption.
What Is DMARC?
If you’re unfamiliar with this particular acronym, it’s a good idea to head to the source for a clear and concise definition. This way, you’ll have a solid foundation upon which to build your understanding of the finer points of DMARC adoption and best practice implementation.
As the DMARC’s official website explains, this technology ensures that emails are properly authenticated against established DKIM and SPF standards. On the other side of equation, fraudulent activity appearing to come from a legitimate domain is sanitized and blocked accordingly.
Why Does It Matter?
Now that you’re familiar with the inner workings of the DMARC system, it’s time to answer what’s undoubtedly the biggest question crossing through your mind at this point: Why does DMARC adoption matter in the first place for your brand as it delves into the world of email marketing?
In her look at this specific quandary, Media Post’s Jess Nelson points out that brands and marketers who leverage anti-spoofing measures enjoy higher deliverability rates and increased customer engagement – all because consumers consider DMARC-positive messages safer and more secure.
A Look at the Current (and Future) Situation Surrounding DMARC
Going a step farther, Nelson also reports that DMARC adoption is on the rise in virtually every major industry. Social media companies are the leaders on this front with over half of all such organizations enlisting this anti-phishing safeguard, while logistics businesses and travel brands follow up at 41 and 35 percent, respectively.
From a bigger picture perspective, DMARC authentication is now employed by over 29 percent of global companies; a stat that speaks to a 22 percent year-over-year increase in adoption since 2015. In other words, all the most progressive and effective brands in the world of email marketing are catching on to the importance of the reassurances offered up by DMARC certification.
Even if you don’t come around to this line of thinking right away, it’s only a matter of time before the major email service providers force your brand to be a little more forward-thinking. Specifically, Nelson points to the fact that by June of 2016, Gmail will reject any email message that doesn’t pass DMARC authentication checks. Adding in the fact that Yahoo, Hotmail, and AOL all already have varying levels of the same parameters in place just drives this point home to an even greater degree.
Bolstering Your Deliverability with DMARC Acceptance
As far as embracing DMARC standards and deploying this approach goes, Linda Musthaler of the Cocero network security blog points out that you’ll need executive-level approval before you start implementing this safeguard. DMARC adoption affects every facet of your marketing process, so it’s vital to make sure that everyone within the organization is on the same page moving forward.
Once you’ve cleared the permission hurdle, Musthaler explains that the next piece of the puzzle comes in the form of compiling a complete list of all of the authorized email addresses and domains tethered to your organization. Without this list leading the way, the DMARC infrastructure will never be able to differentiate between acceptable inbound messages and potential attempts at spoofing.
Finally, you’ll need to assign a specific email address to DMARC for the purposes of reporting and notifications. Reports of this nature usually roll in about once a day, but your brand will have the opportunity to control how many updates come through for each reporting period.
If you’re able to run through this step-by-step approach and leverage the rest of the insight you’ve acquired here, then there’s no reason why consumer uncertainty and hesitation should ever have to enter the picture when it comes to your email marketing operations. The only question left to answer now is whether or not your brand is ready to embrace the need for DMARC adoption today, or if it’s willing to let the threat of outside interference or fraud loom large over its next inbox campaign.