2019 Email Marketing & Brand Guide – The DMARC Effect

As a marketer, if you are relying on email, as you should be in 2019, then here are some very important points that you need to know. In this email brand guide I will discuss the effects DMARC has on a brand when protected and when left unprotected.

To understand this article you should be aware of of Trusted Sender Score, which is an application that helps internet users understand a domain’s trustworthiness with respects to email. The rating is out of 10 and is the first consumer email trust index of it’s type.

The rating system advises email users if they should or should not sign-up to a domain based on risk and certain criteria and metrics. You can see the Trusted Sender Score metrics on the website.

If your domain is searched and the score is below 5, essentially the domain can not be trusted and your brand is associated negatively to email. Over 7 and the score is green, which is good. Something worth promoting on your own website, as embedding the verification logo will give your website users and receivers of email an initial comfort fact that they can then check on.

Email Marketing Accountability 

Webmail and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have wised up to the unnecessary volume of campaign emails and as the anti-spoof protocol, DMARC, continues it’s global rollout, so too will upcoming headaches for email marketers. Why? Domain Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance is just that, it is a protocol that ensures that a domain conforms to authentication requirements. 

From a marketing perspective the most significant change when a DMARC project is completed, is the change to the campaign return-path. For most organisations that  use email service providers (ESP) for campaign email, it is the ESP’s domain (i.e. MailChimp, Constant Contact etc) used in the return-path The return-path is the domain that the receiving email services use to rate email sending reputation and ip address reputation. This will change, if DMARC is correctly implemented to your domain and therefore it is your email reputation that is being affected (good or bad) for the first time. 

Put simply, a bad reputation means all email (not just campaign email) may not be received by intended recipients. A bad reputation can take as long as 18 months to repair and must be managed and watched closely. A good reputation will mean amazing results that you would not have enjoyed on the shared return-path before. This takes time to build and maintain, but can be destroyed with one bad list upload so watch out. 

Protection From Domain Branding Risk 

Implementing DMARC correctly, will stop your domain from being used in a SPOOF email attack.That means the cyber criminals can not use your domain in an email attack, such as a phishing attack or business email compromise attack against more than 90% of email users.

The issue come from not implementing DMARC correctly or not at all. If your email domain can not be trusted and customers or the general public suffer any loss due to your domain being used in an attack, not only are you now liable, your brand will suffer as too your email domain reputation. Whilst this seems all very technical these are the questions you need to satisfy when talking to your IT team:

  1. Is the DMARC record set to “none”?
  2. Is the record covering all emails (100%)?
  3. Are we using double check only email providers.
  4. What is our Trusted Sender Score.

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