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4 Reasons Why You Should Authenticate Your Email

4 Reasons Why You Should Authenticate Your Email


You might be wondering why you should authenticate your email. Well, for starters, not only does authenticating your email protect your reputation as a sender, but it also helps improve the overall deliverability of your emails.


You know when you send out an email blast and only a fraction of it actually makes it to the recipient’s inbox? Yeah, email authentication can help fix that.


By authenticating your email, you’re also telling your recipients that you’re a legitimate sender and not some sketchy spammer trying to scam them. It’s like a seal of approval, and who wouldn’t want to trust a reputable sender?


So if you want to up your email marketing game and make sure your messages are actually being received by your audience, this article is for you.


We’ll go through what it is, why it’s important, how it works, and most importantly, the four kinds of email authentication protocols you should be aware of.


Cool, so let’s jump right into it!


Table of Contents

What is email authentication?


Let’s break it down. Email authentication is the process of verifying that an email is actually coming from the sender it claims to be coming from.


This helps protect against email spoofing, which is when someone fakes the sender’s identity to send fraudulent emails.


Besides protecting against email spoofing, it also helps improve the deliverability of your emails. When your emails are authenticated, they’re more likely to land in the recipient’s inbox instead of their spam folder.


And nobody wants their emails to end up in the virtual trash bin.


In short, email authentication is like a digital ID card for your emails. It helps prove that you’re a legitimate sender and not some shady character trying to pull a fast one on your recipients.


What is email spoofing?


Email spoofing is the act of sending an email with a fake sender address. It’s kind of like when you were a kid and you put your little sister’s name on an “I’m sorry” note you were trying to pass off to your mom.


Except, instead of just trying to get out of trouble with your mom, people who spoof emails are often trying to scam or phish for sensitive information. It’s a sneaky way to get someone to open an email because they think it’s from a trusted source.


And unfortunately, it’s not that hard to do. All someone has to do is change the “From” field in an email, and boom, they’re pretending to be someone they’re not.


The next time you get an email from your boss with a subject line that says “URGENT,” you might want to double-check that it’s actually from your boss before you go clicking on any links.


How does email authentication work?


It’s actually pretty cool. Basically, it’s a way to verify that an email is actually coming from the person or organization it claims to be coming from.


This is important because let’s face it, we’ve all gotten that sketchy email from some Nigerian prince offering us millions of dollars if we just wire them a small fee (which, by the way, is definitely a scam, so don’t fall for it.)


Anyway, back to email authentication. There are different ways to authenticate an email, such as SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance), and BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification).


These all work by using special codes and checks to verify the authenticity of the sender’s domain and email address.


To really understand this, we’ll need to get into the four protocols mentioned above, and guess what? That’s just what we’re going to do!


The four email authentication protocols


As we saw earlier, there are four key email authentication protocols that are used. 


  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework)
  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail)
  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance)
  • BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification)


Let’s look at each in detail.


The four email authentication protocols

1. SPF (Sender Policy Framework)


SPF, or Sender Policy Framework, is essentially a way to verify that the sender of an email is actually who they say they are. It’s kind of like a digital version of a bouncer at a club, checking IDs before letting people in.


Here’s how it works.


SPF is a DNS record that identifies which mail servers are authorized to send emails on behalf of your domain. A domain owner (like Google or Yahoo) sets up an SPF record that lists all the IP addresses and servers that are allowed to send emails on their behalf.


So when someone receives an email from your domain, their email provider can check the SPF record to see if it came from an authorized server. If not, the email might get flagged as spam.


By setting up an SPF record, you’re telling the world that only certain servers are allowed to send emails on your behalf, making it harder for someone to impersonate you.


Now, you might be thinking: “Do I really need to worry about SPF? Can’t I just rely on good email practices and strong subject lines to avoid the spam folder?”


Well, you could, but why take the risk? SPF is a simple and effective way to ensure that your emails land in the right inboxes and protect your brand’s reputation.


Plus, it’s not that hard to set up. Just follow your email provider’s instructions and you’ll be well on your way to SPF success.


There is one minor drawback though. SPF only works if the domain owner has set up an SPF record. And unfortunately, not all of them have. So even though SPF is a great tool for email security, it’s not a foolproof solution.


2. DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail)


DKIM is like a digital signature for your emails, and it helps to verify that the message was actually sent by you and not someone pretending to be you.


How does it work? A private key is added to the domain’s DNS records, and that key is used to “sign” outgoing emails with a digital signature.


When the email reaches its destination, the receiving server checks the signature against the public key in the DNS records to verify that the email is legitimate.


But why is this important? Well, for the receiver, it helps to prevent spam and phishing attacks. By verifying the authenticity of an email, we can be sure that it wasn’t just sent by some sketchy character trying to steal our login credentials.


As for the sender, it helps to protect the sender’s reputation. If an email is sent from a domain that has been compromised, it could damage the sender’s reputation and lead to their emails being flagged as spam.


With DKIM, you can ensure that your emails are being sent from a secure and reputable domain.


“Sounds great, but is it worth the effort?” Absolutely. Implementing DKIM may require a little bit of technical know-how, but it’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes with knowing your emails are secure and trustworthy.


Plus, it can help to boost your open and click-through rates, leading to higher delivery rates, which is always a bonus for email marketers.


3. DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance)


DMARC is a way for email senders to tell email receivers that the email they’re sending is legitimate and not spam or phishing.


When you send an email, it goes through a series of servers before it reaches the recipient’s inbox. DMARC checks these servers to see if the email is coming from a domain that it’s supposed to be coming from.


If it is, great! The email goes through and lands in the recipient’s inbox. If it’s not, DMARC tells the email server to reject the email and send it to the spam folder instead.


DMARC helps protect your brand. If someone is sending spam or phishing emails using your domain, DMARC can help stop those emails from reaching their intended recipients. This is especially important if you’re sending sensitive information or asking for personal information in your emails.


It also helps improve email deliverability. If your emails are getting flagged as spam or rejected, it’s not going to do much good for your marketing efforts. By implementing DMARC, you can ensure that your emails are reaching their intended recipients and not getting caught in spam filters.


If you’re interested, here’s a comprehensive guide on email deliverability that’ll help you out!


4. BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification)


BIMI is a new player on the scene, designed to help protect against phishing attacks and improve email deliverability (like every other protocol, really).


It’s essentially a way to verify that an email is coming from a legitimate brand, using a combination of DNS records and digital certificates.


First, you’ll need to set up a BIMI record in your DNS, which includes information about your brand’s logo and digital certificate.


Then, when someone receives an email from you, their email client will check your BIMI record to confirm that the email is coming from a legitimate source.


If everything checks out, the logo you’ve specified in your BIMI record will be displayed next to the sender’s name in the recipient’s email inbox.


This is great news for email marketers, as it helps to build trust with your audience and improve deliverability. It also gives you more control over how your brand is represented in the inbox and helps to protect against phishing attacks by verifying the authenticity of your emails.


The benefits of email authentication


If you’ve paid attention to the article, we’ll notice a few common benefits that email authentication aims to achieve.


It increases email deliverability, improves sender reputation, and ensures email security. That’s come up very frequently, so we’ll not get into that here.


Here are a few additional benefits of email authentication.


  • Better control of your brand image
  • Increased customer engagement
  • Better targeting
  • Increased RoI


Let’s dive deeper.


Benefits of email authentication

1. Better control of your brand image


As an email marketer, you should be all about protecting and enhancing your brand image. After all, it’s what sets you apart from the competition and helps you to stand out in a crowded marketplace.


By using email authentication, you can be sure that your emails are being delivered to the right people and that they can trust the content inside.


In today’s digital age, people are bombarded with emails left and right, so it’s more important than ever to make sure that your brand is being represented in the best possible light.


With email authentication, you can be confident that your emails are being delivered to the right people and that your brand image is being protected.


2. Increased customer engagement


As an email marketer, nothing is more frustrating than sending out a beautifully crafted email campaign only to have it land in the dreaded spam folder.


Not only does this mean that our hard work and creativity go to waste, but it also means that our engagement rates suffer as a result.


By implementing email authentication measures such as SPF and DKIM, we can ensure that our emails are delivered to the inbox where they belong.


This not only increases the chances that our subscribers will actually see and interact with our emails, but it also helps to build trust and credibility with our audience.


In turn, by ensuring that our emails are delivered to the inbox, we also increase the chances of our subscribers forwarding, sharing, and engaging with our content. And let’s be real, who doesn’t love a good email chain?


If you’re looking to increase engagement and drive results, don’t underestimate the power of email authentication. It might not be a glamorous topic, but it can make all the difference in the success of your campaigns.


3. Better targeting


By authenticating our emails, we can also get a better understanding of who is actually receiving our messages. This means that we can tailor our email campaigns to be more targeted and relevant to our audience.


Imagine being able to segment your email list into different categories based on the level of engagement with your brand. With email authentication, you can do just that.


Not only does targeted emailing increase the chances of your emails being read and acted upon, but it also helps to improve the overall user experience.


No one likes to receive irrelevant emails clogging up their inbox, so by ensuring that your messages are targeted and relevant to the recipient, you can help to build trust and establish a better relationship with your audience.


4. Increased RoI


This one’s a no-brainer considering all the points we talked about.


When your emails are more likely to land in the inbox, that means more people are actually seeing them. And when more people are seeing your emails, that means more people are clicking on them, which leads to more conversions.


More conversions mean a higher ROI for you. It’s a win-win situation.


Additionally, email authentication can also help with deliverability rates, which is another important factor in maximizing ROI.


When your deliverability rates are high, that means more of your emails are actually reaching their intended recipients, which means a higher likelihood of conversions.


Improve your email marketing RoI with Scale It Right


So there you have it! Authenticating your email is crucial for a number of reasons.


Not only does it protect your own personal and professional reputation, but it also helps to prevent spam and phishing attacks from reaching your inbox.


Of course, that is just the start of your email marketing campaigns. If you’re new to this or are an established email marketer looking to up your game, Scale It Right’s got you covered.


Offering the whole spectrum of email marketing services, we will help you ace your email marketing efforts, from scratch to finish.


Contact us to see how you can scale your email marketing game to the maximum!


About Scale It Right

At Scale It Right, we offer hyper-focused demand generation as a service to help your startup or SMB scale and grow. Our approach is designed to help businesses generate high-quality leads and accelerate their growth through targeted marketing campaigns and personalized outreach.

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