Boosting Your Email Deliverability with Effective Authentication Protocols

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You might be wondering why email deliverability is so essential. The simple answer? Because your email cannot be clicked or opened until it is delivered successfully to another person’s inbox and not in their email spam. 

According to a survey in 2022, 333 billion emails were sent and received every day. It is projected to increase up to 392.5 billion emails/day by 2026. 

In this article, you’ll learn about all the authentication protocols that you need to follow in order to improve your email deliverability. But before that, for people who don’t know, let’s talk about what email deliverability is. 

What is Email Deliverability?

In simple words, Email Deliverability means the number of emails that reach your subscriber’s inbox. If the emails fail to reach the inbox, that is major because the email went to spam or was blocked by the ISP. 

email deliverability
Boosting Your Email Deliverability with Effective Authentication Protocols 1

This happens when your email is new or you’re sending multiple emails simultaneously. So, to save yourself from this hassle, you need to follow some authentication protocols that will increase your email deliverability by many folds.

Significance of Email Deliverability

Creating an effective email deliverability is essential for the success of any email marketing campaign. Even if you’re spending tons of hours or thousands of dollars in copywriting emails, it won’t matter if the emails are not reaching the subscribers’ inboxes.

To save yourself from such a hassle, you can use an email deliverability service or authentication protocols to make sure your emails reach the inbox and not the spam. All this will increase user engagement and open rates and improve conversions.

4 Authentication Protocols for Effective Email Deliverability

So, let’s take a look at the 4 email authentication protocols that you can use to boost your email deliverability. 

1. Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

The SPF or Sender Policy Framework is like the OG of email authentication. Basically, it’s all about domains saying, “Hey, these are the only IP addresses allowed to send emails on my behalf.” So, if some sneaky server tries to send an email pretending to be from that domain but isn’t on the approved list, SPF’s like, “Nah, not today, buddy.”

Alright, so here’s the deal with SPF: its main job is to check if the sender’s IP is on the domain’s approved list. But here’s the catch—it doesn’t look at the “From” address that we humans see in our emails. Nope, it goes straight for the Return-Path address, which is usually hidden from plain sight.

Now, this is where things get sneaky. Phishers, those crafty devils, can set up their own domains with SPF record check that authenticates their Return-Path. Then, they can send out those pesky phishing emails with someone else’s domain in the “From” field. Tricky, right? And guess what? SPF falls for it, because it’s only checking that Return-Path. 

2. DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)

DKIM is like the digital seal of approval for your emails, ensuring they haven’t been tampered with en route. When your email hits the road, the sending server slaps on an encrypted hash of the message—a sort of digital fingerprint. 

Think of it like sealing an envelope with a unique stamp. Then, when your email arrives at its destination, the receiving server can whip out its decoder ring (well, technically, a public key stored in DNS) to check that hash. If it matches up, it’s like confirming that the seal hasn’t been broken and the message hasn’t been messed with during its journey.

DKIM’s all about making sure your email and its contents are legit, using some fancy PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) magic. Its focus is mainly on the message itself, not so much on who’s claiming to have sent it. Someone could sign a message with DKIM using one domain but then slap a completely different domain in the “From” field.

That’s where DKIM’s weakness comes into play. While it’s great at verifying the message’s integrity, it’s not so hot at sniffing out those pesky phishing attempts. After all, the most crucial address we’re concerned about is the one staring us in the face—the one in the “From” field.

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

Alright, so you’ve got SPF and DKIM doing their thing, but DMARC swoops in like the superhero of email authentication. DMARC takes what SPF and DKIM verify and compares it with what the end user actually sees in the “From” field. So, if some sneaky phisher tries to use your domain in the “From” address but signs it with a completely different domain they control, DMARC’s like, “Not today, buddy!”

But wait, there’s more! DMARC also gives domain owners the power to set policies on handling emails that fail authentication. It’s like having your own email bouncer, kicking out the fakes and letting the legit ones through.

DMARC report analyzer can’t do this solo. Nope, it needs SPF or DKIM to do the heavy lifting first. Once they’ve done their job and authenticated the email, DMARC steps in to make sure everything lines up with what you’re actually seeing.

Now, here’s where things get a bit tricky. There’s this pesky little issue with forwarded emails or ones passed through mailing lists. Sometimes, they mess with the authentication mojo. They might go through IPs that aren’t on the SPF whitelist anymore, or they could tweak the subject or body of the message, messing with the DKIM signature.

4. Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI)

Now, lastly, let’s talk about Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI). BIMI gives senders the power to add some brand-specific signature to their authenticated messages. It’s like putting your stamp of approval right there in the recipient’s inbox.

Instead of seeing a generic user photo or sender initials next to the sender’s name, recipients get treated to some eye-catching brand imagery. Senders can make their messages pop in recipients’ inboxes while also giving them that extra dose of trustworthiness.

But imagine if someone could slap a fancy logo on their email without any real authentication behind it. And trick recipients into thinking it’s the real deal. It’s like putting a designer label on a knockoff product so it might look legit, but in reality, it’s fake.

So, while BIMI adds that extra touch of visual flair, such as your signature, it still needs SPF, DKIM, and DMARC to back it up and ensure those logos aren’t just for show. After all, trust is built on a solid foundation of authenticity, not just pretty pictures. 

More Info: Setup DMARC, DKIM, SPF for Shopify 

With that Said

If as an email marketer or a business owner, you want to improve your email outreach, you need to understand and prioritize email deliverability. By focusing on factors like sender reputation, email authentication, and engagement metrics, you can enhance your chances of reaching the maximum number of people and achieve a higher click-through rate and increased conversion rates. So, make sure to follow these authentication protocols to boost your email campaign.

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