You may be wondering why you are unable to use Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, and other major domains as your from address in Informz. This is because these mail providers (and many others) have set a policy on unauthorized use of their sending domain. This policy is known as DMARC (Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance), and it's something that providers are using to help fight spam, phishing, and other means of email spoofing.
DMARC works by leveraging SPF and DKIM as authentication mechanisms to determine if the mailing is legitimate. When senders use these domains outside of authorized systems, mail is typically rejected. This results in poor deliverability.
With DMARC, domain owners can indicate how they want to handle mail coming from their domain that fails these specifications (and how they receive reporting on it). This may not be something you'll need to put in place at your organization, but it is important to understand.
Ways DMARC Affects Senders
DMARC can affect senders in two ways:
- The domain used as your “from” address: The sending domain (email address) that you use for your email marketing determines how receivers handle and classify the email you send. If you do not own the domain you are sending from, your mail may be rejected or classified as spam.
- The domain that is owned by you/your organization: Creating your own DMARC Policy allows added protection against fraudulent and harmful messages in the event that a spammer uses your domain without your permission.
DMARC provides an easy way to identify an email’s legitimacy, protects against fraud, simplifies delivery, and builds a positive domain reputation. In fact, all this can help your sending IP(s) too! Putting a DMARC policy in place can also guard against spammers and help prevent phishing attempts.
How DMARC is Deployed
Once SPF and DKIM authentication are completed, a domain owner may decide to create another TXT record for DMARC. When a policy has been established, the domain owner receives reporting on all mail sources using that domain as well as SPF and DKIM results. Mail receivers see the DMARC record and treat the mail accordingly. However, if you are not ready to set a strict policy (which would affect mail delivery), you can always set the record to reporting mode, which provides data on how your domain is being used on the internet.
Informz currently has DMARC records set to reporting mode only. However, Infomz has forthcoming plans to enforce a strict policy that disallows any unauthorized senders from using our domains.