Have you ever received a shady email stating that it comes from your bank, PayPal or from a company you're having a business with, but in fact came from someone else? If that's the case, then you may have become a victim of email forgery.
Since e-mail and marketing automation software send emails for your company, without proper setup these emails is going to be flagged as ‘forged’ and moved straight to the junk folder.
There are two email authentication techniques now, and they are referred to as the SPF and DKIM.
Describing the Operation of the DKIM and SPF
Imagine you get a letter from your bank asking you to donate money to a charitable organization. You are compelled to call your reliable bank to check if the letter actually came from them, and not some kind of forgery. Undoubtedly, you'll throw the letter away when the bank tells you they did not send it.
The SPF and DKIM functions in the same manner. The email host (e.g. Gmail or Yahoo) will ‘call’ your company’s web page (e.g. abc.com) and ask:
‘Is ExactTarget/Marketo/Responsis allowed to send emails on your behalf?’
Do not forget that your website will always answer ‘NO!’ and the email will go to the junk folder straight away if your DKIM and SPF is not accurately set.
The set up of the DKIM and SPF is the obligation of your email marketing or marketing automation software installer. Nonetheless, this must have been set up but was deleted or corrupted.
How to ensure that the set up of my DKIM and SPF is correct?
The smartest thing to do about this matter is actually to call an IT professional to examine the SPF or DKIM records if you are not familiar with this. Alternatively, you can call your email provider’s support center.
If you DO prefer to do it yourself, below are a few instructions:
Find out how to Check your SPF Record
1. You need to visit http://mxtoolbox.com/spf.aspx
2. Type in your email domain
• E.g. ‘abc.com’ if your email address is email@example.com
3. Click ‘SPF Record Lookup’
4. Look for a row that has a record starting with ‘v=spf …’
• E.g. ‘v=spf1 +a +mx +ip4:22.214.171.124 include:mktomail.com ?all’
5. Look within this record for the following settings according to your e-mail or marketing automation software:
Email or Marketing Automation Software What to look for in the SPF Record
Constant Contact: ptr:constantcontact.com ptr:confirmedcc.com ..
Pardot: include:aspmx.pardot.com …
ExactTarget: include:cust-spf.exacttarget.com ..
Mailchimp: include:servers.mcsv.net ..
Hubspot: (doesn’t support SPF)
Marketo: (use the Marketo Health-checker to check email deliverability)
iContact: include:icpbounce.com …
When you have found the above text list, then it's properly installed.
How Will You Check Your DKIM Record
DKIM records tend to be harder to verify and many are not publicly accessible. It will be convenient for you to examine it if you'll speak with your email provider. Some firms have an online device to verify email deliverability for their platform, just like Marketo.
Hopefully, you now have a much better understanding of how essential DKIM and SPF are to your email deliverability.
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