If you are on a blacklist, then you’re feeling the urgency and pain of getting off the blacklist and restoring your ability to send email to customers, prospects and vendors – you’re ready to get back to business. But, wait a second, what caused you to be blacklisted in the first place?
Causes of Blacklisting
- Malware or Virus infection
- Errant bulk email campaign
- Random mail to spam traps or honeypots
You can control these issues with software that filters inbound and outbound email, but really, these are just symptoms of a greater problem – poor Email Delivery Management, meaning methodically developing best practices to ensure email gets to the inbox.
What is going on with email delivery?
Long gone are the days when you could fire off an email and assume it went directly into your customers’ inboxes. Between spam filters, anti-virus programs, and blacklist-based email filters your email delivery is controlled by several layers of security. But, do you know anything about how that security works? Do you know if your email is getting through? Do you get any feedback from users? Blacklists are just part of the equation. By the time you know you are on a blacklist, it’s already too late, your email is already being denied.
In addition, you are probably using several 3rd party companies to email for you. These could include a bulk email service, marketing automation, forwarders or even rogue email systems sitting in your network. Do you know if you or partners emailing on your behalf have good reputations with your customers, their inbox providers and those security tools I mentioned? Do you get any feedback until you’re blacklisted?
In recent years, Google and Outlook.com have been rapidly gaining market share as inbox providers. They and many other companies are prioritizing email that has passed SPF verification and is signed by a valid DKIM signature. Are you ready for SPF and DKIM? Do you know if all your 3rd party emailers are covered in your SPF record?
Finally, email spoofing is becoming one of the biggest methods for exploiting a company’s brand to obtain private information and user credentials. Do you know who is leveraging your brand to spoof your customers?
How do you manage email delivery?
The short answer is to adopt three important technologies:
- SPF – Enables you to tell the world who is legitimately allowed to send email on your behalf
- DKIM – Enables you to sign email and take ownership of the quality of the email you send
- DMARC – Enables you to publish an email address where you can receive feedback from inbox providers about the quality of the email coming from your domain and control how a provider processes email that fails SPF or DKIM.
With all three technologies, you take ownership for the email you send, designate additional senders for your domain and get feedback on email sent by you, your senders and potentially malicious senders. This is the start of email delivery management.
After talking with dozens of clients, we realized that our customers needed help decoding DMARC reports and understanding:
- Who is sending email purporting to be from your domain
- What is the reputation of your domains and delegated IPs
- Where other senders are and What their reputations are
- How your SPF, DKIM and DMARC setup is performing
- What senders are failing DKIM
- What senders are failing SPF verification
- When to setup more restrictive policies for DMARC
Check out MxToolbox Delivery Center and how our experts can help you better reach your customers.