At Red Sift, we talk a lot about how our mission is to democratize the technology essential for cybersecurity. In short, make it accessible for everyone. And there’s a specific reason for this, namely that the problems which arise from incorrect email security configuration don’t just impact IT departments, they impact entire businesses.
We recently published a brand new report evaluating email security in the retail sector. Email is an essential tool which the retail industry uses daily, both to prospect to new customers and communicate with existing ones. But right now, 90% of global retailers aren’t correctly DMARC configured, meaning they are open and vulnerable to email fraud.
So, while many retail marketers are pumping precious time and resource into their email campaigns, incorrect DMARC setup could be scuppering their efforts. At best their outbound emails could be going straight into spam, and at worst hackers could be impersonating their brand to bombard their customers with fake emails and phishing scams.
In this blog post, we’ve compiled 3 reasons why correct DMARC setup should be a priority for all marketers in retail.
But first: what is DMARC?
DMARC is an email authentication protocol which protects domains from impersonation. When properly configured, DMARC uses existing protocols DKIM and SPF to ensure that emails sent using your domain are legitimate, preventing hackers from impersonating your brand and damaging your reputation. Correct DMARC configuration can also improve deliverability rate, as receiving senders can see that your emails have come from a reputable source. The set up and configuration of your DMARC policy can seem daunting at first, but it really doesn’t need to be – that’s where OnDMARC comes in.
1. You may not know it yet, but your reputation relies on it
In retail, reputation is everything. We found that 67% of people trust a company less after a data breach, and 22% won’t use a company again if they are hacked. It’s clear that a business’s brand equity is intrinsically linked with how customers view their integrity, and it’s key that this is upheld at all times.
But while retailers tend to focus on online reviews, customer service and quality of goods as key indicators of their trustworthiness, they overlook some key infrastructure issues which are putting them at risk everyday – namely their email security set up and DMARC configuration.
Retail businesses are in constant communication with their customers via email, and more often than not these retail databases house highly sensitive information like email addresses, phone numbers, and credit card details. It’s difficult to imagine an industry more vulnerable to the effects of cybercrime, and even harder to understand why only 10% of retail businesses have implemented a secure DMARC policy so far.
If you are a marketing professional in retail, getting DMARC policy properly configured to p=reject is vital, because it means that your company’s brand is protected against impersonation, and your customers are better guarded against phishing emails and cyber attacks.
2. Deliverability can depend on DMARC
DMARC configuration plays a major role in the deliverability rate of all emails. Currently around 80% of consumer inboxes are fully DMARC configured, and global DMARC records have jumped up by over 2 million in the last 3 years. More and more domains are putting the right email security in place, meaning that now a whopping 1 in 6 emails don’t even get delivered.
Whether you’re sending out promotional or transactional emails to customers, if they aren’t coming from a DMARC configured domain, they may end up dumped in spam or even blocked – really not an ideal scenario for any marketer.
As a sector which relies so heavily on email, it’s more important than ever that retail businesses catch up and correctly configure DMARC policy. Once this is done, they can expect to see more ROI and stop email marketing efforts going to waste.
3. BIMI boosts brand awareness and buying behaviours
BIMI stands for Brand Indicators for Message Identification. Essentially, this combines the deliverability and anti-spoofing benefits of DMARC. When you have DMARC in place, in protection mode, you can then use BIMI to add your trademarked logo to every email you send. This means that when your email lands in a consumer’s inbox, straight away they will be able to see and recognize your brand, helping you to stand out from competitors.
This might seem like a relatively simple concept, but the use and value of BIMI is set to skyrocket in coming weeks and months, particularly because of the host of benefits it offers email marketers.
In a recent survey we carried out, we found that BIMI not only increases customer confidence in the legitimacy of an email by 84%, but it also boosts email open rates significantly. We found that brand recall almost doubled and – perhaps most importantly for marketers – there was a significant uptick in consumer purchasing.
In some cases numbers speak for themselves, and the figures above clearly demonstrate the potential value BIMI – and the DMARC configuration necessary to enjoy it – offers retail marketers.
Find out more
Ultimately, DMARC is a necessary layer of security which safeguards your brand, your customers, your deliverability and marketing efforts. To find out more about retail’s threats and opportunities in the current email landscape, plus the benefits of DMARC and how you can protect your business, download our latest report below.