Whereas DMARC has become a popular topic in security, little has been said about the marketing benefits of securing your domain.
You are probably thinking, why a marketeer needs to know about an email authentication protocol that is typically advertised as a method of blocking phishing attacks? Well, DMARC actually does much more than that. It can increase your open rates, getting you a much better ROI on your email marketing — without having to change any of your content.
What is DMARC?
DMARC stands for Domain Based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance and it is an email authentication protocol thats enables recipients of your emails to be more trusting of your communication. DMARC allows you to specify the sources that are allowed to send from your domain, therefore, if set up correctly, the deliverability of your authorised emails will increase. Because policy specifies who is allowed to send emails from your domain, unauthorised sending and phishing will also be blocked. To learn more about DMARC you can check out the blog post I wrote that explains how it works.
Email marketing is a great way to engage with your existing customers and acquire news ones but unfortunately a lot of our email marketing efforts end up in the junk folder. You might have been advised in the past to remove sales/marketing lingo and words like “free” or “limited time offer” which is good advice but ultimately if you want to end up in your receiver’s inbox you need to do more. DMARC is the answer to you finally getting out the junk folder and getting set up with DMARC is really not that hard.
How DMARC can benefit your marketing
1. Get out of the junk folder.
Every email marketeer know the importance of open rates. Open rates can be seriously affected if your emails end up in the wrong place. For example if your emails are going to customers junk folders, or not arriving at all, then the chance of them opening your emails is far less than if they appear in their main inbox. It is also very frustrating, after all those hours spent crafting a perfect message, to then realise that your hard work is sitting in people’s junk folders.
The solution to get out of the junk folder and into your customer’s inbox is to get all of your email senders properly configured. The problem is knowing what the problems are given the complexity of setting up SPF, DKIM and the related acronym soup. DMARC closes the reporting loop and tells you what is working and what isn’t. Also, if you have DMARC set up correctly you are telling the receiving email servers that the emails you send are authorised and not junk. Once you fully implement DMARC and clean up your email sending clutter, you will see that your open rates will automatically increase as more people are actually receiving and seeing your emails. You should also make sure that if you are sending emails from a email automation service like MailChimp or Drip that you are sending from your own domain rather than from theirs as they already have a reputation for sending tons of spam marketing emails, but I will get onto that later.
2. Increase Customer Confidence.
Domains that don’t have DMARC are vulnerable to phishing attacks and they occur far more often then you would think. To give you an idea of how often the occur, once I set up OnDMARC for my personal domain I was able to see that on average my domain was used in a phishing attempt twice a day! If a company’s domain is misused in an attack that targets its customers the results can be disastrous. In such instances, customers become sceptical of your ability to make sure that communication to them is safe and secure. However, if a company has DMARC protection they can reassure their customer that they have a secure email domain that can not be used by others in phishing attacks. It is very common now to see companies put a disclaimer at the bottom of their email saying that they don’t take responsibility for phishing attacks — but, is this really enough?
3. Better engagement.
An increase in customer confidence will also result in better engagement. We live in a world where cyber threats occur on a regular basis and a company that can convey a sense of security to their customers will always be rewarded with more user confidence which in turn leads to a lower friction funnel and more unguided engagement.
4. Own your brand.
DMARC gives YOU control over your domain and it allows you to see who is using it. The DMARC reporting feature combined with a great self service product like OnDMARC lets you see exactly who is sending from and using your domain. Because you will be the first to know about malicious attempts and scams that try to use your domain, you can quickly take action and block them from any future attempts.
The images below show my authorised emails in green and the blocked phishing attempts in red. As you can see having DMARC has stoped burst of phishing attempts on my domain that would have gone through had it not been for DMARC.
How to get started
There are a few quick and easy things you can do to start getting better results from your marketing with little effort or cost.
The first thing you want to do is to make sure that you are sending emails from your own domain, not from the domain of the automation software you use. For example I use Drip and they have an option that lets me send from my own domain. I just need to send them an email and they will help me set it up. So I did that and they sent over some instructions that I executed and now my emails are being sent from my domain instead of Drips. You might need the help of your IT department to make the changes they send over, but it won’t take them more than 5 minutes.
The next thing you need to do is to set up DMARC. In the past this would have been a long and frustrating process but with the launch of OnDMARC you can now follow a few simple steps to set it up. OnDMARC will also guide you through setting up authorised senders, this is what is key for getting your emails out of junk. You might need your IT team to help you set up OnDMARC but again, this should not take them more than a few minutes.
I hope this has given you some insight into how important DMARC can be for your marketing and if you are interested in learning more about DMARC you can check out the blog post I wrote that explains how it works . If you are a small organisation then the OnDMARC product is most likely free for your volume— well worth checking out.
If you want to check the current status of your email set up you can use the free tool on the OnDMARC website.