The Deal w/ Email Authentication (spf, dkim, dmarc)

iz wilcox in photography studio with yellow background; looking down grossed out

This email authentication stuff is real and we’ve really gotta get it done if we want to use email as a marketing tool in 2024 and beyond. I’m talking SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.

But don’t panic, darling. This is just some techy stuff that’s we’re gonna put in place to verify that we are legit email senders. And because I know you’re 2legit2quit, I know you’re gonna get this done.

Need DIY help now?

Already know what it is and need a done for you service? Here are two service providers that I recommend.

This is Airial. She’s a pro at what she does and her package includes 60 days of ongoing compliance monitoring.


And this is Coussett, known as the Techie Mamma. She does quick work and offers a two-pay option.


Quick Explanation

Back in October(ish), Google and Yahoo announced that they were going to implement some new requirements for bulk senders. (Bulk senders = you, my dear reader.) Which might sound scary, but it’s actually a good thing!

I mean, raise your hand if you have over 10,000 unread emails in your inbox. Or if you’ve ever abandoned an inbox because it was full of spam.

These new requirements are to ensure this kind of thing stops happening. From an email reader perspective? This is *incredible* news.

From a bulk sender point of view? Ehhhhh….we’re over here less enthusiastic. But that’s only because we now have to jump through some technical hoops. But I promise you. You can do it. And I promise it will be worth it.

Email is too valuable to let a few techy pieces of code stop you from reaching your potential customers, right? Right?!

Another way of thinking of it is like this:

You know when they first started creating cars, anyone who could afford one, could buy one. And as soon as they bought, they were on the road driving. Well, after a while there were just too many cars on the road causing too many accidents. So what did the government do?

They stepped in and started creating driver’s licenses. And nowadays, it’s just a thing that you’ve gotta have a license to be on the road.

Now think about email! When the internet was created, only a small percentage of the world was using email. But now? It’s a little out of control out there on the “internet highway.” And it’s causing a lot of accidents (aka spam we don’t want jammin’ up our inbox!)

So now the big players are stepping in to stop the madness. They’re telling bulk senders…

“We need to see some ID!”

Again, this is a good thing. You wouldn’t want anyone driving your car without a license, right?

Just the same, you don’t want anyone sending emails on your behalf that isn’t actually you.

So again–think of it like a driver’s license to email. And this license will also serve as identification that you are who you say you are. You will be official, certified, and stamped email! Woohoo!

Want to understand this further?

Please check out this explainer webinar hosted by my most trusted deliverability expert, Cheryl Rerick. She will walk you through:

🔓 how email deliverability really works
💌 your responsibilities as an email marketer
🤔 What Google and Yahoo (etc) are changing in 2024

Stick figure drawings included.

Overview of Google + Yahoo Requirements

Just three things will be required to authenticate your emails. Yes, it’s a bit technical. But again, no. It’s not impossible. And email is too valuable to not get done.

If you want to dive a little deeper, I do recommend Cheryl Rerick’s full hour webinar on the subject.

This stands for Sender Policy Framework, but it reminds me of sunscreen. Putting this in place just tells the Internet Gods what sources can send email on your behalf. (ex: your email service provider)

Think of this way…anyone without the SPF on? The Internet Gods are gonna burn ’em. AKA: They ain’t sending nothing pretendin’ to be you!

Why this is important to get done asap: You likely send emails from a few different places. So you’ll want to make sure they are included in your SPF so you get through to the inbox, right?

Something you’ll never remind but I’ll tell you anyway…this stands for Domain Keys Identified Mail.

My super smart deliverability friend Cheryl Rerick explains it this way: It’s like sealing the letter inside an envelope. Having this in place verifies that nothing has been tampered with when it hits the inbox.

Why this is so important to get done right away: The Internet Gods are telling you this is a new requirement. How many times do I have to tell you?!

Do you really wanna know what this stands for? Okay, fine. Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, + Conformance.

(I tried to warn you.)

This is a policy you set up to tell the Internet God’s minions what to do when an email doesn’t pass those first two steps we already covered. There are three options:

–nothing (email would get delivered)
–quarantine (mark as spam and get sent to spam)
–reject (i mean…)

How to Authenticate Your Emails

Listen…I am by no means an expert when it comes to authenticating your emails. I’m just putting all this info together for you to have a one-stop shop, if I’m being honest.

The expert here is Cheryl Rerick.

And if you’re looking for a DIY solution, her Deliverability Workshops are it.

10/10 recommend!

✔️On demand videos
✔️Short + actionable lessons
✔️Access to Q+A bank
✔️Submit your own Qs

Take baby steps with Cheryl. Get this stuff done. Feel confident about email as an income source in 2024 and beyond.

$197. 2-pay available

About that 5000 email requirement

Okay, ya got me.

You’re likely learning that some of these requirements only count for people who are sending 5000 emails a day. But unfortunately, that’s only like…half true. And for who knows how long.

☕ Here’s the real tea:

#1– Yahoo has stated all senders. That means you. No matter how many emails you send per day.

#2–Microsoft has been suspiciously quiet this whole time. Why?

Well, probably because they’ve already been requiring this stuff for a long time and just been putting you into spam ’cause you didn’t have it. Microsoft is the definition of “does not play.”

#3–I’m not a fortune teller, but I do predict this “5000 emails/day” thing Google has announced will get stricter. Yep. I believe this is the first iteration of the new rules and that in the next year, EVERY bulk sender (that’s you, boo) will absolutely have to have these things in place.

Many companies roll out new features and requirements to a segment of their users before implementing the change for everyone.

That’s what I believe is happening here. So let’s just get it done RIGHT NOW. Because another thing I believe will happen?

Loads of people will wait until they see that they can no longer send emails. And THEN! Service providers like the two I’ve shared at the top of this blog post will be so in demand that they will be forced to charge higher prices.

Make sense?

Again, I’m not saying this to make you panic. This is just matter-of-fact stuff. Policies and requirements change all the time. It’s our job as users to simply abide so we can keep playing the email game.

And honestly, this is going to thin out the competition AND the junk in our inboxes. Which is a win-win, baby.

Sum it up for me, Liz

Email is too valuable for you to put it at risk, boo. You’ve got to get this done to continue to email with effectiveness.

And by effectiveness, I mean…do you want to get through to your subscribers or not?

Lucky for us, it’s just three things: SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.

You can hire a service provider to help you out if you don’t want to deal. (That’s what I did.)

Both my recomendations charge $175.

Airial’s page is here.

And Cousett’s is here.

Both a A+ and I’d book ’em before they don’t have any more time to give.

You can also do this yourself. There are plenty of free resources if that’s your style or you can go with my deliverability expert, Cheryl Rerick.

I took her workshops on top of the DFY service because I wanted to fully grasp wth is going on. This might be your jam, too.

Cheryl is patient. And smart as a whip.

Here’s her link to get the workshops and start this DIY project asap.

Last thing–you got this.

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