Your website and custom domain-based email are the two most important representations of your business. Though there are multiple methods to reach out to your business and personal contacts, email remains the most reliable and legitimate mode of communication. The success of the communication is highly dependent on the delivery of the email to the intended recipients.
How can you ensure better email delivery?
Email delivery from your domain-based email depends on the spam checks done by the recipient email servers. A few of the basic checks done by the recipient servers are the SPF and DKIM validations.
For the emails sent from your domain to reach your recipient's inbox, it’s mandatory to have the SPF and DKIM records configured for your domain. It will help the recipient's server authenticate the emails sent from your domain and ensure a successful delivery.
Sender Policy Framework record
A domain’s Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record informs the recipient email servers of which domains, IP addresses, and servers are permitted to send emails on behalf of that domain. This helps prevent emails sent from your domain from being flagged as spam by servers, increasing the likelihood of them being delivered to recipients' inboxes.
This also prevents email addresses from being spoofed and used for phishing. Emails sent from a spoofed domain will be rejected by recipient email servers, protecting your recipients from spoofing and phishing attacks.
DomainKeys Identified Mail record
DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) record of a domain adds a digital signature to emails sent from that specific domain, ensuring the authenticity of the source server recognized and authorized by the owner of the sending domain. This signature is generated and validated using a combination of public and private keys unique to the domain.
Adding this record to your domain's DNS record increases the chances of emails from the domain-based email address being delivered successfully to the recipient's inbox because it helps recipient servers verify the authenticity of the sender's domain.
In addition to these authentication methods, the following actions are recommended to ensure successful email delivery:
Avoid sending unsolicited cold emails: Sending out unsolicited or cold emails that aren’t relevant to your contacts might lead them to mark your domain as spam. It’s recommended that you refrain from sending irrelevant emails to prevent your email from being marked as spam. The higher the spam rate of your domain, the greater the chance that emails from your domain will be marked as spam by the recipient's email server.
Refrain from sending bulk emails: Sending out bulk emails, newsletters, and promotional emails using your domain without proper email authentication and an appropriate email service will affect the domain’s reputation, resulting in having it marked as spam.
Zoho Mail ensures that its users comply with the usage policy and prevents them from using the service to send unsolicited emails to their recipients. This helps to decrease the chances of emails sent by custom domain-based email addresses in Zoho Mail being flagged as spam by the recipient's servers.
Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance policy
To gain insights on the usage of your domain-based email, you can set up a Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) policy. This will provide information on the servers and IP addresses that are sending emails using your domain.
This information can be used to update your SPF and DKIM records, allowing specific servers or IP addresses to send emails on your behalf. Doing so will ensure that emails are successfully delivered to the intended recipients, even if they were previously marked as spam due to validation failure.
You can also use this policy to direct recipient servers to take action on emails that fail SPF and DKIM validation because of spoofing or any fraudulent use of your domain-based email.
Why are SPF and DKIM records important for your domain?
These email authentication methods and practices are crucial to ensuring successful personal and business communication via email. The configuration of the SPF and DKIM records will improve the deliverability, and the DMARC policy will help you gain insights on the use of your domain-based email to ensure its judicious usage.
Having the SPF and DKIM records configured for your domain is also important in light of the recent announcement by Google and Yahoo to make email authentication a mandatory requirement for bulk email senders to their recipients starting in February 2024. It’s likely that the same requirement will eventually be extended to one-to-one business email communication as well.
This will help in successful email delivery not only to Google and Yahoo but also to other recipient email servers.