Category Archives: Email Authentication

6 Best Practices for Email List Acquisition

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email List AcquisitionLet us start by saying, that although it’s tempting, email list acquisition through purchases is not a best practice and could cause you to get blacklisted by the various ISPs.

The quality of your email address lists will directly correlate to the results generated from your various email marketing strategies. An accurate, well-targeted customer list will have a positive impact on your campaign’s response rates, click-throughs and ultimately, your end revenue. While this concept is easy to understand, you might not know exactly where to start when it comes to strengthening your own email list.

The quality of your email address lists will directly correlate to the results generated from your various email marketing strategies. An accurate, well-targeted customer list will have a positive impact on your campaign’s response rates, click-throughs and ultimately, your end revenue. While this concept is easy to understand, you might not know exactly where to start when it comes to strengthening your own email list.

Traditional strategies of well-thought-out campaign offerings, such as newsletters or free downloadable content, offer several opportunities where you can gather email contact information from your target users.  Our experience tells us that the best strategies will always capture email addresses at a variety of locations and will use customized messaging to get better participation from the recipients.  The key is that in order to get what you want, new target user information for your email list, you must offer something worthwhile in exchange.

Best practices indicate that to keep your email list accurate and fresh, you need to connect with your user base regularly — prompting them to interact and potentially update their information.  It is a great idea to keep testing things out to see what works and users respond to best.

Here are six great tips to get you started with your email list management:

1.      Customized Welcome Emails: Always remember that different subscribers have different expectations. Sometimes, the email marketing service providers do not have this level of customization available or it simply may not part of your purchased plan.  If that is the case, then you should focus your efforts on users that most likely fit the persona of becoming profitable customers.

2.       Target Point of Sale:  It has been experienced by market leaders that customers are usually less resistant to sharing personal contact information at the point of sale. In fact, many times users are looking for ways to stay in touch and welcome program participation when they feel it benefits them.

3.       Give them an Offer They Can’t Refuse: That’s right! Research has shown that customers who get the promise of discounts on their next purchase are more likely to sign-up or opt-in to an email list.  If they don’t respond to your discount, you might want to send in a reminder a few days before the coupon is expiring.

4.       Use the Power of Choice:  Trust us – it will help if you give your potential customers the option of either signing-up via email or text messages. People like choices and are likely to choose one over the other.  An added advantage of this is that you’ll potentially grow both, your email and mobile marketing programs.

5.       Offer a Second Chance: Remember the ones who didn’t opt-in the first time?  Give them a second chance with an even better offer. They might have simply been too busy the first time and your follow-up could compel them to opt in.

6.      Capture All Data: The secret to successful list acquisition is to measure everything. Constant measurements will help create benchmarks for you to work on and further improve. Save data until it becomes useful, track the results and then act on it. Repeat regularly.

We also found this blog by Oracle to be very insightful. Hope these tips on best practices will help you in coming up with a Rockstar email list acquisition plan of your own!

Email Authentication Next Steps – DMARC

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Email Authentication

How DMARC Email Authentication Works

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) can be regarded as the latest advancement in email authentication. However, since it is not as convenient as SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail), we believe it is important to understand how DMARC is different, how it works and why should it matter to you.

So, to explain as clearly as possible, DMARC is a process that ensures that all legitimate emails are authenticating properly against established SPF and DKIM standards. It also ensures that any fraudulent activity appears to be coming from domains that are under the control of the organization (defensively registered domains, active sending domains, and non-sending domains) is blocked. Domain Alignment and Reporting are the two values of DMARC.
DMARC’s alignment feature effectively prevents any attempts of spoofing of the ‘header from’ address in the following way

⦁ It matches the ‘header from’ domain with ‘envelope from’ domain name that is used while performing an SPF check.
⦁ It matches the ‘header from’ domain name with the ‘d=domain name’ in DKIM signature.
In order to pass DMARC, the message has to pass SPF alignment and SPF authentication and/or DKIM alignment and DKIM authentication. A message will certainly fail DMARC if it fails any of these.

DMARC also helps senders in instructing email providers on how the authenticated email has to be handled via a DMARC policy, eradicating any grey area for guesswork on how to treat emails that fail the authentication.

Senders can choose to either:
⦁ Quarantine the message(s) that fail DMARC (move it to spam folder),
⦁ Reject the message(s) that fail DMARC (don’t deliver the mail at all), OR
⦁ Monitor each and every mail, understanding the brand’s email authentication system and guarantee that a legitimate email is authenticating adequately enough, without any interference with the delivery of the message(s) that failed DMARC.

Mailbox providers regularly send forensic and DMARC aggregate reports back to the senders, giving them complete visibility of the messages that are getting authenticated and the ones that are not, and why.

So why does DMARC really matter to you? The answer is quite simple – DMARC is the first and the only widely deployed technology that can authenticate the trustworthiness of the ‘header from’ address. This foolproof process protects customers and the brand, as well as discourages all cybercriminals to go after brands that have a DMARC record.

Read this article to find more about Mail Monitor’s email authentication processes.

First Things First – Email Authentication

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So you’ve scheduled a new offer for potential customers and you think you’ll be getting great conversions on these emails. But just when you hit your dashboard to monitor the results, you see a very different picture – you notice that a lot of your emails never got opened, ringing an alarm that maybe your much-anticipated offer has been eaten up by the recipient’s junk folder. You might be having the common email authentication problem that needs serious troubleshooting if you want your email marketing strategies to be a success.

What is Email Authentication?

To understand email authentication and how major services work, you need to know the following methods most commonly used by major mailboxes:

  • Sender Policy Framework (SPF)SPF is an email validation system that identifies email spoofing by checking that the incoming email is from a domain’s authorized host. All authorized hosts for a domain are published in the Domain Name System (DNS) records on behalf of that domain in a specially formatted TXT record. SPF records prevent spammers from using your domain to send content from a forged address. With the increase of spam attacks and hack attempts to encourage recipients to share sensitive information via emails, all major commercial and corporate mailbox providers have layers of SPF checks in place to defend their customers.
  • DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) – Just like SPF, DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is an authentication method for emails that detect spoofing. The purpose of DKIM is to help recipients check if an email has come from an authorized owner of the user domain and identify any forged sender addresses. DKIM allows an email message to associate with a domain by affixing a digital signature. The verification is done by using the public key of the signer published in the DNS. DKIM also usually helps ensure all attachments in an email are safe to open. While these email authentications can seriously affect your email marketing campaigns, they also mean that if you are prepared, you have a stronger chance of being trusted and noticed by your recipient.

The good news here is that MailMonitor already has SPF and DKIM authentication checks in place for each and every email that our customers send. Having full control on evaluating email authentication helps us inform you of any issues so that you can get to troubleshooting in real time.