DMARC: What It Is And Why You Need It

DMARC, which stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance, was launched last year by a consortium of top mailbox providers and senders including Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Facebook and PayPal. In Fact, DMARC just celebrated its one-year anniversary and has seen rapid adoption by major brands and ISPs.

Read on to learn what DMARC is and why you need to be thinking about implementing this standard in 2013.

DMARC uses existing authentication protocols – Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) – to enable brands to publish policies that reject messages that are not properly authenticated. The result of blocking these messages means less “suspicious” email being delivered to your valuable customer base. Imagine if your high-value customers were receiving fraudulent email purporting to come from your brand. Brand trust quickly erodes as customers become wary about the validity of email offers and content. This erosion diminishes the potential for repeat or first-time purchases, and lowers email engagement as a whole.

When DMARC is implemented, mailbox providers send back reporting to let you know when your domains are not authenticated properly. This helps brands quickly detect phishing attacks and keep their systems running properly. However, one difficulty with DMARC is the vast amount of raw data to makes sense of and analyze. Return Path can help senders categorize this data into actionable email intelligence and protect customers.

Two hot areas in marketing right now (and which won’t go away anytime soon …if ever!) are big data and improving the customer experience. DMARC helps bring those two together by providing the data to help block phishing attacks on your valuable customers, and thus improve their overall experience with your brand.

Tomorrow, we'll discuss how to get started on protecting your brand from phishing by creating your SPF record.