The world of email can prove to be perilous, at risk of spammers who perpetrate inboxes to fraudsters through phishing emails and wait for the opportunity to get their hands on private credentials such as credit card information. There’s no such thing as being too cautious when it comes to protecting your email. For this reason, email filters are progressively improving at detecting fraudulent emails, so much so, that legitimate emails may accidentally be flagged as spam.
If you send email as part of your marketing and customer communications efforts, you know that every time an email finds itself in the spam folder of a recipient, your ROI (return on investment) from email marketing deteriorates.
To differentiate your email from malicious spam/phishing attempts, you must take proper email authentication steps. What exactly is email authentication, you ask? To put it plainly, email authentication is a set of security systems used to validate an email’s authenticity, making sure that the email message came from the claimed sender and wasn’t forged somewhere along its journey to the coveted inbox. This system is composed of three main email authentication protocols: SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.
In the following post, we will be focusing on the DKIM protocol.
What is DKIM?
DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) is an email security protocol that offers the ability to verify a domain name identity that is affiliated with a message, using cryptographic authentication. The purpose of this technique is to ensure that messages are not modified during transit, cross checking the body and headers of the message, detecting fraudulence, and making sure that they weren’t sent with spoofed headers.
How does DKIM work?
DKIM is based on public key cryptography to verify that an email message was sent from an authorized mail server. When implementing DKIM, the first step is to publish cryptographic public keys as TXT DNS records in your domain. Then, when you send an email, the mail server you send a message through, adds a digital signature to your message, in the email header called DKIM-Signature. The signature contains tagged information including information about the signing domain. The recipient server can then confirm your email’s authenticity by seeking out a sender’s DKIM key in conjunction with the signing domain name from the sending domain’s DNS records, and ultimately use it to verify the encrypted signature.
Why is DKIM important?
If you work in a business that sends transactional or commercial email, DKIM is important to you because it plays a key role in proving email authenticity. As mentioned in the beginning of this post, email deliverability plays a crucial role in email marketing ROI, and implementing the DKIM standard will help increase email deliverability as it helps improve your sender reputation. DKIM alone isn’t your silver bullet to all deliverability issues, however. We recommend implementing other means of email authentication in addition to DKIM to create a more complete email authentication policy and to adhere to anti-spam guidelines <LINK: post on anti spam> .These steps are meant to increase the probability of your email to reach its intended recipient.
Does Mailer To Go support DKIM?
Yes. Mailer To Go implements DKIM as the standard for email authentication. In fact, Mailer To Go requires all of our users to use DKIM! DKIM is not only a means to sign your email messages but also a good way to make sure that you own the domain that you’re trying to send email from.
Read more about email authentication methods:
- Part #2: What is SPF?
- Part #3: What is DMARC?
Post photo by Nick Loggie on Unsplash