Every email domain has policies that help decide whether incoming messages should be accepted or rejected. DMARC is one of these policies. It stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance, and takes effect if an email fails certain types of authentication.
DMARC policies benefit the email community as a whole because they help prevent phishing, spoofing, and the delivery of fraudulent emails. However, strict DMARC policies can sometimes misidentify your legitimate marketing emails as fraudulent and reject them.
In this article, you’ll learn how DMARC policies affect the delivery of your campaigns, and what to do to fix DMARC issues.
DMARC and Free Email Providers
Some free email providers, like Yahoo and AOL Mail, have adopted strict DMARC policies to prevent spam and spoofing. If you use an email marketing tool like MailChimp and you choose a campaign From email address provided by a free email service, their DMARC policy may tell receiving servers to reject your campaign because it wasn’t sent through them.
For example, let’s say you send a MailChimp campaign with a
From email address like
email@example.com. The campaign appears to be sent from a yahoo.com domain, but it’s actually sent from MailChimp’s servers. Yahoo’s strict DMARC policy doesn’t like this. Their DMARC policy tells your subscribers’ receiving servers to automatically reject anything that looks like it comes from yahoo.com, but comes from somewhere else instead.
To improve deliverability, we encourage you to use a
From email address at a domain owned by you or your organization, like firstname.lastname@example.org. Not only will this help avoid delivery issues, it can help your subscribers recognize your brand.
Gmail is set to adopt a strict DMARC policy, although there isn’t an official release date. This means that in the future, if you use a gmail.com address as your campaign’s From email address, you could experience delivery problems.
If your campaign is likely to be affected by Gmail’s upcoming policy changes, you’ll see a warning on the
Confirm steps of the Campaign Builder. It’s still ok to use a Gmail
From email address. But, to avoid potential delivery issues we recommend you make plans to switch to a domain you own.
Yahoo and AOL Mail
Yahoo and AOL have strict DMARC policies. This means that when you use a Yahoo or AOL address as your campaign’s From email address, you could experience delivery problems.
If your campaign is affected by these policies, you’ll see a warning on the
Confirm steps of the Campaign Builder.
For best results, we recommend you switch to a domain you own. However, if you use Yahoo or AOL Mail and can’t register your own domain, we can help you avoid delivery problems. We’ll automatically add send.mailchimpapp.com or mail.mailchimpapp.com to your Yahoo or AOL address to help ensure delivery. This process is currently only available for Yahoo and AOL addresses.
Other Free Email Providers
Other free email providers like Hotmail will likely follow AOL, Yahoo, and Gmail in adopting a strict DMARC policy, and may not provide notice of their policy changes. For best delivery results, use an address associated with a domain you own.
Register a Domain
To avoid the consequences of DMARC policy changes of free email providers, use an address at your own domain. If you don’t have an email domain to use as the
From email address for MailChimp campaigns, you can register one.
Register a Domain
About DMARC at Registered Domains
If you experience a large number of bounces at your domain, or a domain owned by your organization, check your DMARC policy to see if it’s strict or relaxed. It’s possible your DMARC policy is set up to tell receiving servers to reject emails that fail SPF or DKIM authentication.
When you register your own domain, you may be able to avoid certain delivery problems by updating your DMARC policy to tell receiving servers to accept emails sent through other servers on behalf of your domain, even if they fail SPF or DKIM authentication. A relaxed DMARC policy also helps ensure that your subscribers will receive emails like signup or unsubscribe confirmations. The DMARC update process varies by hosting service, so contact your hosting provider or IT department to help set it up.
To avoid delivery issues and make your campaigns appear to come from your servers instead of MailChimp’s, you can authenticate your domain with custom DKIM.