This week, our Head of Digital, explains how imposters might have been keeping your email campaigns from hitting your audience’s inbox every time—and what you can do about it. When implementing any email campaign, just getting to the inbox can be one of the most difficult hurdles to jump for many brands. You might have great content, adhere to and test against all spam regulations, be using a sent-from email address that’s associated with your domain—but despite all that hard work, you might still be landing in the spam folder. What are you doing wrong? Unfortunately, it’s more of a case of what others have been doing wrong. Email was designed with a major flaw, and it’s a flaw that a lot of scammers depend on—being easy to spoof. Spammers and phishers are very easily able to pose as anyone—from the taxman to Apple— sending out emails that are not only designed to look like the real thing, but look like they come from apple.com. In response, email clients have imposed several ways to protect their users against these types of emails. The problem is, these changes to the way servers treat incoming mail are having knock on effects for email campaigns. Are you who you say you are? Servers now have several authentication steps for your email to go through before it gets anywhere near an inbox. These include asking: is the sender who they say they are? If you’re using an ESP (email service provider) to send and track your campaigns, and you don’t take steps to authenticate that ESP, your emails are going to stumble at the first hurdle. The receiving server will notice it’s coming from someone that isn’t you, think it’s a spoofer, and chuck your campaign straight into spam or block it completely. In some rare cases, you might get through to the inbox, but you might wish you hadn’t. Some email clients will display the email as being sent from the ESP you’re using, adding a segment on the end that says it’s on your behalf. Getting authenticated There are two main methods for getting on the email client’s side when it comes to proving its you: DKIM and SPF. DKIM is a key that’s individual to you—almost like a signature. In order to set it up you need to have access to domain records, meaning if it’s in place, you’re likely to be who you say you are. SPF records authorize hosts and IPs to send mail on behalf of your domain. Anything coming from an IP you haven’t added to your whitelist will be blocked. It’s worth noting that these changes aren’t all doom and gloom for brands. Instead they serve to protect your business, brand reputation, and hard built relationship with customers by stopping scam emails that are pretending to be you from reaching inboxes. Authentication is therefore just as important as any other step in setting up and sending out a successful email campaign that will land in your audience’s inbox every time.