Successful deliverability depends on a strong foundation. Email infrastructure is a core element. A properly constructed email infrastructure includes multiple components - namely domain(s) and IP address(es). These components are like the machinery behind the emails you send and they are oftentimes the anchor of sending reputation. Deliverability consultants ensure that these elements are set up properly during implementation, but due to the reputation element, it is important for you to have this basic understanding.
Times have changed, and some ISPs (like Gmail and Yahoo) now incorporate domain reputation as an additional point when it comes to attaching email reputation to a sender. Your domain reputation is based on your sending domain instead of your IP address. This means that your brand takes precedence when it comes to ISP filtering decisions.
Part of the onboarding process for new senders on Adobe platforms include setting up your sending domains and ensuring that your infrastructure is established properly. You should work with an expert on what domains you plan to use in the long term. Here are some tips that shape a good domain strategy:
It is important to form a well-structured IP strategy to help establish a positive reputation. The number of IPs and setup varies depending on your business model and marketing goals. Work with an expert to develop a clear strategy to start off right. Consider these things that are important to note:
Behind the scenes, Adobe platforms are processing data regarding bounces, complaints, unsubscribes, and more. The setup of these feedback loops is an important aspect to deliverability. Complaints can damage a reputation, so you should email addresses that register complaints from your target audience. It’s important to note that Gmail doesn’t provide this data back. List unsubscribe headers and engagement filtering are especially important for Gmail subscribers, who now comprise the majority of subscriber databases.
Authentication is the process that ISPs use to validate the identity of a sender. The two most common authentication protocols are Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM). These are not visible to the end user but do help ISPs filter email from verified senders. Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) is gaining popularity, although its policies aren’t yet incorporated by all ISPs in their reputation systems.
Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is an authentication method that allows the owner of a domain to specify which mail servers they use to send mail from that domain.
Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) is an authentication method that is used to detect forged sender addresses (commonly called spoofing). If DKIM is enabled, it allows the receiver to confirm if the sender is authorized to send mail from that domain.
Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) is an authentication method that allows domain owners the ability to protect their domain from unauthorized use. DMARC uses SPF or DKIM or both to allow a domain owner to control what happens to mail that fails authentication: delivered, quarantined, or rejected.