If you have configured a marketing automation platform (MAP) in the last few years you may have been asked to create SPF and DKIM records in the process. At the time, a consultant (or IT person) may have said “just do this because it’s important.”
While that statement is very true, it doesn’t give you much to go on other than trust. There is a “Safer Internet Day” (no, I wouldn’t have guessed that either), and Gmail celebrates by giving their users tools to see the technical authentication of an email (Making email safer for you). This is a great step towards putting more power in the hands of the inbox holder, we as marketers need to take away that our technical configuration matters even more now than ever.
You may be saying “OH it’s ok, I’m a B2B marketer and don’t have a lot of @gmail addresses I email,” …. well, that’s a little less than true. It’s important to remember that not only is Gmail a leading ISP who’s actions often have trailing impacts on other ISPs, they also provide many business services including branded email setups similar to what Microsoft Exchanges provides to the business community. Suddenly what Gmail does matters to you whether you are a B2C or B2B marketer.
So, how do you configure things properly to ensure this isn’t your barrier to delivery? If you’re working with a MAP, you should start there and contact support to get the ball rolling. They will provide you with the necessary documentation to get this configured on your side (Hint: IT will probably need to be involved on your end).
If you are working with a home-grown system, here’s a few resources for the technical configuration aspects:
- DKIM Explained: How to Set Up and Use DomainKeys Identified Mail Effectively
- How to Set Up DMARC Email Authentication
- How to Build Your SPF record in 5 Simple Steps
Remember, deliverability is a big hairy beast, getting the technical configuration is just the beginning, for more tips, tricks and details I’d recommend our Deliverability Primers and the Deliverability Primer Part 2.