Some email providers have been making big changes in an effort to thwart spammers, and inadvertently, your emails may not be reaching your supporters.
Have you heard of DMARC?
Email providers, like AOL and Yahoo, are using a new technique called DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) to protect their users from fake, spammy, or malicious emails arriving in their inboxes. DMARC allows mass market email providers to ensure that when you send a message, you're not "spoofing" their domain name. i.e., that your message to Yahoo users (from a Yahoo email address) is really being sent from within Yahoo's email program. In a technical sense, CRM providers (like thedatabank) do exactly this--we spoof your domain name in order to make it appear that the message came from whatever email address you specify, not from within a mass email system.
What does this mean for your organization?
Currently, if you send an email via your CRM and enter a yahoo.com or aol.com address on the ‘From’ line, your message will be bounced by a majority of email servers. This means that not only will these people not receive your message, but their email address could permanently be marked as undeliverable or bad. For now, only Yahoo and AOL are actively using DMARC, but it is expected that all other email providers will eventually follow their lead and implement DMARC as well.
What can I do to make sure my emails get through?
You should ALWAYS send emails from your CRM account using a domain name that you own (e.g. ournonprofitsname.org - see pictured example below). If you’re already doing this, there is nothing more you need to do - your emails won’t be getting bounced because you own the domain. Any email sent through your CRM with a ‘From’ address of a major email provider, like yahoo.com, etc. is likely to cause problems. If you do not have an email address associated with your domain name, you should work with your web hosting company to get at least one domain based email address set up.
It’s still okay to reference any email address within your communications--you can still tell people to RSVP to or email you back at a gmail or yahoo email address. You just should not be using those addresses in the ‘From’ line of emails you send via your CRM.
Is there anything else we can do?
If your organization wants to take email deliverability one step further, consider working with your domain name host to add a Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record to your domain information. Your CRM provider can provide you with the information you need to help ensure that all of your emails reach the intended recipients. More information on SPF can be found at: http://www.openspf.org/
You can also get more technical information about DMARC at it’s official website: dmarc.org.
Questions about this new issue? Leave us a comment and I’ll be sure to answer you as best I can.