By George Bilbrey
In an Email Insider column last week, Chad White wrote about the adoption of authentication processes and gave what we believe is a false impression that authentication is a sort-of annoying task that belongs down in the IT basement.
We believe authentication is something that should be front and center on the mind of every marketing executive. While they don’t need to know every technical detail, they should understand what it is and be able to ask intelligent questions of the IT folks so they can make sure the standards are being implemented.
In reporting that 43% of legitimate email volume is certified by Sender ID (a stat from Microsoft) and 48% of retailers have implemented DomainKeys, Chad sees the glass as half-full – most people authenticate, so let’s just get past this already.
We hate to be the pessimists here, but this glass looks a little more than half empty to us:
In email, as in life, it is very rare for something to come along that is straightforward, low-cost and almost assured to improve your situation. Authenticating your email (establishing Sender ID/SPF records and implementing DomainKeys) is something every legitimate commercial emailer should do immediately for their commercial and corporate mail streams. Email authentication is a win-win-win for ISPs, senders and consumers. Here are just a few of the benefits:
Authenticating your email is not terribly difficult – though it does require a little organization. Implementing Sender ID and SPF only requires a change to the domain’s DNS record. Most commercial and open source mail servers (MTAs) support DomainKeys. Need help? Check out our step-by-step guide to authentication.
It may be fair to equate authentication with blocking and tackling – not the most exciting stuff. But you’ve got to be great at those skills if you’re going to have any chance of scoring a touchdown.