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Deliverability DMARC

3 Things You Need to Know About DMARC and Deliverability

For an email marketing manager, Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) might be considered just a part of deliverability, but there’s so much more to it than that. DMARC has a whole other life in security, helping protect you and others against phishing and spoofing and ensuring that nobody (other than you) gets to use your domain in email messages.

Because DMARC lives a dual life—walking the path of deliverability and security—sometimes the messaging can get a little confusing. Sometimes, people assume DMARC can do something it isn’t meant to do (and won’t do). How much does DMARC actually help with deliverability, and how?

DMARC and deliverability are pretty good friends and work well together. Here are the three things you need to know about DMARC and Deliverability—what DMARC will do to help you improve your email deliverability and what it will not do.

1. DMARC Does Not Guarantee Inbox Placement

I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve read a Reddit thread that started with “I configured DMARC and my email’s still going to the spam folder!” I’d have at least six dollars! Because that’s not how DMARC works.

Inbox providers do not look for the presence of DMARC as a flag to guarantee inbox placement. In other words, DMARC, by itself, is just part of what you need to do to get email delivered successfully.

2. You Will Not Reliably Get to the Inbox Without DMARC

That’s a tricky statement, I admit. Let’s thread that needle with nuance: DMARC doesn’t guarantee inbox placement, but lack of DMARC is almost always an impediment to reliable inbox placement. That’s really been the case for most big senders for years, but thanks to the Yahoo and Google sender requirements update, it’s now true for most email senders.

Not only have two of the top three inbox providers made DMARC an explicit requirement, but having DMARC in place helps them better identify good email from bad email, and if you’re a good sender, you effectively benefit from this.

On top of that, properly implemented DMARC keeps the phishers and spoofers from abusing your domain, which denies them the chance to damage your domain reputation.

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3. DMARC Is the Start, Not the End (When It Comes to Deliverability and Reputation)

People who complain about lack of inbox placement after enabling DMARC have to remember: Properly implemented technology does not excuse a sender from proper marketing strategy. Email has to be wanted and sent only to people who asked to receive it. If they’re not engaging with your email messages, you’re not going to get to the inbox.

The best email marketing automation platforms in the world all have one thing in common: They’re all pretty bad at getting unwanted email delivered to the inbox. Through no fault of their own – it’s just that the inbox providers have gotten very good at determining wanted email from unwanted email, and they choose to deliver only the wanted email to the inbox, necessarily, to keep their users happy.

Leverage DMARC for Deliverability

I’ll point out that there are other benefits to discuss and more details we could explore, but I wanted to find a place to start that made the most sense for folks and help everyone easily understand how DMARC actually helps deliverability. It really does boil down to being a good sender, and DMARC is a good and necessary tool in the toolbox to help you get email delivered to the inbox.

Here at Valimail, we’re building the future of trusted email inboxes. We can help you on your DMARC journey so you can get that boost in deliverability. With Valimail Enforce, our customers have seen up to a 10% increase in deliverability thanks to a better sending reputation. 

Want to learn how our DMARC experts can help you? 


al iverson

Al Iverson is Valimail’s Industry Research and Community Engagement Lead, bringing over 25 years of experience in email marketing, technology, and deliverability. He’s committed to helping people learn more about DMARC and adopt it beyond just the minimum requirements while also helping good people send email and get their email delivered.