E-Commerce Email Verification: Do You Even DMARC?

January 25, 2024  
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Successful delivery of mass emails by bulk senders is about to become more difficult. Google and Yahoo are the two big providers most often mentioned in relevant notifications, but others will be implementing changes as well. “Best practices” for email verification are shortly going to be required practices. 

BLUF: If you use MailChimp, Listrak, Klaviyo, or something similar for e-commerce, your adherence to what were best practices will become mandatory.

The changes kick off in February 2024. None of them are private or secret, but they are definitely not widely known in my circles. In fact, if the subject hadn’t come up during a recent SHOT Show lunch with Charles Anderson of GAT Marketing, I would have completely missed it.

Until our Breach-Bang-Clear emails started misdelivering. And maybe not even then.

The change is all about email authentication for the suppression of spam emails. Not only will email service providers require bulk senders to be more stringent when it comes to verifying recipients, but the tolerance for reported spam will also be substantially reduced.

The new spam complaint rate threshold will reportedly be 3 per thousand (0.3%). If I understand correctly that’s roughly half of what it was before. I lack the background and knowledge to say that with certainty, but I do know it’s a more restrictive number than what was allowed before.

That means (in the case of the 0.3%), if you send an “email blast” to 10,000 customers, you have to stay below 30 spam complaints. Cross that threshold and you risk not only significant issues with your email delivery, you could be effectively blacklisted from sending e-com emails at all.

What’s worse, you might not even realize it’s happening. In at least some reported cases during test rollouts, messages were not reported as flagged or bounced. They just sorta disappeared into the cyber-ether-whatever. This means the effectiveness of an email campaign will suffer, obviously, but to add insult to injury you’ll be spending money on contacts you’re no longer benefiting from.

Without realizing it.

So not only are they making things more difficult to meet minimum requirements, they’re reducing the tolerance for complaints too. 

This isn’t any relation to the shadow-banning or penalization of firearm-related businesses like we’ve seen on social media. The changes aren’t restricted to any particular industry or specific niche. They’re across the board.

I do think it’s going to be particularly troublesome for firearm-related businesses, though. Not because of any anti-Second Amendment sentiments, but because the firearms industry in general tends to lag behind other industries in its understanding and implementation of cyber-related matters like e-commerce and Search Engine Optimization.

Relatively few of us in this space – myself included- pay attention to the intricacies of things like search algorithms and DMARC authentication.

I wouldn’t have realized the extent of the upcoming changes if not for my conversation with Charles, and I half-ass pay attention to these things.

Now, I’m not someone who can speak with any authority about how to ensure email verification processes and optimization of your e-comm efforts.  But hopefully this at least put the upcoming restrictions on your radar.

Your specific validation procedures may vary depending on your bulk email service, but I’ll link some articles to get you started below.

Hat tip to Charles at GAT Marketing for the conversation and the heads-up!

 

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David Reeder

David Reeder

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