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What you need to know about DMARC for Gmail and Yahoo Mail

What you need to know about DMARC for Gmail and Yahoo Mail

A new year is synonymous with resolutions, right? It’s time to draft a book-reading challenge, promise we’ll visit the gym more often, and try to focus on mental health.

Have you heard about the one to boost your email marketing’s security?

Both Google and Yahoo have a New Year’s resolution for 2024, and it’s to reduce the occurrence of spoofed emails across millions of inboxes. 

If you’re a bulk email sender, you play a role in helping reach the goal, whether you want to or not. 

Each email service provider (ESP) requires bulk senders to adopt authentication technology called DMARC. 

What does it mean, what do you have to do, and by when? We’re explaining it all. 

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What is DMARC? 

Acronyms generally help people avoid confusion and approach things rationally. So, this new DMARC requirement is a fun addition to your DNS records.

OK, I’ll drop the sarcasm. 

I’m sure everyone here already understands DMARC, which stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance. But just for the sake of whoever is reading your screen over your shoulder … (OK, I’m stopping now.)

DMARC is a fancy way of telling the email receiver — the ESP, such as Gmail — what to do if an email’s “from” address doesn’t match its sending address. 

Here’s an overly simplified example from “CHASE BANK.” Notice the sending address is from Chase Bank <security@chase.com>. In actuality, the email’s sending address is security@thereelchasebank.xyz. 

Essentially, the sender is claiming to be from Chase Bank. But when the email service proceeds to check if it’s actually signed by Chase Bank, it will fail DMARC verification.

screenshot of an email as diplayed on a mobile phone from Chase Online <security@chase.com>

DMARC helps providers recognize such unverified emails and quarantine or reject them. Then, it sends a notification email to the real Chase Bank to alert the company to suspicious sending. 

Everything happens without email subscribers receiving the email, which minimizes the risk to Chase Bank.

That all sounds great. Except, people who don’t regularly operate within the email deliverability world must now take actions that could significantly impact their email deliverability. 

If you do it wrong, you could break your email-based communication systems. That could be your email marketing plus internal emails and help desk communications. 

Sound scary? That’s a normal response. We’ve heard from many Seguno merchants anxious about Gmail and Yahoo Mail DMARC stipulations. 

Let’s address the most common concerns.

Who needs to adopt DMARC?

Having DMARC in place is a best practice for everyone, but the Gmail and Yahoo Mail requirements are specific to “bulk senders.” 

What’s a bulk sender? Merchants that send around 5,000 emails daily to Gmail or Yahoo from their domain (not one of Seguno’s shared sending domains.) 

To keep it simple, we recommend that any Shopify merchant with more than 5,000 subscribers authenticates their sending domain and adds the DMARC record.

Not sure if you’ve already taken these steps? Verify with a free domain checker provided by dmarcian.com.

How will this help me?

The new stipulations delineate that DMARC is a requirement if you want your marketing emails to get through to Gmail and Yahoo Mail users. But you should want your Shopify store to adopt it for broader benefits. 

I mentioned that implementing DMARC is a best practice. It signals to major ESPs that you care about being a responsible email sender and have joined the fight against spammers. You’re a trustworthy sender in their eyes. You’re also helping to reduce the volume of spoofing emails that look legitimate to many unsuspecting recipients. 

Your emails have a better shot at landing in the inbox because you’ve demonstrated a commitment to safety, compliance, and upholding your domain’s reputation.   

The inbox is your goal. It’s why you create email marketing — so that it will reach your subscribers.  

When are Google and Yahoo making senders implement DMARC?

Google and Yahoo are taking a phased approach. Beginning in February, bulk senders that fail to meet these DMARC requirements may start to see that email deliveries to Gmail and Yahoo Mail are “delayed.” 

Both ESPs have indicated that a few months later, they’ll move to quarantine and subsequently reject (aka bounce) emails from bulk senders that don’t comply with the DMARC mandate. 

How much will the DMARC policy cost my business?

You can add the DMARC record through your domain host. It does not carry an additional cost. 

It’s not necessary to hire a service to add your DMARC record, but you might consider using one to monitor those notification emails I mentioned earlier. 

The notifications are not fun to read. They can generate confusion if you’re not intimately familiar with all sending systems.

OK, what is the easiest way to adopt DMARC?

To set up your DMARC record, you’ll need: 

  1. Your domain host login (to get to your DNS panel)
  2. To decide how you want to handle the subsequent email reports (pay a service to monitor them, or have them sent to you and sorted into an appropriate folder.) As part of the DMARC record, you’ll provide an email address for sending accepted and failed DMARC reports (it can be the same address for both).
  3. About 15 minutes

Seguno is working on a simple solution to help you add your record for the major domain providers. Once we launch it, we’ll be ready to help you navigate your domain’s settings panel and place the record for you.

But if you prefer to implement DMARC now, we’re happy to provide Seguno users with some basic guidance (contact Seguno Support at help@seguno.com). We highly recommend working with one of these DMARC platforms (free and paid plans available for each):

  1. DMARCian  
  2. Easy DMARC  
  3. DMARC Report 

Where can I find the technical details about DMARC, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail? 

If you want a deeper understanding of the new DMARC regulations and are comfortable with interpreting the sender guidelines, check out: 

I’m still unsure about this. Can I talk to someone?

Absolutely. Seguno customers always have access to deliverability support. Speak with someone who will answer all your questions about DMARC, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail and guide you through this process. 

Open a support case by sending an email to help@seguno.com. Mention DMARC in the subject line with your question, and we’ll go from there. We are happy to schedule a meeting to complete the DMARC addition together if needed.

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