What is email authentication and how do I set it up?

 

By authenticating a senders email address it removes the eMarketing@CRMaccount.com on behalf of.... from the senders name when you send an email campaign out via e-Marketing.

Authenticating an email address will also help to improve your deliverability on your future e-Marketing campaigns. 


We strongly recommend that you authenticate and use a persons email address rather than an info@ or sales@ email address.


Please Note: we do not advise the use of free source email addresses such as Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail for when sending out e-Marketing campaigns as these are likely to receive high bounce rates and could be seen as spam by the recipients.  


It is strongly recommended that you set up and use a domain email address.


Please let us know the email domain that you would like authenticated and we will send you an email to the chosen email address(s) from SparkPost. 

 

When you receive this email it will have the subject line of 'Sparkpost - Verified Domains' please do not click on the activation link in this email but instead just forward the email to our Support Helpdesk or us to set up the authentication of your email address domain.


Why do you need to authenticate an email address? 


We provide email authentication to increase the deliverability and security of your email campaigns. This article explains what authentication is, why it is a good idea to use it, and what your options are for setting it up.


Authentication and how it works :


Because of the way email was originally built it is very easy to forge, meaning an email sender might not be who they say they are. 


An example of this is an email message claiming to be from your bank, when it is actually a scam aimed at stealing money or spreading malicious software.


Authentication technology prevents this from happening by giving ISPs (Internet Service Providers) a record of identification to check, to ensure the sender is legitimate. 


Emails that fail to pass authentication checks may be blocked or put through additional filters, potentially preventing them from reaching the inbox.


ISPs like AOL, Gmail or Yahoo! (as well as corporate email servers) use one or more of these authentication methods to verify sender identity. 


Set up SPF and DKIM Records 


To improve your sender reputation and deliverability further, we strongly recommend that you set up a few DNS (Domain Name System) records.


As part of this you will need to add an SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) record to your (Domain Name System) DNS which is done normally done by your system administrator by adding the SPF and DKIM records to your DNS via your domain host such as 1 &1 or GoDaddy for example.



SPF and DKIM Authentication


SPF and DKIM are authentication systems that tell Internet Service Providers (ISPs), like Gmail and Yahoo, that incoming mail has been sent from an authorized system, and that it is not spam or email spoofing.


To set our marketing platform SparkPost as an authorised sender, you will need to setup your SPF and DKIM authentication for your sending email domain. Once setup, SPF and DKIM will also help with your deliverability – meaning your emails have a better chance of delivered to the recipient’s inbox and not their spam folder.


As you need to configure your domain for SPF and DKIM authentication, it can only be done on custom domains or domains that you own. 


It also means SPF and DKIM authentication cannot be done for free webmail accounts like Google, Yahoo, and Hotmail.


Setup Overview


To setup SPF and DKIM authentication for your domain, you will need access to your DNS records in your domain hosting account (GoDaddy, 1&1, HostGator, OVH, ….). 


Please Note: If you cannot find, or do not have access to your DNS records, please contact your domain hosting provider for assistance.


What next, how to set up your email authentication?


To add the SPF and DKIM records for your sending domain, you will need to add records of type 'TXT' through your hosting provider, domain registrar, or DNS provider. 


We recommend referring to your host providers help documentation for specific information on adding TXT records.


If you have access to your DNS then we can send you information on what you need to do to add the SPF and DKIM records into the DNS settings.


Once you have added the SPF and DKIM records to your DNS via your domain host then this tells the email servers that you are authorised to send emails and your email is less likely to be blocked by spam filters. 


Add DMARC Records 


As a further step to protect your domain name/brand from phishing attempts and help ensure that your email is accepted by ISPs you can set up DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) records which can be implemented in conjunction with SPF and DKIM on your Domain Name System (DNS). 


DMARC helps you manage your domains email reputation as DMARC is a policy that tells the recipient servers how to react if they receive an email that appears to be sent by you (your domain) when actually it has not been sent by you at all and is instead a phishing attack (scam).


You can set your DMARC policy to simply monitor the email being sent using your domain, or you can tell mailbox providers to quarantine it to the spam folder or reject unauthenticated emails completely.