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What is DMARC?

Nic Getkate
Nic Getkate

The last concept of our technical deliverability series is DMARC (Domain Based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance) Yes that's a mouthful I know, but let’s make it easier for you to understand.

What is DMARC

DMARC makes it easier to stop malicious email practices, like email spoofing. Basically this allows email senders to specify how to handle emails that were not authenticated using SPF or DKIM.

Why use DMARC

The simple answer is to ensure that your recipients trust the emails and newsletters that you send to them.

When you are a newsletter creator or organization you would like the internet to trust the mail that you send to your customers or subscribers to give your own brands name a good reputation. But sometimes criminals use familiar brands to send out email blasts with your logo that trick unsuspecting victims into giving up their information. DMARC helps you protect you from this and build your own reputation.

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How to create a DMARC policy?

Just like we created an SPF and a DKIM, we are going to log into our domain registrar and add a TXT record, but here are few things you need to know first.

There are two required tags that MUST be in every DMARC Record. They are,

  • “v”   The only tag-value pair for "v" is v=DMARC1
  • “p”  For the "p" tag pair "p=" can be paired with none, quarantine, or reject. As tag-value pairs they would look like:p=none or p=quarantine or p=reject

*It’s recommended that all new DMARC records use the “p=none” policy to begin with.

DMARC Setup Steps

Step 1

Login to your domain registrar.

Step 2

Depending on your  provider you will likely see a drop down list of DNS record types to choose from. You will want to select the "TXT" one.

Step 3

Add your host value. It will most likely be “_DMARC

Step 4

Now you need to add your TXT value. Here is is an example of my newsletter’s DMARC for The Slice.

Host Record

TXT Value 

_DMARC

v=DMARC1; p=none; rua=mailto:dmarc@theslice.co.; sp=none

NB -  You will also need to add a “rua” tag that is written like this.

rua=mailto:domain@example.com.

  • Each tag in this list should be separated by semicolons
  • The "rua" & "ruf" tags support multiple email addresses with each separated by a comma.
  • There are several "Advanced Tags" that can be added, but aren't recommended for initial setup.

Step 5

Click save and you should be ready to go! You can then use a DMARC check tool like this one to verify the record you just created has the correct values and syntax.

Congratulations, you’ve just successfully added a DMARC policy to your domain!

Deliverability

Nic Getkate

Freelance Copywriter and newsletter curator.


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