Google plans to adopt strict DMARC policy on email starting June 2016, as announced last year, aiming to control unauthenticated mail sent via gmail.com. DMARC stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance, and is a non-profit organization that promotes the use of technology to prevent fraudulent emails. For more information about DMARC, please visit https://dmarc.org/.
What this means is that Google will move to a policy of rejecting messages on Gmail.com that don’t pass the authentication checks spelled out by the DMARC protocol.
On the same note, Yahoo was the first major service provider to implement the strict DMARC policy, back in April 2014. Yahoo adopted the policy after persistent attacks on its users led to widespread complaints. While the policy resolved many abuse issues in the short-term, it caused a significant volume of valid messages to fail or bounce. This resulted in a great deal of confusion for anyone using a third-party email service, to send messages on behalf of their Yahoo email address.
What does this mean for your practice?
If you use a gmail.com address as your “from” address when sending messages via Universal’s eBroadcast system, you will have to make changes before June, or risk having your messages fail to reach your intended recipients.
The stricter DMARC policy means that emails sent via a third-party service, using a Gmail.com email, will likely be filtered or blocked altogether. DMARC also applies other checks to determine fraudulent email, such as your email’s electronic authentication signature.
Gmail and Yahoo are generally not ideal for practice management communications. If you are using Gmail to send your business emails, now would be a good time to upgrade to service providers better suited to your purpose.
In a previous blog, Why Bulk Email Service is Better Than Your Inbox for Broadcast and Notifications, we talked about why you’d want to use email providers designed for bulk email services.
That blog recommended email notification services such as ElasticEmail and SendGrid, which will increase your deliverability, avoid spam filters and have greater capacity to send a larger number of emails at once. Ultimately, they’ll help you further your email marketing, and give your emails the best chance of arriving safe and sound in your client’s inbox.
Now is a good time to get your practice management ahead of the curve, before Google implements the strict DMARC policy on emails next month, and potentially throws a curveball into your email communications.