My Blog ~ DMARC Fun


One of the biggest problems newsletter authors have is their handily crafted periodicals ending up in the Spam folder or otherwise marked as less desirable. We depend on a relationship of trust and reliability with our members. Ending up in their Spam folder or with our messages marked as unsafe is a catastrophe for us.

We have thankfully been given tools to help prevent that. SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. For those of us who have full control over their hosting, it is trivial to insert entries for each of these into our Zone settings, verifying our domain to the global email transit system. A trusted email is less likely to find its way to the Spam folder or worse. 

However, the settings can be tricky when dealing with the tolerances of various mail systems. For instance, Google is notorious for labeling legit emails as “Dangerous.” I had set my ASPF and ADKIM to Strict, and it appears that Google didn’t like that, especially when it came to emails generated by MailerLite. Despite the SPF, DKIM, and DMARC settings passing exhaustive and exhausting validation tests, Google found an anomalous reason to reject my SPF setting. Suddenly, emails going to Gmail accounts from me were marked as a malicious threat. 

I actually had to relax my settings for ASPF and ADKIM to “Relaxed” to get around this Gmail rubbish. I wanted Strict for higher trustworthiness and Google didn’t like it. Since easily half of my current subscribers are on Gmail, what Gmail wants is what they get if I hope to send emails to my friends there, even if it’s less restrictive. Who would have thunk Gmail was light on security? 

This is just a little look into the razor’s edge that we must balance on to do business on the internet and communicate with you. Continuous and constant tweaking as mail handlers frequently change. But sharing my universe with you is worth the extra effort. 

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