It’s always a concern when you send emails, and want to be sure that the sources you’re using are reliable and trustworthy. When you sign up for email marketing software, they usually provide a mailing list of their subscribers. But you have yet to determine if those people are interested in your niche or if they will open and click your emails. Checking an email address’s validity is easy and can give valuable insight for a better marketing campaign.
Importance of Verifying Email Source Reliability for Maintaining a Sender’s Reputation
Sender reputation is one of the most critical factors in email deliverability.
In its security blog, Google stated that its spam filter mechanisms prevent more than 10 million unsafe or unwanted emails from reaching users.
A good sender reputation helps ensure that your emails reach the inboxes of your subscribers and customers. A lousy sender reputation can cause your emails to be marked as spam and rejected by ISPs (Internet Service Providers).
Based on findings from the 2020 Consumer Email Tracker Report by the Data & Marketing Association, a mere 58% of users make it a daily habit to inspect their personal inbox’s spam folder.
Ways to Check if Your Email Sending Source is Valid
Here are some ways you can check if an email source is valid:
Email Header Examination
The first step in checking if the sender’s email source is valid is to examine the email header. The header contains information about the message that can be used to verify its authenticity.
Most email providers will allow you to view a copy of your email headers by visiting their website and entering your email address as the password.
Sender’s Domain Verification
Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is a DNS record that allows a domain to specify which mail servers are permitted to send email on behalf of the field. A message failing the SPF check may be rejected or marked as spam.
DKIM signatures can be added to an email message header to validate the sender’s legitimacy. When a message arrives at your server, it will look for a DKIM-Signature header in the incoming message.
If no DKIM-Signature header is found, or if there is a mismatch between the signature and public key in DNS records, the message is treated as suspect and may be rejected or marked as spam.
Domain alignment and authentication policy
If you’re using DMARC, you can set up an enforced policy to ensure only legitimate senders can transact messages from your domain. To do so, make sure the DMARC policy you implement is either “reject” or “quarantine”. This establishes boundaries that makes sure unreliable email sources cannot impersonate your domain name and get away with cheating your clients.
Use Verified Channels
Verified channels help ensure that emails are coming from where they say they are coming from. It’s essential for both business and personal accounts because it protects your privacy and security online.
If a spammer tries to impersonate your company or personal account, verified channels will reject those emails as spam and keep them out of your inbox.
Search for IP and Domain Deny Listings Regularly
If you want to send emails that look like they’re coming from a different address, you must ensure that your server’s IP address matches.
This can be done by searching for your IP address on the DenyListings website. If you find your IP on their list, people may think your emails are spam because they come from an IP address associated with spam or viruses.
You should consider changing your server’s IP to no longer match those on the list.
Send Yourself Messages
If you don’t receive an email from yourself, it could mean someone else knows your password.
It allows them access to your account and all its contents, including emails from others who use Gmail or G Suite apps (Docs, Drive).
This also means that whoever knows your password could have sent you this suspicious message without being present at the computer when they typed it!
Check the Email Domain Name
You need to recognize the domain name to ensure it’s legitimate. For example, a message that looks like it came from “[email protected]” might have originated elsewhere.
To double-check, enter the domain into a search engine or use an online tool to see if it matches the company name.
Search the Address in Google
Another way to verify an email address is to search for it in Google.
If you find any results, someone has registered this email address with Google.
It means it’s no longer available for registration or that this person has used this email address and still owns it.
Consequences of Messages Being Sent from Unreliable Email Sources
If you are getting a lot of complaints about your email delivery, it could be because many recipients are receiving emails from unreliable senders that are using your address.
Here are some consequences of sending messages with an invalid source email address:
If your message gets blocked for spam or bounces back, it can hurt your brand’s reputation.The recipient may think you need to care more about them to send an email from a legitimate source. This will affect their perception of your business, which could lead to fewer sales and fewer referrals.
Email Delivery Issues
When messages are sent from malicious sources, the original sender often put themselves at risk for spam filters. If the filter thinks their email is spam, it may get sent straight to the recipient’s spam folder or blocked altogether.
In addition to being inconvenient for the recipient, this can have severe implications for your business if you send out large amounts of spam emails consistently.
Related Read: Email Marketing Deliverability Best Practices
Loss of Credibility
If someone receives an email from a friend or colleague and finds out they were using an invalid address, they might think twice about trusting them in the future.
This can undermine their ability to collaborate effectively with others or connect with new people who could help grow their business in new ways.
Failing to verify the validity of an email address can lead to legal implications. For example, if you’re sending out mass marketing messages and one recipient claims damages due to receiving your message, you may be liable for any damages they suffered.
If you don’t verify that the email address is valid, it is easier for spammers and phishers to use your system as a conduit for their attacks. If someone else spoofs your email address, they could use it to send out spam or phishing emails under your domain name without your knowledge or consent. This can cause severe damage to your reputation if people think you are responsible for emails being sent out under your domain name.
As always, feel free to take a moment to double-check the details of your email sources. That way, you can remain confident that everything is in order (thank goodness!) and have a little peace of mind to boot.
We hope this guide has helped you refine your email sourcing skills, and we encourage all businesses to sign up for our free DMARC trial to ensure legitimacy and preserve your brand’s reputation and credibility.
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