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How to Stop My Emails from Going to the Junk Folder?

A very common question asked by domain owners is “why are my emails landing up in the junk folder instead of the recipients’ inboxes?”. Now it is important to note that the underlying reason behind emails going to the junk folder is never unidirectional, but can be due to various reasons starting from simple inducements like a poorly written email to more complex causes like in case your domain name has been previously used for spam. In either of the cases, your emails landing in the spam folder drastically affects your email deliverability rate and domain reputation. 

If you want to quickly resolve this obstacle all while ensuring that your emails always reach their designated destinations in future, you have come to the right place. Without beating around the bush much, let’s get right into the solution for stopping your emails from getting flagged as spam: opt for email authentication solutions from a reliable service provider today!

How Does Email Authentication Improve Email Deliverability?

Remember that it is all about boosting your domain’s reputation and ensuring that your domain is not used to carry out malicious activities like spoofing or phishing attacks and BEC. This is exactly what an email authentication protocol like DMARC does. Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) is an industry-recommended email authentication standard that makes use of SPF and DKIM to authenticate email messages sent from your domain. DMARC exists in your domain’s DNS as a DNS TXT record specifying to receiving servers how they should treat emails that fail authentication (probable spoofing/phishing emails sent by threat actors using your domain name).

However, it isn’t as easy and it appears to be. Simply publishing a DMARC record would not protect you against email fraud, rather it might worsen the situation in case you have incorrectly configured your authentication protocols. For implementing DMARC correctly you need to set up SPF and DKIM for your domain with the correct syntax and policy mode. Furthermore, only a DMARC policy level of enforcement (p=reject/quarantine) can adequately protect your domain against BEC and spoofing.

Keeping all of this in mind, eventually with DMARC you can observe a more than 10% increase in your email deliverability rate and a noticeable decrease in the number of emails landing in the spam folder.

How Can I Properly Configure DMARC to Stop Being Marked as Spam?

You can follow the steps given below to setup DMARC correctly for your domain:

  • Make a note of all authorized sending sources that can send emails on behalf of your domain.
  • Setup SPF for your domain completely free of cost, with PowerDMARC’s  free SPF record generator.
  • Configure DKIM for your domain with PowerDMARC’s free DKIM record generator.
  • Configure DMARC for your domain with PowerDMARC’s free DMARC record generator.
  • Lookup and validate your records.
  • Monitor your authentication results and email flow with automatically generated and easy to comprehend DMARC aggregate and forensic reports using our DMARC analyzer tool, so that you can shift from a none policy to DMARC enforcement in no time!

You can find all the record generators in the PowerDMARC toolbox

Additional Recommendations on Stopping Emails from Going to the Junk Folder

Stay under the SPF hard limit

You may not be aware of this but SPF authentication comes with a DNS lookup limit of 10. Exceeding this limit invalidates your SPF record causing SPF to break and even legitimate emails to fail authentication checks. In such cases an SPF permerror result is returned if you have enabled DMARC monitoring for your domain. Hence, staying under the SPF 10 DNS Lookup Limit is imperative to ensure your emails reach your recipients’ inboxes.

Report abusive IP addresses

Blacklisting abusive IP addresses that are using your domain name to conduct fraud can be an important step towards ensuring that similar incidents do not take place in the future. Our DMARC analyzer can help your report malicious addresses from all around the world, in real-time, to make sure they can no longer use your domain for fraudulent activities again!

Gain 100% DMARC compliance

Align emails sent via your domain against both SPF and DKIM authentication standards to gain 100% DMARC compliance. This would considerably improve your senders’ reputation over time and minimize the chances of your emails being flagged as spam.

Sign up with PowerDMARC today to get your free DMARC and take the first step towards preventing your emails from going to the junk folder!

A very common problem that SPF users face on a daily basis is the risk of generating too many DNS lookups that can make them easily exceed the SPF hard limit. This returns an SPF PermError result when DMARC monitoring is enabled and causes email deliverability issues. With industry experts coming up with solutions like SPF flattening services to mitigate this issue, PowerSPF actually delivers its claims and exceeds expectations. Read on to learn how!

Too Many DNS Lookups: Why Does This Happen?

The first thing you should understand is why you end up generating too many DNS lookups in the first place. This is because, no matter what email exchanger solution you use, your service provider adds more mechanisms to your record resulting in more lookups.

For example if you use Google’s email exchanger, or Gmail, an SPF record like v=spf1 include:[email protected] -all  actually generates a total of 4 DNS lookups. Nested includes also initiate more lookups and if you use several third-party vendors to send emails using your domain, you can easily exceed the 10 DNS lookup limit.

Is SPF Flattening the Solution? No!

The answer is no. SPF manual flattening can help you stay under the SPF 10 lookup limit, but it has its own set of limitations and challenges. If you flatten your SPF manually, it is simply replacing the include statements in your SPF record with their corresponding IP addresses to eliminate the need for lookups. This ensures that you don’t end up generating too many DNS lookups in the first place, thereby helping you stay under the 10 lookup SPF limit and avoid permerror . But problems with manual SPF flattening solutions are:

  • The SPF record length can be too long (more than 255 characters)
  • Your email service provider can change or add to their IP addresses without notifying you
  • There is no dashboard to monitor email flow, change or update your domains and mechanisms, and track activities
  • You need to constantly make changes to your DNS to update your SPF record
  • Your email deliverability might be impacted due to the frequent IP changes

How do these affect you? Well, if your SPF record isn’t updated on the new IP addresses your email service providers are using, every now and then when these IP addresses are used your emails will inevitably fail SPF on the receiver’s side. 

Dynamic SPF Flattening to Resolve Too Many DNS Lookups

A smarter solution to bid adieu to DNS lookups error is PowerSPF, your automatic SPF record flattener. PowerSPF is your real-time SPF flattening solution that helps you:

  • Easily configure SPF for your domain with just a few clicks
  • One-click instant SPF record flattening with a single include statement to enjoy automatic SPF include management
  • Always stay under the 10 DNS lookup limit
  • Auto update netblock and scan for changed IP addresses constantly to keep your SPF record up-to-date
  • Maintain a user-friendly dashboard wherein you can easily update changes to your policies, add domains and mechanisms, and monitor email flow.

Why rely on SPF compression tools that can provide temporary results with underlying limitations? Optimize your SPF Record and mitigate the SPF hard limit with  Automatic SPF today! Sign up for PowerSPF now?

The rate at which emails make it through to the recipients’ inboxes is called the email deliverability rate. This rate can get slowed down or delayed or even lead to failure in delivery when emails end up in the spam folder or get blocked out by receiving servers. It is essentially an important parameter to measure the success of your emails reaching your desired receivers’ inboxes without being marked as spam. Email authentication is definitely one of the options authentication novices out there can resort to, to see a substantial improvement in email deliverability over time.

In this blog we are here to talk to you about how you can improve your email deliverability rate with ease and also discuss the best industry practices to ensure smooth flow of messages across all your email channels!

What is Email Authentication?

Email authentication is the technique used for validating your email for authenticity against all authorized sources that are allowed to send emails from your domain. It further helps in validating the domain ownership of any Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) involved in transferring or modifying an email.

Why Do You Need Email Authentication?

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) which is the internet standard for email transfer, contains no feature to authenticate inbound and outbound emails, allowing cybercriminals to exploit the lack of secure protocols in SMTP. This can be used by threat actors to perpetrate email phishing scams, BEC and domain spoofing attacks wherein they can impersonate your brand and harm its reputation and credibility. Email authentication enhances the security of your domain against impersonation and fraud, indicating to receiving servers that your emails are DMARC compliant and arise from valid and authentic sources. It also serves as a checkpoint for unauthorized and malicious IP addresses sending emails from your domain.

To protect your brand image, minimize cyber threats, BEC and ensure improved deliverability rate, email authentication is a must!

Email Authentication Best Practices

Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

SPF is present in your DNS as a TXT record, displaying all the valid sources that are authorized to send emails from your domain. Every email that leaves your domain has an IP address that identifies your server and the email service provider used by your domain that is enlisted within your DNS as an SPF record. The receiver’s mail server validates the email against your SPF record to authenticate it and accordingly marks the email as SPF pass or fail.

Note that SPF has a 10 DNS lookup limit, exceeding which can return a PermError result and lead to SPF failure. This can be mitigated by using PowerSPF to stay under the lookup limit at all times!

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)

DKIM is a standard email authentication protocol that assigns a cryptographic signature, created using a private key, to validate emails in the receiving server, wherein the receiver can retrieve the public key from the sender’s DNS to authenticate the messages. Much like SPF, the DKIM public key also exists as a TXT record in the DNS of the domain owner.

Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC)

Simply implementing SPF and DKIM is just not enough since there is no way for domain owners to control how receiving servers respond to emails that fail authentication checks.

DMARC is the most widely used email authentication standard in the current time, which is designed to empower domain owners with the ability to specify to receiving servers how they should handle messages that fail SPF or DKIM or both. This in turn helps in protecting their domain from unauthorized access and email spoofing attacks.

How Can DMARC Improve Email Deliverability?

  • When publishing a DMARC record in your domain’s DNS, the domain owner requests receiving servers supporting DMARC, to send feedback on the emails which they receive for that domain, automatically indicating to receiving servers that your domain extends support towards secure protocols and authentication standards for emails, like DMARC, SPF and DKIM.
  • DMARC aggregate reports help you gain increased visibility into your email ecosystem, enabling you to view your email authentication results, detect authentication failures and mitigate delivery issues.
  • By enforcing your DMARC policy you can block malicious emails impersonating your brand from landing into the inboxes of your receivers.

Additional Tips on Improving Email Deliverability:

  • Enable visual identification of your brand in your receivers’ inboxes with BIMI
  • Ensure TLS encryption of emails in transit with MTA-STS
  • Detect and respond to email delivery issues by enabling extensive reporting mechanism with TLS-RPT

PowerDMARC is a single email authentication SaaS platform that combines all email authentication best practices such as DMARC, SPF, DKIM, BIMI, MTA-STS and TLS-RPT, under the same roof. Sign up today with PowerDMARC and witness a considerable improvement in email deliverability with our enhanced email security and authentication suite.