EEC Releases Updated Email Authentication Guide

Much has changed in the decade since the EEC last updated the Email Authentication FAQ. In 2006, DKIM was barely two years old, Sender ID was still a thing and DMARC hadn’t even been invented. The eec Advocacy Subcommittee believed it was high time to bring it up-to-date.

Generally speaking email technology is slow to change. The enormous amount of infrastructure and diversity of platforms makes any change a massive undertaking. In the last ten years, great strides have been made in the area of authentication. There are three inter-related areas in which authentication has moved forward.

First, in 2006 authentication was a best practice, good to have but not essential. Today it is effectively mandatory. If your email is not authenticated it will likely not get delivered.

Second, in 2006 it was mostly about IP addresses. In 2016, IP addresses still matter but it’s now also very much about domains. DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) and DMARC (Domain Message Authentication Reporting & Conformance) are both domain-based and ISPs are increasingly basing reputation on domains.

Third, and perhaps most significantly, DMARC did not even exist ten years ago. Today it is used by 30% of top global brands and over 40% of North American brands. More importantly to email marketers, the major ISPs including Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, and AOL all implement DMARC to some degree.

These changes have significantly increased how important it is for every email marketer to understand authentication, the protocols and processes involved and how it affects their messages.

The eec Advocacy Subcommittee created the Email Authentication Guide: FAQ to provide answers to the essential questions email marketers have about why, when and how to implement authentication.

The Email Authentication FAQ Guide is divided into five key sections:emailauthentication-cover450

  • Basics of Email Authentication Technologies
  • Basic FAQs on the DMA’s Email Authentication Guidelines
  • Implementation: Complementary Types of Email Authentication Systems
  • Beyond Authentication: Email Reputation
  • Email Authentication Resources for Marketers

We hope you find this Guide informative and useful.

Derek Harding
Vice-Chair of eec Advocacy Subcommittee
Principal, Little Bee Consulting