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Email Authentication

Email authentication is one way of making the electronic marketplace more secure and improving consumer confidence in email. It simplifies and automates the process of identifying senders, and improves the likelihood that legitimate email will get through to the intended recipient. Using a postal analogy, email authentication can assure the recipient that your return address, letterhead and personal signature are “authentic”; i.e., not faked. Authentication helps prove that you are who you claim to be and that you have the right to send email from your IP address – the first step in ensuring you and your offer are legitimate – not a spammer in disguise giving our industry a bad name.

What types of email should be authenticated?

  • List Rental Email
  • Marketing & Promotional Email
  • Customer Service Email
  • Non-Bulk Corporate Communications Email
  • Email From Mobile Devices
  • Sales Email
  • Receipts of Shipping Confirmation Email
  • Monthly Statements Via Email
  • Newsletters Via Email

Why Authenticate?

In October 2005, the DMA Board of Directors mandated that member companies using email for communication and transactions begin using email identification and authentication protocols. We did this because it represents a good business practice, and because our members should be held to the highest standards to win and maintain consumer trust. Very soon, however, this mandate may become more than just “best practices”; it may be a necessary process in order to clear ISP gatekeepers, and ensure your email is delivered to your customers.

For more information check out the advantages of email authentication

How to Authenticate

After creating a list of all IP addresses that send email on your behalf (make sure to check with your IT staff and any Email Service Providers you work with) you have three options.

Sender Policy Framework (SPF)
Sender ID Framwork (SIDF)
DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)
How to Evaluate the Different Types of Authentication

CAN-SPAM Act of 2003

The CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) Act of 2003 established the United States first set of standards when it came to the sending commercially purposed email.

Additional CAN-SPAM Act Resources
Text of Senate Bill 877 (The CAN SPAM Act of 2003)
Anti-Spam FAQ


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