All You Need to Know About E-mail Authentication
A recent Direct Marketing Association (DMA) survey on multichannel marketing in the catalog industry shows that all catalogers use both their catalogs and Web sites to generate sales. Nearly nine out of 10 also use e-mails to reach customers. E-mail provides them with an easy method for order confirmation, shipping notices and customer service follow-up.
But are you sure your e-mails are making it into customers’ inboxes? Is your brand protected from criminals who send fake e-mails in your name and use your company’s good reputation to defraud consumers?
Strides Made, But Problems Persist
While enormous strides have been made in recent years to combat the problem of spam, unwanted and potentially harmful e-mails remain a problem for many Americans. Not only can they clutter up an inbox, today’s spam — usually generated from networks of hijacked personal computers that conceal the spammer’s identity — often is used to launch phishing attacks and to deliver malicious code or “malware” to consumers’ computers. This results in significant harm to consumers. It undermines the foundation of trust that drives online commerce.
At a recent FTC summit on combating spam, Chairwoman Deborah Platt Majoras emphasized knowledge — knowing with whom we interact — as an important weapon in the fight against spam. And in verifying the identity and source of an e-mail message, there’s no tool more important than e-mail authentication. “Just as we can ask visitors to swipe identification badges and use biometric identifiers to verify who is entering our physical space, we can use authentication technology to verify who is entering our electronic space,” Majoras said. “This technology, paired with reputation and accreditation systems, holds the greatest promise for preventing spammers from operating anonymously.”
Certainly Internet service providers (ISPs) are taking these words to heart. More are using authentication technologies to verify the identity of the person or organization sending e-mail. And if your e-mails don’t pass the authentication test, it’s increasingly unlikely that your customers are going to get your messages.