I was recently asked by 250ok to come out to the Email Innovations Summit (EIS) in Las Vegas to speak on their behalf about the work we were doing to improve Furniture Row’s email inbox placement through a email authentication spec called DMARC.
For those of you who aren’t in the know, DMARC is Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) is a sender-published policy for email messages that fail authentication, helping to prevent spoofing, where a bad actor impersonates a brand to spread viruses or scam recipients. In some ways it is similar to SPF and DKIM and allows ISPs to further differentiate valid email from the spam.
The results we achieved were really what was exciting and why 250ok asked me to come and talk on their behalf. For the Furniture Row email program we were able to achieve inbox placement rate increases by 10-15% across all ISPs (including Gmail!) just three days after finishing the DMARC setup. The obvious correlation here is that gave us more eyeballs on the emails being sent out so open and click rates both unique and non-unique increased too.
How did we implement this you ask? It was actually really simple. DMARC consists of a DNS entry with three stages. We (and everyone should) started with the “p=none” setting which allowed the data to start flowing into our 250ok account. Once we could see the data we were absolutely surprised with what we were seeing. Masses of un-authenticated emails, IPs sending email masked under the Furniture Row domain that weren’t ones we were using, and more.
Once we began to resolve those issues, speaking to other teams with in the company to identify who and what was sending any of those emails legitimately and which were not, we moved in to the next stage “p=quarantine” and surprisingly enough folks who were well aware what we were doing came to us asking why some of the emails they expected to receive were not coming in…Can you believe that? We could! We are all very busy with our own tasks and other teams responsibilities are not always at the front of our minds so that really wasn’t that surprising although somewhat comical.
After we fixed some of those minor issues we moved the final stage “p=reject” which tells ISPs to block any email that is not set within the scope we had set. The results were instantaneous…within three days we saw gMail update our reputation from medium to high and was something we could never achieve on our own even though we were following best practices as responsible email marketers. Shortly after that we saw the inbox placement increases, the open & click increases, and shortly after that the throttling from all the major ISPs we were used seeing drop off almost entirely with our sending speeds doubling.
Pretty amazing results for a month or so of work, mind you this was not a months of FT work as this process was going on besides a multitude of other projects me and my team were all working on. We along with 250ok were astonished with the results to say the least.
Checkout the deck that Matt Vernhout from 250ok and I presented at the conference here.