Email Authentication: What Is It and How Does It Impact Deliverability?

Chris Arrendale

2 minute read

A large part of email deliverability comes down to taking every step possible to avoid being perceived as a spammer in the eyes of spam filters and your recipients.

One of the most definitive ways in which you can affect this is by authenticating your emails. Authentication allows ISPs to acknowledge the legitimacy of your email sends.

So what is email authentication?

Authentication is a way to prove an email is not forged.

Authentication technology gives the recipient mail servers a record of identification to check, to ensure the sender is legitimate. Emails that fail to pass authentication checks may be blocked or put through additional filters, potentially preventing them from reaching the inbox.

Email services like AOL, Gmail or Yahoo (as well as corporate email servers) use one or more of these authentication methods to verify sender identity:

DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail)
SPF (Sender Policy Framework)

Why is Authentication Important?

Many email providers use authentication, among other things, to track sender reputation. Without it, the chances of your emails being filtered are much higher.

Email authentication allows ISPs to properly identify the sender of the email so it can make smarter decisions about the delivery of your mail. Authentication has become a best practice for email senders since spammers have gotten really smart about disguising malicious email under the veil of a trusted brand.

In today’s world, email authentication is important for legitimate organizations in order to secure their online reputation and maintain customer trust in their brand. And anything that can impact email deliverability in a positive or negative way certainly demands your attention.

Authentication can be tricky, but take the time to check with your ISP and make sure the email you are sending is authenticated. Hope this deliverability tip helps!

If you have additional questions regarding deliverability, check out our Deliverability FAQs page.

For more information on our Deliverability services, send us a message.

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About the Author(s)

Chris Arrendale

Founder of Inbox Pros (acquired by Trendline in July of 2018). Author of Deliverability Inferno. Certified expert and frequent speaker on the topics of data privacy, deliverability and compliance. BA in Poli-Sci/Soc from Emory, MS in Software Engineering & IT from Southern Polytechnic State University. A shoe and wine collection that’s the envy of pro athletes. Follow Chris on LinkedIn

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