Did you know that your emails sent from professional sources (MailChimp, Constant Contact, Aweber, etc.) can – and usually will be -smacked down and sent straight to the spam bin if your “from” address is whatever AT yahoo DOT com? Or Hotmail.com or in the near future gmail, too? And many others.

This is not NEW news – although Google is making some new changes in June 2017 that will impact you if you use gmail. And I learned from my last post, that old news is worth sharing on this blog. Many of you were very grateful for my rant about keyword stuffing.

And maybe a few or even many of you reading this are aware of the past and future changes, but I can’t take the chance of ignoring this serious issue any longer. Especially since the solution is not only simple, but also incorporates an important best practice that each of you should be doing anyway.

I try to avoid getting into the weeds, but….follow along, please.

It’s about a thing called, “Domain-based Messaging, Authentication and Reporting and Conformance” (DMARC) and it’s all about keeping spammers, spoofers, and phishing schemes, off the internet and out of inboxes.

The issue DMARC addresses is mis-matched email sources. When you send email from, say, Constant Contact or MailChimp using gmail in the From Address (or yahoo, hotmail, etc), the email doesn’t match the server source. It came from a “non-domain” based email address, i.e. gmail. However, the server that is sending the email is NOT gmail, right? It’s your Email Service Provider’s server that is sending to your list.

In other words, your email is being sent from Constant Contact or IContact but you are saying it’s “From” a different server. And the really red flag part is that is coming from a free “public” server, one that anyone from anywhere in the world could be using. A recipe for spamming, spoofing, and phishing!

Yahoo was the first to set up barriers – many years ago. Google (gmail) was one of the last to adopt policies and codes. However, Google is about to get very up in your face. If you are using a gmail.com address in your From address field pay attention:

In early 2017, Gmail will change its DMARC policy from p=”none” to p=”reject.” This means any message sent using gmail.com in the “From” address, will have to originate from Gmail’s infrastructure. 

When the major servers see an unmatched Server Source vs From Source in an email you send, it might end up in the servers spam and never even make it to your recipients spam folder! So now when someone says, they didn’t get your email and you tell them to check their spam folder and they can’t find it there either… Just Sayin’…. They are telling you the truth!

A Simple Solution (but not the best)

If you insist on using your non-domain based email address, like gmail, hotmail, and such, Constant Contact, for one, has developed a work around. (But it’s not very pretty!) Here’s the solution:

“To help your business successfully reach your customers and supporters, Constant Contact will update your ‘from’ address using domains that abide by Google’s DMARC policy.

For example, if your address is joesgoods@gmail.com, it will change it to joesgoods+gmail@ccsend.com”

I would assume that all or most of the other Email Service Providers, like MailChimp or Infusionsoft, etc., have similar workarounds. But it’s kind of a funky fix, don’t you think?

Here’s a MUCH better solution!

Most of you reading this have a domain name – many have actual free-standing and privately maintained websites. However, many of you are NOT using your domain names. It’s time to take the leap and use your domain name for your emails. ALL emails. It’s time to show your true identity.

What if you don’t have a domain name? It’s time to act! There are SO many advantages to having your own domain name, but this DMARC compliance is one of the top reasons. Even if you currently have no website and don’t plan on one anytime soon – which I would consider a big mistake! – I still encourage you and all artists to secure a domain name.

Usually you would secure your own name, but of course that’s not always possible and becomes less possible each day.  Warning: If you have a common name, say, Mary Smith, you might need to get creative and add studio or art or photography or art studio or who knows the combinations that you need to consider. You might need to add a middle name. You might need to only use initials for your first name or middle name.

If you have a name for your business, like I do – My Golden Words – then chances are you will run into less problems. But if you have a business name like Riverside Pottery, be prepared to have competition. You might need to add your town name or your state name or your own name: MarySmithRiversidePottery DOT com

If you are reading this and don’t have a domain name – just get this done right now before you end up with a domain too long to publish!

You can secure a domain name for very little per year – pennies a day – and then it is YOURS forever. However, the longer you wait, even a less common name might be purchased before you get around to it.

Just do this. Buying the domain name takes a few minutes. You can work on getting the email verification up and running when you have time. But if you don’t have access to the domain you want… just sayin’!

There Are So Many Benefits to Owning (and using) Your Own Domain Name

When you then start sending all your emails using your domain, some really simple and very good things happen. And FYI, you can use your domain name email address with Gmail, Mail, and other personal email services. So you don’t need to leave your email service behind. Meanwhile, pay attention to this list of benefits:

  1. You never, ever, need to change your email address again. Let’s imagine you are using hotmail and don’t like it, or keep reading about hacks at Yahoo and know you should leave that behind. But you have barriers and issues that are hard to manage. For example, you know you have an issue of new biz cards, and other endless updates to move to say…gmail (or vice versa). For my art jewelry business, I have used mckenna AT lowerimpact DOT com for over 20 years. And icanhelp AT mygoldenwords DOT com for over 6 years. I will never be faced with needing to change my email addresses for my two businesses. Switch to your domain name and never look back.
  2. Free Advertising! When you read lowerimpact DOT com, some of you might have thought, “Gee…I wonder what that lowerimpact site is all about?” So by using a domain name as your email, you have an instant calling card everywhere your email address exists.
  3. You are recognized as a Business Owner. You appear more professional and that adds more trust. Anyone can have a gmail address. Only YOU can have your domain name.
  4. You own this domain. You have control. YOU (if you actually build or currently use a website with your domain name) have something that can never be taken away. Nor do you need to worry about policy changes, new pricing policies, or entire template redesigns from an Etsy, FAA, or FASO or whatever.

And last, but not least, no more issues with getting your emails delivered into inboxes. You can avoid being put directly into a spam folder by the servers when you use your professional email service provider.

Look…. I know this is a bit confusing so here’s the bottom line:

USE your domain name email address. Avoid being labeled as spam and becoming non-existent! Click To Tweet

And oh by the way: If you are not using email marketing as your main marketing tool, you are missing out on really growing your business. I have said it before, but I love repeating this statistic: Email marketing is 40 times (not 40% – 40 TIMES) more effective than Social Media at creating sales – SALES. You can’t spend likes.

So feel free to contact me for a complementary 30 minute appointment and let’s look at your marketing plan or lack of plans – LOL. Let’s get you into a better position to make more sales in 2017 and beyond. We can discuss the DMARC regulations in more detail, too. It’s what I do. I am a marketing therapist!

Special tip: if you are just getting started…

And you are thinking of a name for your business – check to see if you can get the domain name first. Then see if you can secure other social media handles. You don’t want a twitter handle like “therealmarysmith” if you are just starting out. Yet another reason why you should try to secure your “name” or business name ASAP for every possible place online.

 

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