Email authentication

Sender ID / SPF and DomainKeys / DKIM are common standards to help email receivers authenticate incoming email. What is authentication? What are these standards? How do they impact email marketing and email in general? Find the answers here.

Key documents and resources:

Authentication and deliverability
Detailed examination of exactly how authentication impacts your delivery success, with expert interviews, links and analysis.

Email authentication for marketers
This introduces you to the whole concept in a simple jargon-free way, before explaining why email marketers need to authenticate their messages (and how you can set about doing this).

DKIM
DomainKey Identified Email. Documentation for this important authentication standard.

DomainKey
DomainKey implementor's tools and library.

Sender ID
Microsoft's Sender ID home page.

Authentication and Online Trust Alliance
Cross-industry organization working to restore trust to email and the Internet. Check their resources page.

Popular articles

The difference between authentication and certification
Gentle explanation of the differences between authenticated and certified email.

You might also read...

The Future of DKIM
Detailed interview with Franck Martin on the current and future position of DKIM and DKIM implementation.

Authenticate your mail
Reviews the reasons why you should implement authentication, explores the alternatives and offers some implementation guidance.

AOL to Begin Using DKIM
Look at AOL's plans to use Domain Keys authentication when filtering and whitelisting incoming emails.

Are you in the game?
Overview with links.

Will Yahoo block messages that aren't signed?
A 2008 interview with Yahoo! Mail's anti-abuse product manager on their use and plans for DomainKeys Identified Mail.

Powerful new antiphishing weapon DKIM emerges
Reviews the scope, application and popularity of this authentication standard, with quotes from those in relevant industries.

Email authentication guide
Overview from a vendor, including a list of ISPs currently checking for authentication on incoming messages.

Don't risk your reputation
Outlines the arguments used to put off tackling authentication and then dismisses them.

Authentication gains momentum
Urges email marketers to take responsibility for authentication, but realize that it's just one weapon in the delivery armory.

Sender ID press release
Microsoft release some details on the impact of Sender ID email authentication on spam at their Hotmail / Windows Live Hotmail webmail service (from 2007).

DMA's help center
The DMA has a resource page and documents dedicated to helping marketers understand the ins and outs of authentication.

Implementing authentication
Set of tips for implementing an authentication programme for your outgoing messages.

MSN Requires Sender ID Today
According to this article, any email sent to an @hotmail.com address will now divert to the junk mail folder if the sender doesn't have the right Sender ID authentication.

ESPC position statement
A detailed statement on email authentication. Which can be briefly summarized as authentication means accountability which means improved consumer confidence, so it's a good thing.

E-mail authentication. Then what?
Reviews the state of play regarding authentication efforts, and then raises some related pragmatic issues for businesses involved in sending or receiving email.

Email marketing from the bank's perspective
How financial institutions view email, with lots of comment and views on the pros and cons of certification as a means of ensuring delivery and restoring trust in bank emails.