6 EDM Tech Terms You Should Know

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6 EDM Tech Terms You Should Know

 

In a world where technology is constantly evolving, it can be hard to keep up-to-date with all of the different terminology that comes with it. With dozens of acronyms and complex terms, it’s can almost seem like a foreign language and trying to decipher them with little knowledge can be quite challenging for some.

Keeping up with the lingo and knowing some common tech terms can get you a long way, so broaden your knowledge with these EDM terms…

SPAM

Anyone who has access to email these days is by now aware of SPAM. These are messages sent to you that you are not expecting or want. Most SPAM is harmless enough in as much as it is nothing more sinister than a marketing message – they are simply annoying as a time waster, but nothing malicious.  However, some SPAM will contain viruses or links that can instigate viruses.  

The IT world has tried to implement a number of strategies intended to reduce or stop SPAM, especially the malicious ones. Typically, malicious emails will pretend to be from someone that they are not.  So this has become a major focus by a number of organisations resulting in a number of initiatives.  Here we try and cover off some of those;
 
RFC 5322

There are a whole host of rules set for sending and receiving emails.  These rules are known as RFC’s (Request For Comment) which are formal documents of the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force).  

One of these RFC’s is RFC5322.  This stipulates the “Header” format of an SMTP (email) message.  Part of this format is to have a from field in the format of “Joe Blogs <jblogs@acme.com.au>”.  Your email client, like Outlook, does this all for you.  

PRODOCOM’s system gives you the option to set this from field so the email will appear to come from a specific email address in 2 parts.  It is important that you make sure that you include values in both the “from” and “from Email address” fields to ensure you are RFC 5322 compliant.

Similarly, if you are sending message through our API or means other than the website, please ensure to include both from and from address info.  The PRODOCOM system will use your UID (UserID – email address associate with your login) as the default for the email address, unless otherwise specified.

SPF

SPF (Senders Policy Framework) is an authentication method used to confirm that the from email address in an email and the IP address of the sending server match the DNS (Domain Name Server) entries for the senders domain.  In most cases the SPF will resolve against PRODOCOM’s domain and we have that covered.  As a fail safe clients should add our IP address range to their SPF record.  Most mail servers employ this technique and it is the lowest level of email authentication used.

DKIM

DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) goes one step further than SPF in trying to prevent SPAM.  Each email is sent with a “Key”. 

When the receiving server gets the email it goes and looks at the DNS record for the sender’s domain and tries to find the matching “Key”. 

If the matching “Key” is found, then the email is allowed to pass on.  If not, it is rejected. Emails sent from the PRODOCOM system are DKIM authenticated using the sub domains associated with the prodocom.biz domain and hence are DKIM compliant.

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DMARC

As an extension to anti-spam SPF and DKIM policies, DMARC is a setup that is there to authenticate down an extra level.  While SPF and DKIM are settings  that PRODOCOM can manage authentication on without any work required by our clients, DMARC does require some input for our clients to be compliant. This is because DMARC looks in the SMTP message to find out who the email will appear to come from  when viewed by the final recipient.

One way for clients to ensure that their emails pass the DMARC authentication is to ensure that they have our IP addresses listed in their DNS as part of their SPF record. In the case where our client is sending on behalf of their client, their client will need to add to their SPF record.

In an ideal world, clients would also set up our DKIM keys against their DNS as well, but this is not as essential as SPF in this regard. One of the rulesets that both Yahoo and Gmail apply is those of DMARC.  If they receive a number of emails from the same sender in a given period of time, or from a sender reported as sending SPAM, or from a sender with a low Senders Reputation, then they utilise DMARC to ascertain what to do.  You can setup DMARC to “relaxed” which says just check my SPF record, which is the way we have our servers DMARC setting, so our clients only need to set the SPF record.
 
Senders Reputation

We can apply all the SPF, DKIM and DMARC rulesets as we like, but if a client has a database that is old and not up- to- date, then sending to bad email addresses again and again will ruin their senders reputation and that will be enough to have a large number of even good emails blocked and fail.

PRODOCOM applies a rule that if we see an email address fail 4 times we will automatically add that email address to a black list in attempt to protect our client’s senders reputation.  When we refer to times we refer to 4 or more “jobs”.  A job here is a send whether a single destination or a broadcast.  So if an email address is in one job more than once and fails, it will be counted as once in this blacklist routine.  During this of course we may attempt to send to a destination more than once for each message. Each of these attempts to send to a failed destination adds to your sender’s reputation score and increases the chances of getting blocked.  Hence it is imperative that clients monitor their email failures and maintain their database to reduce failures and protect their sender’s reputation.

 

 

 

 

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