When we first launched Postmark, the plan was to start small and grow naturally by listening to our customers. While we did start small, one aspect that was a must for the initial launch (even in private beta) was email authentication with DKIM and SPF. When it comes to reputation standards and preventing spoofing, DKIM is where it’s at.
A recent blog post by Steve at Word to the Wise (a highly respected deliverability company we utilize on occasion) discussed the importance of portability in reputation and what to watch out for when it comes to Email Service Providers. I figured it was a good opportunity to discuss how we use DKIM and allow our customers to build their own reputation.
Go ahead and read that article first. I will wait...
Okay, confused? You might be, because all of the DKIM stuff can make you crazy. This is exactly why we handle it for you. There are really only two things to know:
- We can sign messages for you on our own domain, which helps our reputation (and your delivery) if you (and other customers) behave.
- You can add record to your DNS so we can sign messages on your behalf for your own domain. This allows you to build a reputation on your own domain and take it with you.
Both options are fine, because we work hard to maintain our own reputation with the ISPs. However, we highly recommend signing with your own domain. All trends for reputation are headed this way, so why not start now?
Improving how we handle email authentication (advanced topic) #
You might have noticed in the article that the recommended approach for you, the customer, is to delegate a subdomain to us. While the approach and end result is the same, the main benefit is that we can make changes to your DKIM and SPF records as needed. This way, if the private key or spf record needs to be refreshed for some reason, we avoid contacting thousands of customers to update their DNS records. We’ll be working on this soon as an option to make things even easier, but for now you’re in good hands with the current DKIM process. The important thing is that you sign with your own domain.
Not using DKIM? You should be. #
Want to learn more about DKIM / SPF and add it to your account? Follow our help article and get started. Domain based reputation is quickly becoming the standard opposed to IP based reputation, and DKIM is helping make that a reality. With Postmark, it’s our goal to make these standards accessible to everyone without the confusion or effort.
This post was originally published Jul 02, 2010