Hello FGF Community,
We’re writing to you regarding some of the big email changes coming to our industry in February 2024. The goal of this post is to simplify the process and explain what exactly you have to do to stay in compliance. If you’d like a more detailed tech explanation of these changes, we’ve included some resources at the bottom of this post.
The Rule of the 3D’s is what we’re calling it!
Here’s a description of what you need to do to make sure you’re following each D rule.
You need to have a dedicated sending domain for sending bulk emails. If you are an FG Funnels customer, this means you need a dedicated sending domain set up through your SMTP service. A dedicated sending domain will be a subdomain of your root domain and will look something like replies.yourdomain.com, mg.yourdomain.com, or hello.yourdomain.com.
To help with the set up of your email authentication records (in the next section – DNS), you will want your dedicated sending domain to use a subdomain of the domain you send emails from. So if you are sending emails from email@example.com, you will want your sending domain to be a subdomain of specificdomain.com (ex. mg.specificdomain.com).
You need to have properly configured SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records. DMARC alignment is now required to keep your emails landing in the inbox.
What is DMARC alignment? The DMARC record is a secondary form of authentication that checks your SPF record and DKIM records and then acts based on whether or not the message you are sending is in alignment with what has been set up in those records. In order to achieve DMARC alignment, you will want to first have a dedicated sending subdomain set up (as discussed above), and then be sure that the domain in the email address you are sending from is in alignment (using the same root domain), and have SPF/DKIM records set up for the DMARC record to check in order to confirm alignment. Setting up those 3 records – SPF, DKIM, and DMARC is covered below.
You need to have an SPF record configured on your root domain (ex. yourdomain.com), as well as any sending subdomains (ex. replies.yourdomain.com). You only want 1 SPF record per root domain, and 1 per subdomain.
The SPF record on your dedicated sending domain will need to include the service you are sending through (covered below), and the SPF record on your root domain will need to be set up to include your regular email inbox service.
It is important that the last piece of your SPF records, the ~all mechanism, is set to use a tilde (~) instead of a dash (-) in front of the word all: ~all
Example of an SPF record set up on a domain in Cloudflare, this one is set up to allow Google Workspace, HelpScout, Mailgun, and Chargedesk to send emails on behalf of our domain:
You need to have a DKIM record configured on your root domain (this will be provided by your email inbox service – Google Workspace, Microsoft Outlook, etc – reach out to them if you don’t have one on your root domain), as well as any sending subdomains. You can have as many DKIM records as your DNS manager allows. You will get a unique key from each sending service, usually during the set up of those services. If you don’t have a DKIM set up for a service, reach out to them to ask that they generate one and provide you with the public key for your DNS records.
Important: Don’t set up a DMARC record until you have properly set up SPF and DKIM – DMARC relies on these records to work properly. You only need 1 DMARC record, set up on your root domain. By default, this will apply to all subdomains unless you publish a DMARC record for a specific subdomain. It’s important to set up your DMARC record so the policy tag is set to the value of none (p=none).
Example of a DMARC record, set up in Cloudflare:
You need to make sure that anyone who signs up to your list can always, easily unsubscribe. It is important that all emails you send contain a very clearly labeled “Unsubscribe” link in the body of the email.
If you would like to dive a bit deeper, here are some resources to help:
As always, send messages that are clear, well written, and non-spammy. Only write to people who have expressly opted in for your emails. Maintain a spam complaint rate of (0.3%) or less, and you should be good!