Here is a compilation of information from various sources (including Constant Contact, Google and others) to explain the DMARC issue and some advice on how to address it. Note that I have emphasized some passages.
“DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) is a policy that tells a domain (or website) which email authentication methods were used by the sender, and what an ISP (Internet Service Provider) should do with a message if it fails those authentication methods. Possible actions include “do nothing”, “spam folder” or “bounce” the email, and includes contact information for how to notify the sender of failed messages.
Free email providers, like Yahoo!, AOL, and soon Google, have adopted strict DMARC policies to prevent email fraud – like spam and spoofing. If you use one of these free email providers as your ‘from’ address for your Constant Contact emails, this will affect you.
The issue is that when you send email from Constant Contact the email looks like it came from your free email address, when you are really are sending from Constant Contact servers.
A DMARC policy will tell receiving servers that incoming email with a free ‘from’ address should be rejected because it wasn’t sent through a Yahoo, or AOL, or Google server, which will result in an increased chance that emails will be delivered to a spam folder or get bounced. This policy is affecting all email marketing companies, not just Constant Contact.” 1.
To resolve this issue, I recommend getting a custom domain and using that as your ‘from’ address. Many of you already HAVE a domain (a website address) for your website but you are not using that address for your email. I have had many small business owners tell me that they just don’t wan the hassle of having to log into another email address to get their work email. There are a number of benefits to having separate business and personal addresses including ease of separating contacts and enhanced business credibility (nothing says ‘this is a hobby, not a business’ like an aol email address!). This now TOPS the list of reasons to set up that account!
If you do not yet have a domain for your business, NOW is the time to get one. Constant Contact has just been bought by a company which offers this service, Domain.com, and there are dozens of others: BlueHost, HostGator, GoDaddy, Wix and even Google.
If you need a domain and are a Constant Contact user, here is a link to a discount they are offering http://www.constantcontact.com/dmarc-information#dmarc-offer
Another option is to create an account with Google Apps for Work but I highly recommend getting a domain. It is a small fee and provides you with valuable internet real estate that you can use at a later date, even if you are not building or hosting a website right now.
If you need help deciding on a domain name, need assistance procuring the domain or setting up the email account, please give me a call – we can help!