Adopting DKIM can make a huge difference in how the email you send is perceived by recipients. With DKIM you are taking ownership of an email by cryptographically signing each email. Recipients then decode the signature to verify that you sent the email. DKIM, in short, is like putting a wax seal on a letter that uniquely identifies you.
How can you improve DKIM compliance?
The first thing you need to improve DKIM compliance is a method to understand what your current compliance rate is. To do this, you need:
- Adopt DMARC.
- Have a method to parse and report on DMARC digests coming from inbox providers.
DMARC responses from inbox providers are often not-quite human readable and the larger the volume of email you send, the more complex the responses. To parse these, you need a product that summarizes them and provides reports that you can understand.
Now that you have insight into what emailers are compliant, the second step to improving your DKIM compliance is to take control of the compliance of your internal emails and 3rd party emailers.
Investigate internal systems that might be sending email on your behalf and make sure that those systems are capable of signing outbound email with your DKIM signature. These could be anything from marketing automation and sales systems to order entry, vendor management or customer support. Regardless if they are home-grown or off-the-shelf, if the system is sending email, it needs to be DKIM compliant or the email may be rejected.
Similarly to internal systems, you must take a look at external, 3rd party providers to understand if they can be DKIM compliant. Most external providers can sign email with a DKIM key, however, email forwarders are much less likely to be DKIM compliant than bulk emailers or other 3rd party service providers. Talk with each of them to setup DKIM compliant email.
Getting DKIM compliant is not a one-time project, but an on-going process. To ensure high levels of compliance long-term, you will need to:
- Regularly check compliance rates
- On-board new internal and 3rd party systems to be compliant
- Setup processes to assess new applications and providers based on their DKIM support
DKIM Compliance is an on-going process that requires regularly investigation of DKIM compliance rates with tools that give you insight into the IP addresses and 3rd party tools and domains that are sending email on your behalf.