Front email deliverability and DMARC records

Overview

What are DMARC records?

DMARC is an email authentication protocol that uses information about the sender in addition to SPF and DKIM deliverability records published for the sender's domain.  It allows domain owners to publish a policy for handling and reporting email that fails SPF/DKIM tests.

Impact

DMARC settings can impact your recipients' ability to receive emails you send from Front. If you're using Front's SMTP channels and have configured our SPF/DKIM records, an improperly configured DMARC record can negatively impact message delivery rates.


DMARC settings can impact your ability to receive emails in Front.
If your company creates automated emails from portals or web forms, you might be creating emails with the To: address of that customer.  This means sending emails for a domain that you don't control, and the DMARC record for that domain may impact email being forwarded to Front's SMTP channels.  Front doesn't reject or quarantine any emails delivered to its forwarding addresses, this only impacts systems relaying or forwarding to Front.


How does it work?

Domain alignment

DMARC looks at whether SPF and DKIM tests fail, but it also tests these with the domains of the message's From and MailFrom headers.  MailFrom is different than the From address that most people associate with email and is also known as the "return-path", "envelope from" or "bounce address".  These domains must match or "align" correctly for the DMARC test to pass.

The most important thing here is that Front SMTP channels and the required SPF records will fail "strict" SPF alignment tests.  Fortunately, DMARC permits a "relaxed" SPF alignment that works with Front.  While relaxed SPF alignment is the default, please note that some deliverability issues are resolved by making this an explicit policy.

A relaxed SPF alignment policy appears as an 'aspf=r' flag in the DMARC record itself.  Please be sure to check with your IT team before using Front SMTP channels to ensure this is the policy in place for proper email delivery.

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