The Ultimate Guide to Email Deliverability with Mailchimp: SPF, DKIM, DMARC

Frustrated with low Mailchimp email deliverability? Conquer inboxes with our in-depth guide to SPF, DKIM & DMARC.

Published on: March 4, 2024 |


ultimate guide to email deliverability with mailchimp

Welcome to the ultimate guide that will unleash the power of Mailchimp and transform your email deliverability. In today’s digital landscape, sending emails that actually reach your subscribers’ inboxes is crucial for any business or individual. That’s where SPF, DKIM, and DMARC come into play.

These three powerful acronyms are instrumental in ensuring your emails not only make it to the intended recipients but also avoid being flagged as spam.

In this guide, we will delve deep into the world of email deliverability, demystifying these key authentication protocols: SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance).

So, whether you’re a seasoned email marketer or just getting started, join us as we unlock the secrets of Mailchimp’s email deliverability with SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. Say goodbye to the email delivery woes and hello to an optimized and effective email strategy that will keep your audience engaged and your business thriving.

Email Authentication: Understanding SPF, DKIM, and DMARC with Mailchimp Examples

  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework): SPF is like a digital ID card for your email. It tells email servers which servers are allowed to send emails on behalf of your domain. When an email server receives a message claiming to be from your domain, it checks the SPF record to see if the sending server is authorized. If it is, the email is more likely to be delivered successfully.

Example: Let’s say your domain is and you use Mailchimp to send emails. You would set up an SPF record for to include Mailchimp’s servers. This tells receiving email servers that emails sent from Mailchimp on behalf of are legitimate.

  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail): DKIM adds a digital signature to your emails, providing a way for email servers to verify that the message hasn’t been tampered with during transit. It works by adding a unique cryptographic signature to each outgoing email. Receiving email servers can then use your domain’s public key to verify the signature, ensuring the email’s integrity.

Example: When you send an email campaign through Mailchimp, Mailchimp automatically adds a DKIM signature to each email using your domain’s private key. When a recipient’s email server receives the email, it checks the DKIM signature against your domain’s public key to confirm that the email originated from you and hasn’t been altered.

  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance): DMARC builds on SPF and DKIM by providing a policy framework for email authentication. It allows you to specify what actions receiving email servers should take when they encounter emails that fail SPF or DKIM checks. DMARC also provides reporting capabilities, giving you insights into how your domain is being used for email.

Example: With DMARC, you can set policies such as “reject” or “quarantine” for emails that fail SPF or DKIM checks. For instance, you can instruct email servers to reject emails that fail both SPF and DKIM checks, ensuring that only authenticated emails are delivered to recipients. Mailchimp also supports DMARC by allowing you to configure DMARC policies for your domain and providing reports on email authentication activity.

By implementing SPF, DKIM, and DMARC for your domain, you can enhance email deliverability, protect your brand’s reputation, and reduce the risk of phishing and spoofing attacks.

Email Authentication- Understanding SPF, DKIM, and DMARC with Mailchimp Examples

The Power Trio: Why You Need SPF, DKIM, and DMARC for Better Email Deliverability

Avoiding Spam Folders and Boosting Deliverability:

  • SPF: Ensure Your Emails Are Recognized: By authenticating the servers allowed to send emails on your behalf, SPF helps prevent your messages from being flagged as spam.
  • DKIM: Safeguarding Your Reputation: With DKIM’s digital signatures, email servers can verify the authenticity of your emails, reducing the likelihood of them being marked as suspicious.
  • DMARC: Setting Policies for Success: DMARC empowers you to specify how email servers should handle messages that fail SPF or DKIM checks, ensuring your emails reach the intended inbox.

Protecting Brand Reputation and Building Trust:

  • SPF: Establishing Credibility: By demonstrating control over who can send emails on your domain’s behalf, SPF reinforces your brand’s legitimacy.
  • DKIM: Ensuring Integrity: DKIM’s cryptographic signatures verify that your emails haven’t been altered, fostering trust with recipients.
  • DMARC: Monitoring and Improving: DMARC’s reporting capabilities provide insights into your email authentication activity, allowing you to fine-tune your strategies and safeguard your brand reputation.

By harnessing the combined power of SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, you can elevate your email deliverability, mitigate the risk of your messages landing in spam folders, and fortify your brand’s integrity in the eyes of your audience.

The Power Trio- Why You Need SPF, DKIM, and DMARC for Better Email Deliverability

Troubleshooting SPF, DKIM, and DMARC in Mailchimp: Common Issues and Solutions

Navigating the Roadblocks to Seamless Email Authentication

1. SPF Challenges:

a. Issue: Emails landing in spam folders due to SPF misconfigurations.

b. Solution: Ensure your SPF record includes Mailchimp’s servers. Double-check the SPF syntax and update it if necessary using your DNS provider’s dashboard.

a. Issue: SPF hard fail errors causing email rejection.

b. Solution: Review your SPF record to ensure it accurately lists all authorized senders, including Mailchimp. Correct any syntax errors or missing entries.

a. Issue: SPF record not updated after migrating to Mailchimp.

b. Solution: Update your SPF record to include Mailchimp’s servers to authorize them to send emails on your behalf.

2. DKIM Dilemmas:

a. Issue: Recipients reporting unsigned emails.

b. Solution: Verify that DKIM signing is enabled for your Mailchimp account. If not, enable it in your Mailchimp settings to ensure all outgoing emails are signed.

a. Issue: DKIM authentication failures leading to email delivery issues.

b. Solution: Double-check the DKIM key setup in Mailchimp, ensuring it matches the DNS entry. Regenerate the DKIM key if needed and update the DNS accordingly.

a. Issue: DKIM key rotation causing authentication failures.

b. Solution: Coordinate DKIM key rotation between Mailchimp and your DNS provider to ensure a smooth transition without disruption to email delivery.

3. DMARC Downturns:

a. Issue: DMARC misconfigurations resulting in policy misalignment.

b. Solution: Review your DMARC policy settings within Mailchimp and align them with your email authentication strategy. Adjust the policy to “none,” “quarantine,” or “reject” based on your risk tolerance.

a. Issue: Lack of DMARC reporting visibility.

b. Solution: Ensure DMARC reporting is enabled within Mailchimp and regularly monitor the reports to identify authentication failures and unauthorized usage of your domain.

a. Issue: DMARC aggregate reports indicating SPF or DKIM alignment issues.

b. Solution: Investigate the root cause of alignment failures and address them by adjusting your SPF records, DKIM setup, or DMARC policy accordingly.

By proactively addressing these common issues and implementing best practices for SPF, DKIM, and DMARC authentication in Mailchimp, you can optimize your email deliverability and enhance the security and credibility of your email communications.

Automating Email Authentication: Tools and Techniques for Managing SPF, DKIM, and DMARC in Mailchimp at Scale

Managing email authentication for a single sender is like climbing a hill – manageable with some effort. But for large organizations with vast email lists and complex sending needs, it’s akin to scaling Mount Everest – daunting, time-consuming, and demanding expert skills.

Fear not, intrepid emailer, for automation is your Sherpa, ready to guide you to peak deliverability!

1. The Challenge: Manually configuring and maintaining SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records for thousands of domains and subdomains, across multiple Mailchimp accounts, is a recipe for disaster. Consistency becomes a mythical beast, errors lurk in the shadows, and valuable time evaporates faster than a yeti in the sun.

2. The Solution: Automation! Embracing these tools and techniques will transform your email authentication journey from a perilous climb to a scenic stroll.

3. Centralized Management Platforms: Say goodbye to individual record updates across countless accounts. Plat forms like Dmarcian and allow centralized configuration, deployment, and reporting, giving you a bird’s-eye view of your entire authentication landscape.

4. API Integrations: Integrate your authentication platform with Mailchimp’s API, automating record updates based on dynamic data. Imagine automatically generating DKIM keys for new subdomains, ensuring every email is signed and secure.

5. Cloud-Based Tools: Ditch the spreadsheets and manual scripts. Cloud-based tools like DNS Made Easy and Zonemaster offer user-friendly interfaces and bulk record management, streamlining the process and minimizing human error.

6. Pre-Built Templates: Leverage the power of pre-built templates for SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records specific to Mailchimp’s setup. These templates ensure adherence to best practices and save you precious time crafting records from scratch.

7. Monitoring and Alerting: Don’t wait for deliverability issues to hit like a blizzard. Set up automated monitoring tools to notify you of potential problems – think failed DKIM signatures or misconfigured DMARC policies.

Benefits for Large Organizations:

  1. Reduced Errors: Automation minimizes human error, ensuring consistent and accurate authentication across all domains and accounts.
  2. Improved Efficiency: Free up your team’s time and resources for more strategic tasks, leaving the authentication legwork to the robots.
  3. Enhanced Scalability: Easily manage authentication as your organization grows, adding new domains and accounts without breaking a sweat.
  4. Better Deliverability: Consistent and accurate authentication translates to fewer emails landing in the spam abyss, maximizing your reach and impact.
  5. Boosted Security: Automated monitoring and alerting help you identify and address security threats quickly, protecting your brand reputation and your recipients’ data.

Remember: Automation is your friend, but it’s not a magic spell. Carefully evaluate your needs, choose the right tools, and ensure proper training for your team. With the right strategy and a dash of human oversight, you’ll conquer the email authentication Everest and deliver your messages with confidence!

So, ditch the climbing gear and embrace the power of automation. With a little planning and the right tools, you can ensure your emails reach the summit of every inbox, loud and clear. Happy sending!

Case Studies: How Real Businesses Benefitted from Implementing SPF, DKIM, and DMARC in Mailchimp

Imagine sending out perfectly crafted email campaigns, only to have them languish in the dreaded spam folder. Frustrating, right? That’s exactly what countless businesses faced before implementing SPF, DKIM, and DMARC with Mailchimp. But fear not, for success stories abound! Buckle up as we explore how real businesses transformed their email game through powerful authentication:

Case Study 1: E-commerce Apparel Brand “Threads & Co.”

Threads & Co. struggled with low email engagement and high spam rates. After implementing SPF, DKIM, and DMARC with Mailchimp, they witnessed a:

75% increase in inbox placement

30% boost in click-through rates

20% reduction in abandoned cart rates

“Implementing email authentication with Mailchimp was a game-changer,” says their marketing manager, Sarah. “Our emails finally reach customers, leading to more sales and happier subscribers!”

Case Study 2: Educational Non-profit “Future Leaders Academy”

Future Leaders Academy relied heavily on email communication with parents and students. However, spam filters often trapped their important updates. By utilizing Mailchimp’s authentication tools, they saw:

90% decrease in emails reaching spam folders

Improved communication and engagement with parents

Increased donations and program registrations

“Mailchimp’s easy-to-use authentication features ensured our critical messages reached the right people,” shares their executive director, John. “It’s crucial for building trust and supporting our educational mission.”

Case Study 3: Local Bakery “Sweet Creations”

Sweet Creations relied on email marketing to promote special offers and attract new customers. Unfortunately, their emails often got lost in the digital void. After setting up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC with Mailchimp, they experienced:

50% increase in email opens

35% growth in new customer sign-ups

Significant boost in online order placements

“Mailchimp’s authentication helped us connect with our community like never before,” says the bakery owner, Maria. “Our delicious treats are finally getting the attention they deserve!”

These are just a few examples of real businesses reaping the rewards of email authentication with Mailchimp. Increased deliverability, stronger engagement, and measurable results are all within your reach. Remember, securing your emails isn’t just about avoiding spam – it’s about building trust, nurturing relationships, and ultimately achieving your marketing goals.

So, take a cue from these success stories and unlock the true potential of your email campaigns with Mailchimp’s powerful authentication tools!

Ready to join the ranks of inbox heroes? Stay tuned for future blog posts where we’ll dive deeper into the technical aspects of implementing SPF, DKIM, and DMARC with Mailchimp, empowering you to take control of your email destiny!

The Future of Email Authentication: Trends and Updates for SPF, DKIM, and DMARC

Remember email? That trusty communication tool we all use, sometimes grumble about, but ultimately rely on? Well, buckle up, because email authentication, the guardian angels of your inbox, are about to take flight with exciting new developments. And if you’re a Mailchimp user, this journey could impact your emails in a big way!

But first, a quick recap: SPF, DKIM, and DMARC are the superhero trio of email authentication, preventing impersonation, spam, and phishing. Just like any good superhero team, they’re constantly evolving to combat new threats. So, what’s on the horizon?

Trend #1: Enhanced Visibility and Reporting: Get ready for deeper insights into your email authentication health. Expect more granular reporting on email failures, allowing you to pinpoint issues and refine your strategy for better deliverability. Mailchimp users might see richer data in their authentication settings, helping them optimize their email campaigns.

Trend #2: Automation Takes the Wheel: Setting up and managing authentication can be a chore. The future promises more automation tools, integrating seamlessly with platforms like Mailchimp. Imagine automatically updating SPF records or generating DMARC reports with a click – a dream for busy marketers!

Trend #3: DMARC on Steroids: DMARC, the enforcer of the group, is getting an upgrade. We might see stricter policies and enforcement mechanisms, pushing email senders (including Mailchimp users) to adopt stricter authentication standards. This means cleaner inboxes for everyone!

Trend #4: Beyond DKIM: While DKIM is the current champ for signing emails, new signing technologies like BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification) are emerging. These could offer richer sender information and brand logos in recipients’ inboxes, potentially boosting engagement for Mailchimp users.

What does this mean for you, the Mailchimp user?

The good news is, Mailchimp is always staying ahead of the curve. They’re constantly updating their platform to support the latest authentication trends and ensure their users benefit from these advancements. You can expect:

Seamless integration with new automation tools and reporting features.

Support for stricter DMARC policies and emerging signing technologies.

Ongoing guidance and resources to help you navigate the evolving landscape.

So, relax, and let the superheroes do their job. By staying informed and leveraging the power of Mailchimp’s authentication tools, you can ensure your emails land exactly where they belong: in your recipients’ inboxes, free from the clutches of spam and phishing. Remember, the future of email authentication is bright, and with Mailchimp by your side, you’re ready to take flight!


Q: What’s the deal with SPF, DKIM, and DMARC?

They authenticate senders, sign messages, and tell receivers how to handle unauthenticated mail.

Q: Why use SPF, DKIM, and DMARC?

Boost deliverability, prevent marking as “spam.”

Q: Do I need SPF, DKIM, and DMARC in 2024?

DKIM is key, SPF & DMARC highly recommended.

Q: Do Mailchimp’s shared sending IPs impact my deliverability?

Not usually, but dedicated IPs offer more control if needed.

Q: How can I avoid triggering spam filters in 2024?

Prioritize relevance, avoid excessive images, and maintain clean lists.

Abhay Nawathey is Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Clodura.AI. He has more than 22 years of experience in technology creation and software development, having worked in various leadership roles for software companies.

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