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Update for gym owners: The importance of adding a DMARC Record to your newsletter service

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Your gym’s domain name now needs a DMARC record

Newsletters are a crucial tool for many businesses, and for a gym-based business, they can be an essential tool to not only attract new members but also to involve existing ones in important news about your business, helping drive gym community engagement. But there’s something you need to be aware of – DMARC. This might sound techy, but with big changes coming from Google and Yahoo on the 1st of February 2024, it’s time to add a DMARC record to your emails – and fast!

It’s important to note that adding a DMARC record is only a requirement from Google and Yahoo if you’re sending email campaigns out to over 5000 emails each day, and whilst most small to medium-sized gyms won’t be doing this, it’s still advisable to implement a DMARC policy for the following reasons:

  1. Enhanced Email Security
  2. Improved Email Deliverability
  3. Increased Trust and Engagement
  4. Compliance with Best Practices

What exactly is DMARC?

DMARC is a record that you can add to your domain name for authentication. DMARC stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance. In layman’s terms, it’s a set of rules ensuring that emails from your gym are genuinely from you and not some impersonator. The lack of a DMARC record could lead to issues with your emails being delivered.

Why must you add a DMARC record to your gym’s domain name?

A Common Spoofing Scenario: The Apple Example

We’ve all experienced this: You receive an email that appears to be from a well-known company like Apple. It looks genuine, complete with the logo and the official tone. The email might even announce an exciting new product or offer. Just as you hover over the link, ready to click, something catches your eye. Maybe it’s a slight misspelling in the email address or an odd request for personal information. It’s a classic example of email spoofing.

This scenario illustrates the cunning nature of email spoofers and why we need to take things like adding a DMARC record seriously. If even a giant like Apple can be impersonated, imagine the vulnerability of a small to medium-sized gym’s email communications. The absence of DMARC protection can expose your gym to similar risks, potentially harming your reputation and eroding the trust you’ve built with your members.

Your Step-by-Step Guide to DMARC Setup

We understand that diving into the world of email authentication might seem daunting – we’ve been there. But setting up a DMARC record is more straightforward than you might think. Let’s break it down into manageable steps.

The first thing to understand here is every provider is different. We’re adding a DMARC record here to a website hosted with SiteGround, but most providers should provide a similar experience. If in doubt reach out to your provider and they’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

Step 1: Log in to your web hosting account and open the DNS zone editor

Navigate to the section where you can manage your domain’s DNS settings. This might be labelled as ‘DNS Zone Editor’, ‘DNS Management’, ‘Advanced DNS’, or something similar.

Web hosting dashboard with user tools and options.

Step 2: Add the new DMARC Record

  1. In the type field, select ‘TXT’ (Text) as your record type.
  2. In the ‘Name’ or ‘Host’ field, enter _dmarc. This specifies that the record is for DMARC.
  3. In the ‘Value’ or ‘Text’ field, you need to enter the DMARC policy. This is where you define what happens to emails that don’t pass DMARC checks. A standard entry looks like: v=DMARC1; p=reject; rua=mailto:your@email.com
DNS Zone Editor interface with TXT record creation.

Explanation of DMARC Record Options:

  • v=DMARC1: This indicates the version of DMARC being used.
  • p=: Policy for email authentication failure.
    • none: Treat the mail the same as it would be without any DMARC validation.
    • quarantine: Treat the mail as suspicious. Depending on the recipient’s email server, it might go to the spam folder.
    • reject: Block the email entirely if it fails DMARC validation (the most secure option which we’ve used above).
  • rua=mailto:your@email.com: This is for reporting. It specifies an email address where aggregate reports of DMARC failures will be sent. Replace your@email.com with the address where you want to receive these reports.

Step 3: Save the Record

Once you have entered the details, save the new record. It might take some time for the changes to propagate across the internet.

Step 4: Verify the DMARC Record

After the txt record has been added, it’s essential to verify that it’s working correctly. We’d recommend waiting at least 30 minutes, but sometimes it can take longer.

Visit https://dmarcian.com/domain-checker/ and enter your domain name. If everything goes well, you should see a green tick next to the DMARC heading. If you don’t, simply expand the details and investigate what is not working.

Email security validation results for DMARC, SPF, and DKIM.

Step 5: Beyond DMARC – The SPF and DKIM Duo

You’re probably wondering what those other elements are, SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail). While DMARC is a great start, SPF and DKIM add extra layers of security, forming a robust defence for your gym’s emails.

If you’re using popular email services like Gmail, you’ll find extensive and user-friendly instructions on how to add SPF and DKIM records to your domain name. These instructions are designed to make the process straightforward and accessible.

By implementing SPF, DKIM, and DMARC collectively, you’ll significantly enhance your gym’s email security, build trust with your members, and ensure that your important communications reach their intended recipients.

Feeling overwhelmed?

Webwod is your partner in digital fitness marketing, and we understand the importance of secure and effective email communication. And if you’re still feeling unsure? We get it and we’re here to help, for free!

Understanding what’s required when running a gym can be overwhelming, especially the digital aspects. That’s why we’re offering 30 minutes of free assistance for setting up DMARC, SPF, and DKIM, for any CrossFit affiliate. Fill in the form below and we’ll reach out to you ASAP.

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If you’re feeling overwhelmed with configuring your DMARC, SPF, and DKIM records, do not fear, Webwod is here to help.

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