How Yahoo and AOL’s DMARC Rejection Policy is Going To Affect Email Marketers

Last two weeks have been very busy for email marketers so far. In last two weeks two major ESPs Yahoo and AOL became the mailbox providers to publish a “DMARC rejection policy”.  If you are using Yahoo or AOL email address to send from you may want to read it further.


For those of you who didn’t know about the DMARC or its rejection policy, this means that Yahoo or AOL has line of text in their DNS record telling them to reject or bounce any mail from Yahoo or AOL domain if it doesn’t originated from their servers. This is a very big news indeed and going to affect the future of email marketing.

Two weeks ago on 8 April 2014 Yahoo published its DMARC reject policy against email spoofing, later on yesterday (22 April 2014) after facing a small hacking attack on its server which caused a hash tag trend on Twitter (#AOLhacked) AOL has now also published its own DMARC reject policy.

Let us talk why DMARC reject policy is a big deal? Have you received an email lately which supposedly came from your friend but has only a URL or some spammy content that you know your friend will never send, there might be a very strong chance that some hacker had hacked your friends email account and scraped his address book then sent email from his server and made it looked like it came from your friend. This is very bad for an ESP on many levels. First it will hurt the image of that brand which you trust, then it might be possible that the same hacker can hack other user’s accounts to spoof more emails and it could cause some serious chaos.

With DMARC validation, receiver end server will reject the email if it was not originated from the server from which it said it came from. This policy will change the future for mailbox providers like Comcast, AOL, Yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail who look at DMARC policies.

It sounds like a good thing right? Well if you are a Yahoo or AOL user it will going to increase your trust on them because you don’t have to be embarrassed in front of your friends for sending spam which you didn’t send actually. Hackers will be less interested in hacking your email account since they can’t spoof your email now. And therefore Yahoo and AOL users are not going to be target for this type of attack which will be count as a win from user’s security perspective.

Well general Yahoo and AOL users are very happy about these changes but there are some people including small business organization who are not happy about it because they are now seeing much higher bounce rates. They no longer can send email using their Yahoo or AOL domain through their hosting company. Also users who have a Yahoo or AOL email but use email clients like Thunderbird, Postbox etc. may be affect by this issue.

Finally what can you do about it? Right now you can use a different ‘from’ email address to bypass this situation. Unfortunately there is nothing more you can do about it because this is Yahoo’s and AOL’s decision and only they can change it. Fortunately it is easy to set up your own domain and use that in your ‘from’ email address. It will add a benefit to you as you will be able to build your own domain reputation.

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