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Published on April 17th, 2014 | by Jill Bastian

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Authentication Changes at Yahoo! and AOL Impact Email Marketing

Delivering emails into your subscribers’ inboxes is a big part of what we do around here; keeping out unwanted email is what email providers do. In a move to prevent abuse or phishing scams, Yahoo!, AOL and ISPs have made a big change to the way they verify emails coming into their system; a policy that will impact everyone, but especially email marketers using a From email address of @yahoo.com. or aol.com Anyone using an email address from Yahoo!, but not mailing from their Yahoo! or AOL account could see an increase in bounces or emails going to spam. This kind of change could become a trend that other email providers follow, so it’s important to understand what’s going on.

Yahoo! Authentication Changes Impact Email MarketingWhat changed?

Yahoo! and AOL changed how they use Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) validation (here’s a good description of DMARC.) Basically, if your From email address doesn’t match the sender address from the mail server, ISPs may think the email is fraudulent, or spam, and block it from their system. As an example, if you send an email with a From address of @yahoo.com, but it’s actually coming from your email service provider’s server, this will be a problem. Yahoo! and AOL made this change to combat the rise of phishing and spam emails being sent to and from Yahoo! and AOL users.

Will this change affect you?

If your From email address has @yahoo.com or aol.com, but you’re not sending the email directly from your Yahoo! or AOL account, this change will affect you. This will impact all email service providers that allow you to edit your From email address. Yahoo! suggests other instances as well:

  • Email Service Providers (ESPs) sending for businesses using Yahoo addresses
  • Services coordinating groups of people, like mailing lists, sports teams, online courses
  • Websites where visitors may share with their friends via email, like news and shopping sites
  • Other small business services, including business web portals and calendaring solutions, that send mail between customers and businesses
  • ISPs and other mailbox services that allow their customers to send mail with addresses outside the service’s control
  • Mail forwarding services

In the new VerticalResponse, you have the option to customize the From email address. If you’re using this feature and set your From address to an @yahoo.com or @aol.com email address, this is will impact your emails. If not, this change doesn’t affect you. VerticalResponse Classic doesn’t allow this type of From address masking, so your emails won’t be impacted by this change.

What should you do?

Due to this change, it’s no longer a good idea to use an @yahoo.com or @aol.com email address as your From address. If you’re a VerticalResponse customer, you can find more info on how to do this under Default Email Settings or under the Header Settings options.

What about other email providers?

Right now, only Yahoo! is making this change, but it’s possible that other companies like Gmail and Hotmail will in the future. One thing you can do is use a From email address from a private domain you control like yourname@your-company.com. You can get one through our sister company, Hostopia.com.

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About the Author

Jill Bastian

Jill Bastian is the Training and Education Manager at VerticalResponse.



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