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Managing domain reputation

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Managing domain reputation

This article describes best practices for managing your domain reputation to ensure that your email is considered to be trustworthy.


  • Applies to: Administrator
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Tools required: DNS host admin access

Manage domain reputation

Domain reputation, in terms of email, is a measure of how trustworthy others believe your domain’s email to be. Every email recipient maintains their own specific measure of reputation, but there are many industry-accepted recommendations that domain owners can follow to build a solid reputation. As more and more email providers are strengthening their rules for what is considered untrustworthy, failure to follow these recommendations might lead to your mail being considered spam, rate limited, or rejected.

The three pillars of any domain reputation strategy are Sender Policy Framework (SPF), Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM), and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC). These features are designed to provide two basic things:


  1. A method of verifying that the email comes from a legitimate source specified by the domain owner.
  2. A way for you, as the domain owner, to tell email providers what to do with messages that do not meet those legitimacy requirements.

Individually, these three pillars are limited in how much they can do, but together they form a fairly clear process for identifying legitimate email from your domain. Providing these clear indicators is fundamental to establishing a good domain reputation. Rackspace recommends the following 1, 2, 3 approach to establish domain reputation:

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