If you’re wondering how to increase your open rates, improving your email deliverability is a good place to start.

Emails that land in the spam folder are less likely to be opened because your subscribers can’t open emails they never see.

You can use email authentication to improve deliverability and increase your open rates.

The spam folder: a marketer’s nightmare

Here’s a scenario for you. Your open rates suck could use some help, your email engagement is struggling, and you can’t figure out why.

You write great newsletter content, and you send your newsletter consistently. Yet you can’t seem to move the needle on your open rates.

You keep ending up in the spam folder, and you’re over it.

If you’re reading this and nodding along in frustration, I have 2 great pieces of news for you.

1 – You are not alone.

No, really. Some of the best coaches and marketers have the same problem.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a peek at my Gmail promotions tab.

Gmail promotions tab - newsletters with no email authentication

You’d think it’s a marketing party with all the A-listers making an appearance!

And the strangest part?

I read many of these newsletters regularly and have dragged them over to my primary inbox more than once.

Tweet wondering why my Gmail promotions tab is full of newsletters I read regularly.


I’d be curious about not seeing emails from a favorite marketer for weeks. Then I’d hop over to my promotions tab to discover all the emails I missed from them.

So many newsletters from my marketing faves. All in the promotions tab.

As I said, you’re not alone in this.

Remember that second piece of good news I promised?

2 – If your emails suffer from this problem, we may be able to fix the problem in under 20 minutes.

What’s hurting your email deliverability?

The Good Place gif - What the fork??


Now full disclosure: several things could be going on if your emails keep landing in the promotions tab or spam folder.

But one of the first things you should check is if your emails are delivering “via” your email marketing tool.

Not sure what I mean by this?

When I open most of the emails I get from coaches and marketers, the sender email is often sendername@senderwebsite.com via sender’s ESP (email service provider).

Here’s what that may look like:

Gif showing sender info without email authentication

When this happens, Google, Outlook, and the other email clients have no idea who’s sending the email and if they are a trusted email sender.

Offensive. I know!

But hey, they’re just doing their job of gatekeeping.

As for that solution I promised? It lies with the three acronyms below.

SPF, DKIM and DMARC authentication

SPF, DKIM, and DMARC are intimidating-sounding acronyms with one simple job — keeping your inboxes safe with email authentication.

Sender Policy Framework (SPF) allows you as the domain owner to indicate which IP addresses are authorized to send emails on your behalf.

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) uses an encrypted signature to verify if you (as the email sender) are who you say you are.

Both SPF and DKIM have individual identifiers that play a part in validating emails.

Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) is the glue that holds it all together. It combines the results from SPF and DKIM to accurately identify who an email is from.

The explainer video below is a good summary of all three.

Why does email authentication matter?

When you use all three of these authentication methods (SPF, DKIM, and DMARK), receiving servers can be sure of the following:

  • An IP address is authorized to send messages for you
  • The sender is who they say they are
  • The sender is being transparent about their identity in the message

How to authenticate your email address

By amending your domain records using DMARC authentication, you can remove the “via” in your sender email and prove you are the trusted sender and owner of the domain you’re sending emails from.

Copyhackers sender email address after DMARC authentication

Remember my earlier claim that it takes less than 20 minutes to authenticate your email address by updating the SPF, DKIM and DMARC for your email marketing platform?

It took me about 10 minutes total.

And that’s because I had a little trouble finding the instructions for my Siteground hosting account (that part took the longest).

There are essentially two pieces of information that you need to change. Your email marketing platform will share these with you.

MailerLite Domain authentication


To change both, you need to create 2 new TXT records for your DNS:

  • One for the DKIM
  • One for the SPF

After finding the instructions for my email marketing platform (see screenshot above), I logged in to my hosting service provider to make the necessary changes.

Next, I checked to ensure the changes were updated and accepted.

(This second step may take up to 24 hours as changes made to your DNS records may take time to show up).

Mailerlite confirmation after email authentication


If you’re not sure about how to adjust your DNS records, most email marketing platforms provide instructions for major hosts like GoDaddy.

You may also contact your hosting provider for support.

Email authentication instructions for major email marketing platforms

Because I promised a quick resolution, I’ve done the work of compiling the instructions for email authentication for the major email marketing platforms.

Just make sure you have access to your hosting account so you can update the DNS details.

While email authentication is not the only way to get out of the spam folder and improve email deliverability, it’s definitely an easy way.

The Copyhackers team noticed that fewer of their emails were ending up in the spam folder after authenticating their email domain.

So give it a try and let us know if email authentication helps increase open rates for your emails.