Updated October 18, 2019
Email addresses @ your domain name are important for more than just marketing reasons. Business mail addresses allow you to control the level of security, trust, and delivery to your customers.
- Security - you control your email addresses and Secure Certificate signing, preventing others fro hijacking your identity and forging email from your domain.
- Trust - your customers know an email came from your business. Anyone can set up a fake email address using a free email service provider (firstname.lastname@example.org). The important part of the email address is after the @ sign. To make sure an email comes from your business, make sure it is your domain name after the @ sign (or a domain name you trust).
- Delivery - business email from your domain name has additional technical features required by large Email Service Providers to ensure delivery.
Implementing business email from Foundation Tennis
FoundationTennis handles the technical implementation of business email automatically when you use our email services (currently SmarterMail Professional edition).
There are several options for *actual* mailboxes, forwarding mailboxes, and hybrid configurations. Please consult with your account manager for the specifics of your implementation.
Email you send is carried over the Internet in an 'envelope' containing extensive information about how it was created, the server it was sent from, the various servers on the Internet that it passed through (forwarders), and the spam checker results of previous forwarders.
The envelope contains places for 'instructions' to the email forwarders that validate the authenticity of your email - that is came from you or a server that you authorized. Ultimately the delivery of email from your domain is based on the completeness of these 'instructions'.
NOTE: Email Service Providers (AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo etc) generally follow the guidelines listed below. There is no one firm and fast rule.
Three technologies work together to advise/instruct the email forwarders, and to tell them what action to take if the email appears to be forged. All of these technologies are designed to fight malicious identity forgery. The absence of any or all of these records is interpreted by email forwarders as a malicious attempt - so it is important to address each of these in your implementation.
SPF, DMARC, and DKIM - technical implementation.
Implementation is included in your Business Email plan from Foundation Tennis (SmarterMail Professional edition). For customers managing their own domain email from other providers, such as Microsoft Office 365, G-Suite, Workspace, SquirellMail, Proton mail, etc. Foundation Tennis Professional Services provides assistance as requested at regular hourly rates.
- SPF (Sender Policy Framework): Identifies the servers by IP address that are authorized to send email from your domain. Gmail (among others) publicly state that they will not deliver email that is lacking an SPF record. Every Foundation Tennis hosted domain is set up with an SPF record to authorize our servers to orginate email on behalf of the domain we host for you.
- DMARC (Domain based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance) tells the mail forwarders what to do in the case of apparent unauthorized use of your email address(es) and delivery failure. As a reporting protocol, DMARC identifies who is to be notified (daily) of email infringements. Generally this will be us (Foundaton tennis) however you may wish to receive a copy of each report as well. The reports are in XML (Extensible Markup Language) format, not generally readable without specialized software or technical knowledge. Foundation Tennis does not read each DMARC report proactively every day but accesses the DMARC reports as needed to research a reported delivery issue.
DMARC reports abuse and delivery. It does not prevent it.
- DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) adds a digital signature to your outgoing mail. In 2019, it is regarded as the highest level of authentication, and is required to send mail to AOL, Verizon and Yahoo mailboxes.
Please contact your account manager at Foundation Tennis and/or your webmaster if you have additional questions or concerns about email delivery.