Why You Shouldn’t Use a Free Email Domain to Send Messages to Subscribers
By Justin Premick April 8, 2014
Your emails may go undelivered if you use a freebie address from Yahoo!, Hotmail, AOL, Gmail, or MSN. Here’s what to use instead
Want your emails to land in subscribers’ inboxes instead of their spam folders? Then don’t send your messages from a Yahoo!, Gmail, AOL, Hotmail, MSN, Outlook, rocketmail.com, ymail.com, Zendesk or any other free Internet service provider (ISP).
The reason: Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance, a.k.a. DMARC.
DMARC is the current policy for email authentication. Basically, it’s an ISP’s way to protect itself from spammers pretending to send emails from their network. Any unauthenticated email — no matter how legitimate the content — could end up in a subscriber’s spam folder.
Say you’re sending a bulk message to your subscribers from your Yahoo! address through AWeber (which has its own servers). If Yahoo! can’t verify your email was actually sent through one of their own servers, the email is rejected.
Note: This is not an AWeber-specific issue — it will happen from any Email Service Provider you choose.
How AWeber Handles DMARC
As a work-around to DMARC, AWeber changes your “From” address. This rewriting process is automatic, so you don’t need to take any action for it to happen. Most of your subscribers won’t even notice the update and you can use your free domain address without any issues moving forward.
For example, if you are using:
Then it will automatically be rewritten as:
(Your Reply-To address will still be shown as email@example.com.)
Why You Should Use a Custom Domain
However, we recommend taking things a step further and signing up for a custom domain name to send your messages.
It not only improves long-term deliverability, but it also looks professional, builds authority and creates brand awareness. For instance, a new subscriber will be more likely to open an email from a custom domain name like Tony@AnthonysAutoRepair.com than from TonyLuvsCars73@hotmail.com.
Need more help with deliverability? Contact AWeber’s award-winning customer solutions team, 24/7 via live chat and email, or by phone Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.
This post was updated to reflect the most recent changes to DMARC policy on 06/23/2020.