How to Get Email Authentication Right — Tips from Pipitone

How to Get Email Authentication Right — Tips from Pipitone

By Greg Forysythe, Senior Digital Strategist, Pipitone

Greg has been a leader in the marketing field for over 20 years working with numerous Fortune 100 clients. He has authored key research articles on marketing performance, has been featured in industry magazines and books about strategy and insights, and can be seen on numerous podcasts about influencer marketing & automation. Greg develops robust marketing strategies, deep data analysis, and campaign insights for Pipitone’s clients.


Let’s face it, email marketing is a beast in the business world—it’s everything from connecting with your audience to boosting engagement and firing up those oh-so-sweet conversions.


But it’s not just about crafting those killer messages and hitting ‘send.’ There’s a whole bunch of behind-the-scenes tech-fu ensuring your emails land right where they’re supposed to and not in the dreaded spam folder.


One of our superheroes is email authentication, swooping in to verify your domain and kick spoofing to the curb. In 2024, the big dogs in email (we’re looking at you, Google and Yahoo) have decided to lock things down. They’re making email validation mandatory for all the bulk senders out there. But don’t break a sweat, we got you! Pipitone can help you ride this wave and ace your email verification game.


The Lowdown on Email Validation: Make Your Inbox Game Strong

Imagine email authentication as a security checkpoint, ensuring that only legitimate emails are allowed entry. It’s like having a combination lock on a safe, with three essential components: SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance). Understanding these components is key to building a rock-solid sending reputation and ensuring your emails reach inboxes securely.


The 2024 Email Authentication Showdown: No Confirmation, No Party

Starting Feb. 1, 2024, Google and Yahoo are getting serious. No email confirmation, no bulk sending. Any unconfirmed emails will face the cold shoulder—blocked or banished to the spam folders—all in the name of knocking out spam, phishing and domain hijacking. So, if you’re in the email marketing game, it’s time to gear up and embrace these changes to keep your emails hitting the target.


Mastering Email Verification: HubSpot’s Got Your Six

The good news? HubSpot has the tools to help you enhance your email authentication like a pro. Here’s your battle plan:


  1. Make Your Domain Official: Hook up your email sending domain with HubSpot. Jazz up your DNS records with SPF, DKIM, and DMARC configurations. HubSpot will guide you through the action, double-checking that your DNS records are on point.
  2. Set Up Your DKIM, SPF, and DMARC Records: Follow HubSpot’s playbook to set up your DNS records right. These records are your key to authenticating your emails and guarding your domain against the bad guys.
  3. Keep an Eye on Your DNS Records: Once your DNS records are all set, keep them under your radar. Regular checks in HubSpot will ensure they’re verified and working hard for you. Any issues? Solve them pronto to keep your email reputation shining.
  4. Make Unsubscribing a Breeze: No one likes a clingy marketer. Make it easy for recipients to say ‘no thanks’ to your emails through one-click unsubscribe, instead of forcing subscribers to go to a website and check multiple options. HubSpot’s got the tools to slip unsubscribe links into your emails, keeping you on the right side of the new rules.
  5. Keep Spam Complaints to a Minimum: Shoot for spam complaint rates below 0.1% to keep your email delivery game strong. Regularly checking your rates will keep you in the know, ready to tackle any snags.

Let Pipitone Secure Your Email Marketing Future!

You don’t have to navigate these changes alone. As a HubSpot Platinum Partner, Pipitone can help you take control and protect your email marketing efforts in the face of these new requirements. Our expert team is well-versed in managing email authentication and can help you set up and verify your DNS records in platforms like HubSpot, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Brevo, ensuring optimal deliverability.


Ready to make sure your emails continue to hit the mark? Contact us today and let’s safeguard your email marketing together!

Dive deeper into email authentication with these resources:

Five Reasons Why an Agency Partner is Your Secret Weapon for HubSpot Implementation

Five Reasons Why an Agency Partner is Your Secret Weapon for HubSpot Implementation

By Leah Moore Director of Digital, Pipitone

As Pipitone’s Director of Digital, Leah knows you can’t find the forest without looking for the trees. Her day-to-day goal is helping clients leave a digital footprint, and she is a master at developing strategic and measurable digital marketing plans and executing them using a wide array of tools and best practices. Leah is passionate about tracking how marketing performs and thinking about how iterative improvements can turn any client’s everyday marketing efforts into amazing lead generation and nurturing tools.

Choosing an Agency Partner for HubSpot Implementation


Are you ready to power up your business operations in today’s digitally advanced landscape? If so, the answer is HubSpot – a CRM platform that offers everything scaling companies need to deliver a best-in-class customer experience into one place.


HubSpot is not just beneficial to your marketing mix—it’s essential. But how do you effectively utilize the full potential of such a powerful platform? The secret is a HubSpot agency partner. From cost-cutting to streamlined onboarding, increased efficiency, and unlocking those advanced features, teaming up with a HubSpot agency partner is a true game-changer.


Let’s delve into the top five compelling reasons why you should consider a partnership with a HubSpot implementation agency:



Imagine the peace of mind that comes with having a highly skilled team of HubSpot experts readily available, all without the hassle of recruitment, training, and salary expenses. It’s like having your own dream team of professionals working for you full-time, but without the burden of overhead costs.


Streamlined Onboarding

Remember that frustrating experience of trying to assemble IKEA furniture without the instructions? Transitioning to a new platform can feel just as daunting. But fear not! When you partner with a HubSpot agency, you gain access to their extensive expertise, which serves as a detailed manual for a smooth and efficient onboarding experience. They’ll guide you every step of the way, ensuring you make the most out of HubSpot’s powerful capabilities.


Certified Experience

Trust is everything, especially when it comes to your business. Would you rely on a self-proclaimed doctor without a medical degree? Probably not. Similarly, HubSpot agencies employ certified professionals who have dedicated their careers to mastering the intricacies of the platform. They’ve successfully navigated its complexities for numerous clients, making them well-equipped to help you avoid any potential pitfalls along the way.


Increased Efficiency

In today’s fast-paced world, every second counts. A HubSpot agency can be your secret weapon in the race to success. By partnering with experts who specialize in HubSpot, you can streamline your sales and marketing processes, freeing your team from time-consuming routine tasks. This allows them to focus on higher-level strategic initiatives that drive growth and deliver exceptional results.


Access to Advanced Features

HubSpot is a treasure trove of advanced features and tools that can supercharge your business. However, without the right knowledge, it can be challenging to uncover and utilize these hidden gems effectively. That’s where a HubSpot agency comes in. They have deep knowledge and experience with the platform, guiding you to discover and leverage these advanced features to their full potential. With their expertise, you’ll be equipped to take your marketing and sales efforts to new heights.


So, are you ready to unlock the full potential of HubSpot and transform your business operations? Partnering with a HubSpot Platinum Partner agency like Pipitone is like getting the keys to a high-performance sports car – it’s time to put pedal to the metal and accelerate toward growth.


Collegiate Conversations: Harnessing AI in Marketing and Sales

Collegiate Conversations: Harnessing AI in Marketing and Sales

AMA Pittsburgh Collegiate Conversations: Harnessing AI in Marketing and Sales
Thursday, March 21 from 5 – 6 p.m. via Zoom. FREE for AMA members and students. Donations accepted.

Register here:

Session Description:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is impacting organizations and creating opportunities, from tech stack to business decision-making to customer engagement. In this insightful session, learn how AI is impacting marketing and sales with RJ Thompson, Manager of Multimedia and Digital Strategy for University of Pittsburgh, Creative Strategist for +Public, award-winning marketing and graphic design professional, and former president of AMA Pittsburgh, and Shannon Gregg, Ph.D., President of Cloud Adoption Solutions, a Salesforce consultancy.

RJ Thompson, MFA, SMS is Manager of Multimedia and Digital Strategy for the Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, Creative Strategist for +Public, award-winning marketing and graphic design professional, and former president of AMA Pittsburgh. Prior to his role in Health Sciences at Pitt, he was Director of Digital Marketing in the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration. He has also served as a tenured Assistant Professor of Graphic + Interactive Design in the Department of Art at Youngstown State University. He continues to engage in teaching as an Adjunct Professor of Marketing and Graphic & Interactive Design at Point Park University since 2019 where he was responsible for writing and teaching the interactive design curriculum. In 2020, he began teaching at the Community College of Allegheny County. RJ is also the Co-Principal and Creative Strategist for +Public, a Pennsylvania-based social enterprise that focuses on cultivating community and economic development impact through the creation of branded communication platforms, creative place-making, and storytelling initiatives for communities-in-revival.

Shannon Gregg, Ph.D. is the President of Cloud Adoption Solutions, a woman-owned Salesforce consultancy focused on change management and user adoption. Shannon is an aficionado of sales technology to increase efficiency in the sales process and an early adopter and adoption influencer for sales technology systems, particularly and technology that integrates with the Salesforce platform. Shannon is a change agent, particularly in M&A environments (VC/PE) with a successful track record of integrating process, product/service pricing and pricing methodologies, and notably, global teams, with cultural sensitivity. She is also Assistant Director of the Michael P. Pitterich Sales & Innovation Center at Point Park University.

Why Cutting Your Marketing Budgets or Teams During a Recession Will Actually Hurt Your Bottom Line.

Why Cutting Your Marketing Budgets or Teams During a Recession Will Actually Hurt Your Bottom Line.

It seems I can’t open my computer without being bombarded with articles telling me why I should be scared about a looming recession in 2023. Inflation, war affecting global economies, and interest rate hikes are usually the reasons that roll off the tongue of the economists interviewed. As a marketing professional, these articles can be scary because of what talk of ‘recession’ usually means for Marketing Teams- budget & personnel cuts.

Marketers hold their collective breath when times get tough for companies, and belts need to be tightened because we know that the first budgets to hit the chopping block usually belong to the Marketing Department. Worse, when layoffs happen, marketing staff is usually on the list to be downsized and seen as a quick and expendable way to save money. But why? There are many reasons, most of which stem from decision makers that don’t understand the value that marketing brings – some of it tangible but some of it not quantifiable in normal terms. Leadership often views Marketing as a cost center rather than a profit center. Usually, when marketing is asked to prove its value (which we are asked a lot), it is in terms of leads and revenue generated, but the other important roles that marketing takes on, like brand building, awareness, nurturing, customer retention, reputation management and more are not as easily quantifiable despite their big impact on financial outcomes.

Decision-makers sometimes fail to see that marketing is not an expense but an investment in growth. Stop the spending; stop the growth trajectory. When the economy recovers, rebuilding and making up for the lost time becomes tough.

Leaders who view marketing as a necessary investment instead of a short-term savings opportunity and maintain or grow their marketing teams during recessionary periods statistically end up coming out on the other side much better off than their counterparts. So, let’s talk about data.

A research study done by McGraw-Hill1 looked at 600 companies between 1980-1985 and found that companies that maintained their marketing spends during the recession had a 256% higher sales growth than those that stopped advertising. Similarly,  research published in the Journal of Strategic Marketing in 2011 used modified meta-analysis to demonstrate that marketing can be significantly more important during a recession than at any other time. Their data suggests that companies that curtail their marketing expenditure jeopardize future sales and profits and take longer to recover from recessions than those that keep up spending.2

It is appropriate to reevaluate and spend in the places that make the most sense during a recession. It’s critical to understand that a recession changes the dynamic of your consumers, but marketers are used to using data to drive decisions and cut ties quickly with campaigns that aren’t working. Trust your teams to do what they do, and your company will fare better for it.


2. Lisa O’Malley, Vicky Story & Vicky O’Sullivan (2011) Marketing in a recession: retrench or invest?, Journal of Strategic Marketing, 19:3, 285-310, DOI: 10.1080/0965254X.2011.581386