How Strong Email Security Practices Can Safeguard Your Marketing Efforts

  • Updated on March 7, 2024
  • Email

Email is the fundamental method of communication, especially in the business world. As more and more people shop online, it is estimated that in 2025 daily email users will reach the mark of over 4 billion. Because of the large user base, almost every marketer uses email marketing to run their marketing campaigns successfully. 

It helps businesses reach the target audiences on a large scale within a limited cost. However, email marketing is the most vulnerable to cyberattacks, so it is vital to be aware of the potential risks involved in running such campaigns. 

As data is available everywhere and easily accessible on the internet, online attackers keep looking for multiple ways to steal the sensitive information of people. 

Marketers should be careful because through campaigns cyberattackers try to distribute malware, launch phishing attacks on their customers, and even use the brand for illegal purposes. 

This article is intended to guide you regarding email security practices to safeguard your marketing efforts. 

Reduces Risks of Credential Harvesting 

Credential harvesting

Credential harvesting involves the process of online attackers stealing sensitive information from organizations and individuals. Online attackers have various ways of tracking users into sharing credentials, which most commonly include fake websites and phishing emails. 

You can identify credential harvesting attacks in the following ways: 

  • High number of phishing emails
  • High account lockouts
  • Unfamiliar IP addresses and login locations 
  • Unusual account activities 

After you’ve realized these unsuspicious behaviors, it’s now time to see how marketers can prevent these attacks, according to DataDome’s article on credential harvesting

  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA): By requiring an additional verification form, unauthorized access becomes even harder for employees to compromise. MFA can also be used for employees. 
  • Email filtering & anti-phishing measures: This can detect and block phishing emails before they reach an inbox. For example, if you look at Gmail, it’ll automatically send suspicious emails to the spam folder. 
  • Strong password policies: Implement strong password policies that require unique and complex passwords, and regular password changes. You can include password managers that assist employees in managing and securing passwords. 

Newer technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) can easily analyze any behaviors to identify any potential credential harvesting attacks. 

Protects Customers Data 

Email security measures are vital for protecting customer’s data. As a marketer, you need to protect customers’ data at all costs, and let’s face it, if you send out emails, you need to collect data. 

Let’s not forget that you need to also comply with worldwide data privacy regulators like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Californian Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Strong security practices for collecting data for your emails include: 

  • Complying with data privacy regulators: Before you go any further, make sure you go through your GDPR or CCPA compliance checklist. The CCPA accounts for all California residents and those who do business in the state of California. 

The same goes for the GDPR, which protects EU members. Data privacy regulators want to make sure you are protecting customer’s data from misusage, informing them of the data you’ve collected from them, and allowing them to delete their personal information if required. 

  • Using a reputable email service provider: The greatest way to protect customer’s data is to make sure you are using a reputable email service provider (ESP) that offers high-quality security features and compliance tools. 

A good ESP is great for monitoring email deliverability, reputation, and helps you avoid penalties and blacklists. This way, you are becoming a much more trustworthy option for your customers. 

Did you know?

Data on phishing
  • Encryption and backup: Protecting customers’ data in email marketing effectively can be done through encryption and regularly setting up backups. Encryption is great in preventing unauthorized access, theft, or tampering with your data. Backup can help you in recovering your data in case of hardware failure, disaster, human error, and even online attacks. 
  • Educate your team: the last tip we recommend in protecting your customer’s data includes educating and training team members for the protection of sensitive information. Your team should be familiar with regulations and laws that apply to protecting the customer’s data. This is highly significant when you are a marketer since you are collecting data at all times. 

All of these email security practices safeguard sensitive information such as purchase history, personal details, and payment information, increasing customer loyalty and trust over time. 

Prevents Phishing Attacks 

Phishing attacks

One of the most common email marketing security risks is phishing attacks. One in every 4,200 emails sent is most likely a phishing scam email. Billions of emails are sent out daily, so imagine how a good deal of phishing ones might be there.

Phishing involves sending fraudulent emails that look like they are coming from a reputable source. For example, if some scammer can impersonate your brand and send out emails, acting like they are you. 

These types of emails will usually contain links or attachments that can enforce malware installation, or steal sensitive information when clicked on. The worst part is that phishing emails can sometimes be highly persuasive, and easily trick people into thinking you are the one behind these offers. 

Do you know?

51% of all emails are opened on a mobile device.

Successful marketers will use a series of techniques to prevent phishing emails:

  • Install an anti-phishing toolbar: Anti-phishing toolbars can run routine checks on visited sites and compare them to known phishing sites in their database. In case a user goes to a malicious site, the toolbar will alert them immediately.
  • Verify a site’s security: This is done by paying close attention to a few basic practices like making sure the website’s URL starts with HTTPS, looking for a lock icon close to the address bar, and making sure the website has a security certificate. 
  • Regularly checking online accounts: One great anti-phishing measure is to regularly check in with online accounts. Change passwords every six months, check up on bank account statements, and inform users to check entries on monthly financial statements. 

Also, it’s vital to always keep your browser up-to-date. This is a great reason why many browsers will release security patches from time to time. 

Moreover, marketers can verify the authenticity of emails and prevent online attackers from proofing their domain and even impersonating the brand, reducing the risks of phishing against customers. 

Maintains the Brand’s Reputation 

Brand reputation

Email security breaches can significantly damage a company’s reputation and customer trust. Strong email security practices can help prevent malware, email spoofing, and many other attacks that can damage a brand’s reputation. 

Malware infections include viruses, ransomware, or spyware that can spread through an infected email attachment or link. Once it enters your network, it can easily corrupt files, and install backdoors for ongoing access. Ransomware is responsible for costing businesses more than $5 million in revenue, a 13% increase from 2022. 

Especially when creating successful marketing campaigns, your brand’s reputation is as necessary as ever. Email marketing allows brands to communicate directly with their audience, and to deliver personalized and relevant content. 

Moreover, continuously delivering valuable content allows you to build trust and credibility. Brands that establish themselves as trustworthy sources in their communications can build up their reputation. 

After a good reputation is set up, it also allows you to engage directly with customers. By building up relationships, addressing consumer needs, and providing top-notch customer experiences through emails, brands can build up client loyalty. 

Improve Email Deliverability and Engagement Rates 

Email deliverability

You have most likely heard of spam emails, and they are what happens if the security level is low. Any mail you send out will either be automatically flagged as spam or get blocked by users. This significantly impacts your engagement efforts and deliverability rate. 

Email deliverability is vital since it is one of the main factors of successful marketing communication. This includes product updates, sending out newsletters, or even a transactional email that needs the user to act upon. The higher the deliverability, the more successful the campaign will be and its engagement rate. 

Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) is the most common method used for making sure your emails don’t join the spam folder and helps in improving engagement rates. 

It gives you full protection for making sure that your emails are genuine, and it’s broken down into three parts: 

  • Authentication: DMARC has two email authentications, which are DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and SPF (Sender Policy Framework). DKIM requires digital signatures for verifying email sources and integrity, and SPF makes sure that it is originating from approved servers. 
  • Policy enforcement: You can set up a DMARC policy that instructs email servers on how you can handle unauthenticated emails. This means that your server will automatically accept, or reject them. Let’s not forget that there’s also a ‘quarantine’ mode that serves the same as a spam folder. 
  • Reporting: DMARC has a feedback mechanism that is sent back to the domain owner, showing them which emails passed and which didn’t. These provide insights and help you improve the deliverability and engagement rates. 

DMARC is great for helping you stay on the safe side when marketing your product or service. Any offer you send out is double-checked, which means that emails won’t go into spam folders. This way, your customers are safe, and they’ll certainly get your message in their inboxes. 

Always Prioritize Email Security 

Prioritizing email security is significant for promoting effective communication and making sure that your marketing efforts matter. Complying with data privacy regulators, protecting your customer’s data, maintaining your brand’s reputation, and including DMARC policies are substantial for preventing online attacks. 

This way, not only are you effectively communicating with your customers and building trust, you are also creating effective marketing campaigns, and establishing long-term success in the online world. 


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