Navigating the New Email Marketing Landscape: Simple Steps to Ensure Compliance for Estate and Elder Law Firms

As we move into 2024, the email marketing world is set to undergo significant changes. From February 1st, new standards for email deliverability and authentication will come into effect. Understanding and adapting to these changes is crucial for ensuring your law firm’s emails continue to reach your clients effectively. But don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. In this article, we’ll break down these changes into simple terms and provide actionable steps to ensure your firm remains compliant.

What’s Changing in Email Marketing? 

Starting February 1st, 2024, new standards for email deliverability and authentication will be in effect. These changes are vital to ensure your law firm’s emails don’t just end up in the spam folder but actually reach your clients. 

Understanding The New Standards

The new standards revolve around three key elements – DMARC, DKIM, and SPF. Think of these as digital IDs for your emails, making sure they’re recognized as legitimate and safe:

  1. DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) acts like a security guard, verifying that emails from your firm are genuinely from you.
  2. DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) is like a unique seal, ensuring your email’s content remains unaltered and the sender is authentic.
  3. SPF (Sender Policy Framework) functions like a guest list, telling email servers which senders are authorized to send emails from your domain.

What’s the Point of These Changes?

In simple terms, it’s all about security – specifically, to combat phishing and scams. These measures are designed to:

  • Prevent Impersonation: By verifying that emails genuinely come from the stated sender, we reduce the risk of someone impersonating your law firm to scam clients.
  • Enhance Trust: When your emails are authenticated, clients can trust that they’re receiving legitimate communication from you, not a scammer.
  • Improve Deliverability: Email providers are more likely to deliver emails that pass these security checks, ensuring your important messages reach your clients’ inboxes.

In essence, these changes are not just a compliance requirement; they’re a crucial step in safeguarding your firm’s reputation and the trust you’ve built with your clients.

Basic Steps for Compliance:

To ensure that you are in compliance before the February 1st deadline, here’s a straightforward plan to start with:

  1. Consult Your IT Team or Email Service Provider: They can confirm if your email system is already equipped with DMARC, DKIM, and SPF.
  2. Check With Any Platforms Sending Emails On Your Behalf: This includes not just your email marketing services but also any CRM systems, practice management, billing, and calendaring software. It’s essential to ensure that these platforms are also compliant, as they play a crucial role in your firm’s email deliverability.
  3. Test Your Email Deliverability: After setting up these protocols, conduct tests by sending emails to various providers (like Gmail, Yahoo) to see if they land in the inbox or spam folder.

“WAIT– Does Every Sender in the Office Need to Comply?”

A common question we encounter is whether these new email standards need to be applied by every individual sender within a law firm. The good news is that DMARC, DKIM, and SPF are set up at the domain level – that means they’re implemented once for your entire firm’s email domain. So, it’s not about each individual, but about securing your firm’s entire email system.

Breathe… We’re Here to Help

While these new standards might seem a bit daunting, they’re here to protect your firm’s reputation and ensure your communications reach your clients effectively. By following these straightforward steps, you can adapt smoothly to these changes.

Remember, our team is always here to assist you with your email marketing needs. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need further guidance.