Does Your Site Use a Contact Form? It's Time for an Update

May 2014
Sign, Road, Warning
Photo: @samrturnage

At the beginning of April, Yahoo pushed through a new policy in their effort to stop fraudulent emails.  Two weeks later, AOL announced the same changes, with more email service providers expected to eventually follow.

What does this mean for your business?  If your email campaigns attempt to send any emails from or domains – or if anyone fills out a contact form on your website using an address with those domains – they will not be received at the destination email.  Because most contact forms use the user’s email address as the “From” email address, this means messages from any users using Yahoo or AOL for email will not be received.

Why is this happening?  Using a method of email authentication called DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance), AOL and Yahoo are preventing all emails with or domains from originating anywhere but their own servers.  While this is done to prevent spam, the impact has a much broader reach, as a large number of legitimate emails have been caught in the mix and remain unreceived.

What can you do?  The solution, fortunately, is fairly simple.  All emails, including ones sent by your contact forms or email campaigns, must originate from your own domain.  For example, if Joe Example fills out a contact form on your site, instead of sending the form from the email address he provides (, it needs to be sent from your own domain (  Your web designer can make this change, and since you have control over your domain, you’ll know that those emails will always go through.

Currently, AOL and Yahoo are the only major email service providers to institute this change, but it’s expected that many other providers such as Gmail and Hotmail will eventually follow similar policies in an effort to fight spam. That means being proactive with this change right now is essential.

For more information or help fixing your contact form, contact us today.

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