Data Security in Email Marketing
SSL encoding has become obligatory for all forms on websites and in online shops ever since the GDPR has entered into force. That’s why all our CleverReach® signup forms are well secured. But what is SSL?
SSL is short for “Secure Sockets Layer“, which allows you to establish an encrypted connection to transfer data on the internet. Nowadays, it’s actually called Transport Layer Security (TLS), however, the term SSL is still in use as most people are more familiar with it. SSL/ TLS encryption helps saving your data from getting into the hands of unauthorized third parties.
Data transfer takes place in various situations, for example
- During each login or
- Online purchases or
- When signing up via a form and
- When sending a newsletter/ an email
For using SSL encryption, you need an SSL certificate working with two keys: a public and a private key. The public key is used for encryption, the secret key for decryption. This ensures a secure data transfer and allows you to communicate in private emails via the public internet – thanks to SSL/ TLS.
Protect Your Content with SSL Encryption
Have you ever wondered what you need SSL encryption for?
By using SSL encryption, you protect your customers’ data from unauthorized access during the transfer.
Especially when transmitting sensitive data, it’s essential have a secure server connection established, to not let your data end up in the wrong hands and fall victim to phishing or a cyber attack.
This makes it even more important to use SSL encryption for the transfer of personal data and address details of your recipients.
SSL/ TLS allows you to send your newsletters in the most secure way.
This is how it works:
When sending an SSL encrypted email, not the content of your email is encrypted, but the route it takes to end up in your recipient’s inbox. SSL certificates establishes a secure connection between server and browser. This way, the content of your newsletter is protected from external access, comparable to the transport of a message in a pneumatic tube system as opposed to passing an open letter from hand to hand.
The question that pops up now: What are SSL certificates and how do they work?
SSL certificates are datasets that contain several types of information, such as the name of the certificate issuer, the serial number and the „fingerprint“ of the encryption. To use the certificate, you have to install it on your own server. It serves as authentication for the one using it.
Good to know:
How to recognize whether your data are transferred in an encrypted and secure way:
• the web address in your browser starts with “https//“ (instead of “http“).
• the status bar of your browser is additionally marked with a lock
• the status bar is highlighted in a green color in some browsers.
CleverReach® has been using the secure HTTPS protocol for transmitting your emails for quite some time already.
For Agencies: Use SSL Encryption with your own domain for newsletters
Using your own domain? This often applies to agencies who have set up domains for their customers.
To encrypt your email newsletters via SSL with your own domain, simply add an SSL certificate to your account. Turn to a certification authority to get one.
Go to My Account – Settings – SSL to upload your SSL certificate.
There you can find a list of domains you have already added.
For Agencies: How to set up SSL for your own domain
Click on the top right Add Certificate to start setting up SSL. A new screen pops up. Enter
• The domain,
• Private Key and
• Certificate (CRT).
Private Key: The private key is used for signing the SSL/ TLS connections. Never make the private key available to others.
Certificate (CRT): Please enter the certificate. SSL certificates are issued by a reputable certification authority.
You also have to adjust the CNAME to make SSL work properly.
Please note: The CNAME must point to ssl.cleverreach.com. If you have not adjusted it yet, you might get the notification “The CNAME of your domain does not yet refer to ssl.cleverreach.com! Please check your CNAME.“
In this case, check your CNAME. Take a look at https://mxtoolbox.com/SuperTool.aspx. This tool allows you to check your CNAME and view bugs.
When having entered everything correctly, your SSL certificate is added to your account. Please note, that this can take up to 48 hours.
Note: This feature is only available in paid accounts.
If you’re using our secure CleverReach® servers to send your emails, they are SSL encrypted and transferred securely by default.
SSL Certificate: Certification Authorities and Costs
Where do you get an SSL certificate? Please turn to an SSL certification authority.
Normally, this is your domain provider, i.e. a web host like
SSL certificates have an expiration date, generally you have to renew it after one year. You automatically receive a reminder in regular intervals (one month and one week) before your certificate expires.
What does an SSL certificate cost?
The costs are quite different and range from one euro per month to several hundred euros per year; however, there are also web hosting providers who offer unlimited free SSL certificates – but usually not in the cheapest price plan. Prices also vary in the scope of validation. It is differentiated between
• Domain Validation,
• Organization Validation and
• Extended Validation.
The question about the cost of an SSL certificate is therefore not easy to answer and it is advisable to compare prices and services in detail.
SSL in Your CleverReach® Forms
You don’t have your own domain? Then it’s quite simple for you to protect your email subscribers from unwanted access during the data transfer. All CleverReach® forms have been automatically and exclusively been set to SSL since May 25, 2018. This means, all your data are secure and protected from unauthorized access.
Good to know: When using SSL in CleverReach® signup forms, you don’t need your own SSL certificate. CleverReach® ensures that your recipients are protected when their data is transferred and that all data is transferred securely unless a separate domain is used. All you have to do is enable SSL encryption with just one click.
Note: If you’re still using old forms (older than May 25, 2018) on your website, please update the source code. For detailed instructions, take a look at our post „Signup forms for newsletters“.
Get started for free with CleverReach®!
- up to 250 recipients
- and send up to 1.000 emails per month for free!
Our free price plan has no limited running-term. There is no setup fee and no contractual obligations.
If you need to send more mailings you can choose between our prepaid plan and our flat rate. Our price plan calculator will tell you which plan is the best for you!