In this video, we take a look at what Email Authentication means, why it will improve your email delivery - and (from 1m08s onwards) how to set it up.
One of the great uncertainties in email marketing is whether your emails are being received by your contacts. You may find that your email ends up in the junk folder for some contacts. Some contact’s mail servers may even quarantine the emails so that it isn’t received at all.
There are so many factors involved when it comes to deliverability but you can give your emails the absolute best chance of reaching inboxes by setting up these domain records.
A Couple of Points To Note
- Setting up your domain is highly recommended, however, in most cases it is completely optional. We typically find that most deliverability issues are resolved once these records are set up.
- To set up your domain, you need to change some account settings with your DNS, this will probably mean reaching out to your IT team for assistance.
- If you're not sure what domains are, we'd recommend speaking to an IT person before requesting them to configure anything.
- Only domains you own / have access to, can be authenticated (eg. gmail.com, hotmail.com, bigpond.com etc domains cannot be authenticated - hence, we recommend using a proper business email address for your communications to build trust with your users ...such as an email ending in @your-company-name-goes-here.com.au, and not a free- or ISP-email address)
- If your domain is used by others on our platform (common for large companies with multiple teams or divisions using our platform), please be aware that if one account sets up & authenticates their domain, then everyone using that same domain will need to authenticate it in order to send from it. This is a security feature of our platform.
The primary job of the domain records is to authenticate your emails. In a really basic sense, sending authenticated emails means receiving mail servers will know our system has permission to send on behalf of your domain.
Sending authenticated email is significantly more trustworthy than sending unauthenticated. It is for this reason that we typically find that having these records setup will resolve most deliverability issues.
Add Your Domain
- Open the Accounts section via the cog icon in the top right.
- Select Domains from the sidebar, then click .
- Add your domain then click
- Once you’ve set the domain, you will need to choose a hostname. The default value for this is ‘comms’ but you are free to change this to whatever you would like it to be. This value here will be seen by almost no one, so don’t worry too much about it. Once you have decided on the hostname, click
- You will now see 3 records on the screen; Hostname, Domain Keys, and Domain Validation. Click
Once you or your IT provider add these records to your domain it can take some time to register. Generally though with DNS, it can take up to 48 hours for completion.
and put in the email address of the person that will be adding these records to your domain. If you are not sure who that is, send it to yourself so you can forward it on when you find out.
- The system will automatically check to see if the records are validated, but if you’d like to force that check you can click
Understanding the Different Record Types
The hostname record is entirely optional but does come highly recommended. This record will act as your return path which means that you will have DMARC alignment. If you have the pro marketer package, a corporate account, or an agency account you will also have the option to use this record as your product access.
In addition to it being your access to the system, it will replace the tracking links domain with this record. You can read more about those additional uses for the hostname record here.
In a really basic way, the domain keys is a way that mail servers can verify that an email hasn’t been tampered with between being sent and received.
The domain validation record is a record that we use to validate that you have permission to send from the domain you are setting up. This record is unique to each individual account. It’s one of the ways that we help protect your domain from unauthorised use.
How To Scan the DNS To See if It's Been Setup Correctly
In this guide, we'll show you how to scan the DNS to see if your domain name was configured correctly. This is handy if you've been advised by your IT / domain provider that it has been setup, but it's still coming back as 'Not configured' in our platform.
- In our platform, open the Accounts section via the cog icon in the top right.
- Select the Domains tab.
- Hover over the domain, then click to the right. The 'Domain Settings' dialog will open and you should see three little panels, on this screen - 'Hostname', 'Domain Keys (DKIM)' and 'Domain Validation'. Leave this dialog open, as you'll need to refer to it numerous times during this guide.
- In another browser window or tab, visit at DNS lookup tool such as DNS Checker.
- In the URL field, paste in your full domain name that you see in the first ('Hostname') panel. An example is shown below (though, use the information you see in yours - don't copy it from this example, as it will be different!);
- In the DNS tool, change the record type dropdown to be 'CNAME' and click .
- In the results, you should see a CNAME record containing the values you see in our platform, from the 'Hostname' panel of the 'Domain Settings' dialog.
- Let's move onto the second panel. Once more in the DNS Checker tool, paste the full domain name that you see in the second ('Domain Keys (DKIM)') panel. An example is shown below (though, use the information you see in yours - don't copy it from this example, as it will be different!);
- In the DNS tool, ensure the record type dropdown is still set to 'CNAME' and click .
- In the results, you should see a CNAME record containing the values you see in our platform, from the 'Domain Keys (DKIM)' panel of the 'Domain Settings' dialog.
- Let's move onto the third and final panel. Once more in the DNS Checker tool, paste the full domain name that you see in the third ('Domain Validation') panel. An example is shown below (though, use the information you see in yours - don't copy it from this example, as it will be different!);
- In the DNS tool, ensure the record type dropdown is now set to 'TXT' and click .
- In the results, you should see a TXT record containing the values you see in our platform, from the 'Domain Validation' panel of the 'Domain Settings' dialog.
The value field in the screenshot above has been blurred intentionally, for security reasons.
- If all three of these checks were successful & the data matched, then you should be able to successfully verify your domain in our platform.
Domain Is Configured, but Still Getting a 'Please Configure Your Domain' Message
You've configured your domain, it's showing as 'green' - but you're still receiving a 'Please Configure Your Domain' message? Often, this is due to the 'from' address on your email being different to that of your domain.
For example, you may have configured domain xyz-donut-company.com.au but you're trying to send from an email address ending in @abcdonutsandcakes.com.au. This would cause the aforementioned error to appear.
To fix this, adjust the 'from' address of your email to be that of an email address ending in the domain that has been configured.