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.
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.
How to add your domain
- The first step in setting these records up is to add your domain to the account. To do this go to Accounts > Domains and select ‘Add Domain’. Add your domain then click ‘next’. If you are unsure what your domain is, it’s everything after the “@” in the email address you intend to send from. For example, if I’m going to send from firstname.lastname@example.org, the domain would be company.com.au.
- 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 ‘save’.
- You will now see 3 records on the screen; Hostname, Domain Keys, and Domain Validation. Click the ‘Send Instructions’ button 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.
- Please note that once you or your IT add these records to your domain it can take some time to register them. Generally though, this will be done within minutes. The system will automatically check to see if the records are validated. but if you’d like to force that check you can click on the ellipsis to the right of your domain and select ‘Test and Check’.
If all is well your domain will now say ‘configured’.
What are the different records
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.