Sender domain DNS verification

Modified on Tue, 01 Aug 2023 at 10:59 AM

As a marketer, you might already be familiar with SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) acronyms, but understanding their significance can greatly benefit you. Implementing SPF and DKIM in your DNS records for your email server allows you to enhance email deliverability and gain better control over your email communication. Now is the ideal opportunity to learn about these authentication protocols and leverage them to ensure your emails reach the intended recipients successfully.

SPF and DKIM records

In case you are unaware of these terms let us explain a little bit about these before diving into the verification process.

SPF (Sender Policy Framework)

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is a crucial email authentication protocol that allows domain owners to establish a secure and reliable communication channel. By publishing SPF records in the DNS, brands can explicitly define which mail servers are authorized to send emails on behalf of their domain.

During SPF verification, email providers check the SPF record by looking up the domain name mentioned in the "envelope from" address within the DNS system. If the IP address of the sending server is not listed in the SPF record, the email does not pass SPF authentication. This suggests a possible attempt at spoofing or phishing.

Implementing SPF offers robust protection against spammers and phishers attempting email forgery. By publishing an SPF record, the domain becomes less vulnerable to fraudulent emails, as spam filters effectively detect and block such attempts. This boosts the domain's credibility and diminishes its appeal as a target for spoofed addresses. As a result, the domain's reputation improves, reducing the risk of being blacklisted by spam filters. Ultimately, emails with SPF records have a higher likelihood of successfully reaching recipients, establishing a secure and trustworthy communication environment.

DKIM records

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) is a protocol that enables organizations to authenticate their emails using cryptographic verification. This process ensures that mailbox providers can verify the legitimacy of the message's source. For email recipients, DKIM provides a significant advantage by allowing reliable identification of legitimate emails. This effectiveness leads to more accurate domain-based blacklists and whitelists. Moreover, DKIM enhances the detection of certain phishing attacks, offering a way to ascertain the trustworthiness of the message while it travels through various handlers, including intermediaries and originators.

Generating SPF and DKIM records

NotifyVisitors offers a very simple process to generate SPF and DKIM records. Simply go to settings > email > sender domain. On this page add your domain and subdomain name, and our system will generate the records for you.

To know more in detail about the process of generating SPF and DKIM records through your NotifyVisitors account, please refer to the article “How to add custom domain”.

Multiple SPF records

If you have already verified your domain and are using multiple service providers like NotifyVisitors, you may end up with multiple SPF values. However, DNS zones of a domain can only have one SPF record.

To handle this situation, you should merge the individual SPF records into a single record by including all the values or mechanisms in the same record. For instance, let's consider the following two SPF records:

1. "v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com ~all"

2. "v=spf1 include:email-messaging.com ~all"

To combine them, you can create a single SPF record that includes both service providers:

"v=spf1 include:email-messaging.com include:_spf.google.com ~all"

This way, you encompass all the required SPF information in one record, ensuring proper email authentication and avoiding any conflicts that might arise from having multiple SPF records for the same domain.

Update DNS records with your domain provider

Once you have generated the necessary DNS records, it's time to update them with your domain provider. This step requires access to your domain's DNS management panel. Follow these steps to add the required CNAME and TXT records:

Adding a CNAME record

A Canonical Name or CNAME record is a type of DNS record that maps an alias name to a true or canonical domain name. CNAME records are typically used to map a subdomain such as www or mail to the domain hosting that subdomain's content.

In this case your Subdomain will point towards NotifyVisitors CNAME

Adding a TXT record

A Text (TXT) record is commonly used to add additional information or verification to your domain's DNS configuration. NotifyVisitors utilizes TXT records for SPF and DKIM verification. Simply copy the TXT record provided by NotifyVisitors and add it to your domain provider's DNS management panel.

Here is a list of the top DNS providers, each offering tutorials and basic information on adding records. Please note that you should focus on the TXT format sections when searching for tutorials on adding records:

GoDaddy

NameCheap

RackSpace

Amazon (SPF and DKIM)

G Suite

NetworkSolutions

DigitalOcean

Unsure of your DNS provider? Find your DNS provider here.

In case you have any other DNS provider than the ones listed above, kindly refer to their documentation or utilize their support channels to ensure you receive accurate guidance tailored to their platform.

Also, please note that it may take upto 24 hours for new DNS settings to become active.

Once your records have been verified, you can create new sender emails which shall consist of your newly verified domain. 

Verification error 

In the event that you encounter an error message while trying to verify your domain, please make another attempt as directed. To troubleshoot the issue, we recommend utilizing free online DNS record checker services such as dmarcian.com, whatsmydns.net, or dnschecker.org. These tools can assist in identifying and resolving any potential problems with your dedicated sending domain. If you are unable to resolve the issue using these tools, kindly contact our NotifyVisitors Support Team for further assistance.

Warming your infrastructure

Verified SPF and DKIM records increase your email deliverability rate which leads to increase in your domain reputation. However, If you have a new dedicated domain (registered within the last 30 days), it is crucial to warm your sending infrastructure during the initial 2 to 4 weeks after setting up your dedicated sending domain. Warming your domain is important for building a strong sender reputation. The warming process may vary depending on the data you are migrating to NotifyVisitors and your specific use cases.

To know more about warming your domain please refer to the article “Mastering Email Domain Reputation: A Guide to Warm-Up and Ramp-Up Process”.

Additional resources

Understanding Shared Vs. Dedicated Sending Domains

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