Tutorial №4. Setting up your email

To have your emails end up in the Inboxes of your subscribers rather than their Spam Boxes, it’s important to set up your email for campaigns properly.

To begin with, create a corporate email address if you don’t have one yet. Then, add this address to your Selzy account at Confirmed Emails, after which set up email authentication of the domain.

Confirmed Emails list in a Selzy account.

Registering a corporate email address

Mailing services are usually suspicious towards campaigns sent from free domains (like @gmail.com). Such addresses do not work well for email marketing campaigns: emails from these domains often end up in a spam folder.

Any campaign works better when sent from a corporate email address. It is an address that is registered with the website domain. For example, @uber.com, @booking.com.

The campaigns sent from a corporate email address don’t raise suspicions in mailing services. Besides, a corporate email address looks nice and is convenient to use. The domain in its name tells the recipient which company is the sender.

To set up your corporate email address, you will need a website and access to the control panel of the website hosting. 

If you already have a corporate email address, add it to the list on the Confirmed Emails page, and proceed to the stage of setting up email authentication.

Setting up email authentication

Email authentication is the process of verification of an email sender. It is used to improve the deliverability of campaigns. 

Email authentication works as an ID/passport. Mailing services check if you have one and decide whether to allow the campaign to an Inbox or not. If you set up authentication, the fraudsters won’t be able to send an email in the name of your domain.

Setting up of authentication gives you two benefits:

  • An increased chance to end up in the Inbox. Authentication helps an email provider understand who sent the email — a reliable sender or a fraudster. If you don’t spam, your chances of getting to the Inbox grow.
  • Allows you to use postmasters. They are special services from email providers (e.g., Gmail postmaster) that show the reputation of the domain, % of ending up in Spam, and the deliverability of particular mailing services. You won’t be able to access this data without email authentication.

Follow the steps below to set up email authentication yourself.

 

If you don’t have enough time to deal with it or experience difficulties with the process, you can always order setup service from Selzy Customer Service.

Email authentification setup

Step 1. Learn your hosting

To set up authentication, you need to learn which hosting you use. It can be done through a service for DNS records review.

For example, let’s learn the hosting for the Reserved.com website through NsLookup.

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Checking the domain and learning its hosting using NsLookup

After the check-up, we see that the authentication should be set up in Cloudflare hosting, according to NS records.

Remember the name of the hosting and go to the next step.

Step 2. Form SPF and DKIM records

In your Account, go to Settings.

Settings section in your account.

In Account Setup, choose Domain Authentication.

 Domain Authentication section.

To set up domain authentication for your corporate email address that you use to send your campaigns, click on the Create button, add the name of the domain (the address of the website without the protocol), and click on the Obtain Settings button.

Adding the domain and getting settings for your email authentication.

 

You will be able to add a domain only if you have a confirmed email with this domain at Selzy.

You will see the window with the information you need to copy to the hosting.

Records needed to set up the authentication of the domain.

Step 3. Set up SPF

SPF shows which email servers are allowed to send emails on your behalf. If you use an email marketing service, you should state it in SPF.

Let’s take Hostinger to show how to add records. You can do it with a different hosting, only the interface will be different.

Go to the hosting homepage, in the Domain tab find the domain you need, then click on the Manage button next to it.

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Domain management panel at Hostinger

Then, go to the DNS / Nameservers tab where you can manage DNS records of the domain.

The page where you can add records into the DNS of the domain

From the records you got at the previous step, copy the line @ TXT v=spf1 include:spf.selzy.com ~all and paste it to the hosting.

This line stands for:

  • @ — the name of the record (host) or Subdomain. If @ is not allowed to be used, use your domain name in the Host (Subdomain) field. 
  • TXT — the type of the record.
  • v=spf1 include:spf.selzy.com ~all — the value of the record.

Subsequently, insert the data you have for the SPF record into the fields. In the TTL field, you can leave the default value. This value is the record data refresh time in seconds.

Fill in all the fields and click on the Add Record button.

Adding the SPF record to the DNS.

 

It’s correct to have only one SPF record. At the same time, it can include all servers from different services that you are going to use for your campaigns. In this case, the SPF records should be merged.

A merged SPF record.

Here is what the merged SPF record looks like

Step 4. Set up DKIM

DKIM allows the sending server to sign your emails with a unique key. If someone decides to send an email using your domain name, they won’t have this key. Thus, mailing services will detect it and put the fraudster’s email to spam folder.

Take the DKIM record data from the info you got in your account.

us._domainkey TXT v=DKIM1; k=rsa; p=MIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUAA4GNADCBiQKBgQD0l3mpHnuXwYcWwNQjURQKJGPDrzQH9BVXXWMT2TGLdxbXitJEdbjd7fB729q0kaoYK61eDAyaaEg0Y4ITmO+xvatxTQCNq0srPTF3dfc5mbrOFc0HsAtOy0faXUDF8veDr+bs8kcCtoQHpwks+51SXv3ETjMld/TWZicwc3nVIQIDAQAB

This line stands for:

  • us._domainkey — the name of the record (host) or Subdomain. The record must contain us._domainkey.
  • TXT — the type of the record.
  • v=DKIM1; k=rsa; p=MIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3D… — the unique value of the record for each domain in the system. This is the DKIM key.

Now, fill in the data in the record form. Choose the same type of record as for the SPF - TXT. Copy and paste the long DKIM key in the Value field and click on the Add Record button when you are ready.

Adding DKIM records to the DNS.

Some domain control panels demand a second-level domain to be manually given next to us._domainkey, e.g., us._domainkey.example.com. However, at the majority of hostings, the us._domainkey as the name of the entry is enough.

Step 5. Check the records in Selzy

After you have set up the hosting data, go to Account Setup → Domain Authentication and check if your Selzy status has changed to Enabled. This status means that the authentication was successful. It doesn’t get updated at once, usually, you have to wait between half an hour to a couple of hours.

The domain status in Selzy with a set-up authentication.

To refresh the status manually, click on two arrows next to the status.

Done! You have successfully set up email authentication for your account.

Q&A

What should I do if I already have an SPF record at a different service?

It’s correct to have only one SPF record. At the same time, it can include all servers of different services that you are going to use for your campaigns. 

For example, you are using Selzy together with your mailbox at Outlook.

In this case, add “include:spf.selzy.com” to the already exising record of “v=spf1 include:spf.protection.outlook.com ~all”. If there is “redirect=” in your record, you must exchange it to “include:”. The merged record must end with “~all”.

As a result, your SPF record will look like this:

v=spf1 include:spf.protection.outlook.com include:spf.selzy.com ~all

In the same way, you can edit the standard SPF record at any other email provider. 

I have followed all the instructions, though the Selzy status is still "created" or "disabled". What should I do?

If you refresh the status and see the notification that no errors were found, wait for 30 more minutes. The status will be actualized to enabled.

When you refresh the status, the following errors might occur:

  • DKIM record not found.
  • SPF record missing.
  • The obligatory parameter “include:spf.unisender.com” is missing from the SPF record.

In this case, you should check if your records at the hosting are correct. 

We recommend you to double-check extra spaces, as they are taken into account when reading the record. It’s also a good idea to check if you have made records to the right hosting.

Is DMARC setting up obligatory?

Apart from SPF and DKIM, you can also specify the policy of reading these records (DMARC). In this case, the providers will have an instruction of what to do if an email is sent from your domain but its SPF and DKIM disagree. This happens if someone is trying to send spam using your domain.

DMARC allows one to receive reports and decide what to do with the emails that don’t comply with SPF and DKIM checkups.

An example of how DMARC policy works.

It’s not obligatory to provide DMARC if you have just begun to set up the authentication. You can send your campaigns without it.

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