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Set Up Custom Domain Authentication: DKIM and SPF | vaporb2b.com: KB Article
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    Set Up Custom Domain Authentication: DKIM and SPF

    This walk-through is for vSend users with a vBroadcast license or vCredit holders.

    Internet Service Providers (ISPs), like Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, use DKIM and SPF authentication as a way to scan incoming emails for spam or spoofed addresses. Emails that fail authentication are more likely to arrive in a spam or junk folder.

    To help ensure your campaigns reach your recipients’ inboxes and to make your campaigns look more professional, you can set up custom DKIM authentication for your domain, and add vSend to your SPF record.

    In this article, you’ll learn how to set up DKIM and add vSend to your SPF record.

    Before You Start

    Here are some things to know before you begin this process.

    • Custom domain authentication is required for vSend users with vBroadcast licenses or vCredit holders. Learn more about the benefits of

    • To set up authentication, you need to change some account settings with your DNS provider. If you don't know who your DNS provider is, reach out to your hosting service.

    • Certain hosting providers, like 1&1 and Network Solutions, don't support vSend's custom authentication standards. We recommend switching to a compatible service listed in this article if you need to set up custom authentication.

    Custom Authentication: Task Roadmap

    To authenticate your domain, you’ll need to complete tasks in vSend and your domain provider’s zone editor or cPanel. This process requires you to copy and paste information from vSend to your domain provider’s site. We recommend that you work with two browser windows or tabs to easily move between your sites.

    Here’s a brief overview of the process.

    In vSend

    In Your Domain's cPanel

    or Zone Editor

    • Verify your domain.
    • Copy two important pieces of information, your CNAME record for DKIM, and your TXT record for SPF
    • DKIM:

    You will Create 3 CNAME records for your site (Your records will be different, and you will receive an email from support) k1._domainkey.yoursite.com with this value(replace with the records received from support): dkim.emailserver.com.

    • SPF:

    Create a TXT record for yoursite.com with this value: "v=spf1 +a +mx +include:amazonses.com +include:_spf.google.com ~all"

     

    Verify Domain and Copy Records

    To get started, log in to vSend to verify your domain and copy your CNAME and TXT records.

    Verify Your Domain

    You’ll verify your domain in the Settings section of your vSend account. Navigate to the Verified domains page and follow the instructions in this tutorial coupled with the custom update support has provided to you. We’ll let you know when verification is complete.

    This process requires you to respond to a confirmation email. If you don’t receive the email after a few moments and you’ve checked your spam or junk folders, contact support for verification troubleshooting .

    Copy Authentication Information

    After your domain is verified, you’ll copy some important pieces of information in your vSend account.

    To find your domain’s authentication information, follow these steps.

    1. Navigate to your Verify my Domains.

    2. Under your domain’s name, click View setup instructions.

    3. During the Domain Authentication process support will email you the DNS update, we'll show you what information needs to be added or changed with your domain provider.

    4. In another browser tab or window, use this information to edit your domain’s DNS records, and and click Authenticate Domain when you’re done.

    About DNS Record Changes

    To authenticate your domain, navigate to your domain provider’s site. Then, use the the DKIM and SPF information from vSend to update your DNS records.

    Domain providers use different names for the page where you’ll update the DNS record, like  cPanel, Zone Editor, Zone File Settings, Manage Domains, Domain Manager, DNS Manager, or something similar.

    Example CNAME Record for DKIM

    Here’s an approximate example of what your CNAME record will need to look like to set up DKIM authentication. Remember, when you edit your own records, these columns and their labels may look different.

    Record Type

    Name

    Value/Data

    TTL

    CNAME Record qaas45._domainkey.yoursite.com qaas45.dkim.emailserver.com

    Default

    DKIM Tips

    • DKIM requires underscores in the CNAME file. However, in the past, DNS didn’t allow for underscores and some registrars still do not allow them to appear in the CNAME file. If you receive this type of error when you set up DKIM, the issue is on the registrar's side. We recommend either of these three options: contact your registrar for assistance, set up a secondary custom domain with a registrar that allows underscores, or switch DNS providers.

    • Depending on your provider, you may need to add a period at the end of your CNAME record. Some providers add this period automatically, so you may want to refer to their help site for more information.

      Example:

    dkim.mcsv.net.

    Example TXT Record for SPF

    Here’s an approximate example of what your TXT record will need to look like to set up SPF authentication. Remember, when you edit your own records, these columns and their labels may look different.  

    Record Type

    Name

    Value/Data

    TTL

    TXT Record yoursite.com "v=spf1 +a +mx +include:servers.mcsv.net +include:amazonses.com +include:_spf.google.com ~all"

    Default

    SPF Tips

    • SPF should be set up with a TXT record, rather than an SPF record.

    • If you need hands-on assistance, several third-party services can be hired to help you with SPF setup. Check out Fraudmarc and Dmarcian for more information.

    • When you make your updates, it’s important to also ensure that any other email service provider (ESP) or internet service provider (ISP) you use is also included in your SPF record.  

    • Avoid creating more than one TXT record for SPF. However, you can create multiple values in the same record with an include statement.

      Example:

    "v=spf1 +a +mx +include:amazonses.com +include:_spf.google.com ~all"
    • Depending on your provider, you may need to add quotation marks around your entire SPF record.

      Example:
    “"v=spf1 +a +mx +include:amazonses.com +include:_spf.google.com ~all"”

    How to Edit DNS Records in Common Domain Providers

    Here are some instructions for editing DNS records with popular domain providers. If your service isn’t listed here, log in to your provider’s site and search their help documents, or contact their customer support team.

    Amazon Web Services: Configuring DNS, Resource Record Types

    Dreamhost: SPF, DKIM

    GoDaddy: Add a CNAME Record

    Google Domains: DNS Basics

    Hostgator: Manage DNS records

    Hover: Edit DNS Record

    Namecheap: SPF & DKIM

    Network Solutions: Edit DNS Record

    Squarespace: Advanced DNS Settings

    Stablehost: How do I get to cpanel?

    After records are entered into your DNS correctly, your domain should authenticate within a few moments. In some cases, it may take a bit longer. To complete the process, don’t forget to re-open your vSend browser tab or window and click Authenticate Domain.

    When authentication is successful, you’ll see two green checkmarks on the Verified domains page.

    Image: a screenshot of the Verified domains page, with a succesfully authenticated custom domain

    vSend logs and stores your authentication when you set it up. If you make further changes to the TXT or CNAME records after you authenticate your domain, it could interfere with the information we have on file. Before you make further changes, disable authentication on the Verified domains page, and re-authenticate after your DNS changes are complete.

    Troubleshooting

    If you've entered all records correctly and your authentication isn’t working right away, there typically isn’t a cause for concern. You may need to wait a bit longer (up to 24 hours) since it can sometimes take time for servers to recognize your changes.

    If you still experience problems, reach out to your domain provider’s help site for tips on troubleshooting DNS records in their service.