What if I told you that with a few minutes work you could instantly reduce the chances of your email being marked as spam, build trust with your recipients and protect your brand from being abused via email. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it. Well, that’s exactly what you can do with the new email authentication feature we just launched.

What the heck is email authentication?

Email was built in much more innocent times when spam came in a can and phishing was something you did on the weekend to relax. This meant the system was left fairly open, making it very easy to manipulate – it’s just as easy to make your email come from bill@widgets.com as it is from bill@microsoft.com. Unfortunately this great flexibility has also been it’s greatest undoing.

Enter email authentication, a simple method that proves you sent the email.

While it’s by no means a silver bullet to the spam problem, authentication is an important first step in adding that much needed accountability layer into email. In a nutshell, it involves you adding some simple records to the DNS of the domain name you send email from that says who is allowed to send email on your behalf.

Without getting into too much of the boring details, there are two main authentication standards out there you need to support called Sender ID and DomainKeys. What is important is that different ISP’s use one or a combination of both, so to get the best results we’ve made it dead easy to support both standards.

What’s in it for you?

All the large ISP’s like AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo! and Gmail are using email authentication as an important layer in their spam fighting arsenal. By setting up Campaign Monitor as an authenticated sender, you can instantly bypass certain filters, giving your campaigns a better chance of arriving in the inbox. Not only that, but many ISP’s like Yahoo! and Hotmail will flag your email as authenticated, which helps to build trust between you and your subscribers and improves the chances of your emails being opened.

For example, here’s an authenticated and non-authenticated email in Yahoo! Mail:

Email authentication in Yahoo! Mail

Authenticating your sending domains in Campaign Monitor

I know the concept of authentication can make some designer’s eyes glaze over (mine included), so we’ve made the entire process as pain-free as possible. While I’ll give you an overview here, we’ve also put together a complete guide in the help system, along with instructions on updating your DNS records in some of the popular hosts (we’ll be adding more soon).

To get started, select the client you’d like to set this up for under “Manage Clients” and click the big green “Add a domain to authenticate” button.

Get started by clicking the big green button

Once you enter the domain name you want to authenticate, we’ll generate the 2 records to add to your DNS.

Add the new records to your DNS

Once you’ve added the records, we’ll automatically check them out and confirm that they’ve been added correctly. As soon as they have, that domain will be available as an authenticated domain when sending email for that client.

An authenticated domain being used

That’s all there is to it! We’ll take care of the rest and make sure each ISP knows the email is definitely coming from you. You’ll now be able to bypass some spam filters, build trust with your recipients and ensure your domain name cannot be used fraudulently by others.

  • Damien Buckley

    Is anyone using this with Planetdomains DNS & Hosting? If so, can you let me know how you went setting it up.

  • Tim Anderson-Bonsor

    Is this available for Mail Build too? If not, is it coming soon?

  • Dave Greiner

    Not just yet Tim, but we’re working on it and plan to roll it out real soon so it’s nice and easy to set this up for each of your clients.

  • riki

    I haven’t seen anything like this on Dreamhost

    re: Once you enter the domain name you want to authenticate, we’ll generate the 2 records to add to your DNS.

  • Mike Bowzeylo

    Hats off to you my friends! Once again, this is why everyone should be using Campaign Monitor. You guys are very proactive rather than reactive. I like that!

    Cheers

  • Dave Greiner

    Riki, I just had a look around and saw that Dreamhost do support adding your own TXT records. Here are some basic instructions that you can follow to add both records. If you do run into any problems or have questions though, your best bet would be to get in touch with Dreamhost support.

    Mike, thanks for shout out, that’s much appreciated.

  • Mike Bowzeylo

    Just added the Sender ID and DomainKey records to one of my clients DNS hosted at MediaTemple. I found it simple to add the TXT Records using MediaTemple’s control panel. Pretty straight forward. Just click on the “Edit Zone” icon and then click the “Add New Record” button. My new record entries were confimed in my account at Campaign Monitor shortly after.

    Simple to do… thanks guys for making our campaigns that much better!

    Cheers

  • Mike Atherton

    Sounds like a great improvement to stop us ending up in the spamboxed! On a related note, if I wanted my recipients’ IT administrator to whitelist my newsletters (so that as a Trusted Sender, images load automatically in recipients’ email clients) which address should be whitelisted? the newsletter@mydomain.com address or the createsend server address from which the mail originates?

    Mike

  • Paul Tlapa

    How does this work for a corporate account – where we have our own mail servers (not sure if they are using domainkeys or senderId) – but still would like to have emails sent through campaign monitor be authenticated? Assuming we don’t use one of these authentication methods on our own mail servers, can we still send authenticated emails through your servers?

  • janice

    We set it up, easy as pie, works great!! THANKS CAMPAIGN MONITOR folks!!!

  • Dave Greiner

    Mike:

    This does depend on the mail server, and it would be worth checking with your administrator to make sure. The most common way would be to whitelist our IP’s, or the “from email address” you guys use.

    Paul:

    We’ve approached these records so non-authenticated email won’t be penalized, but I’d definitely recommend running this by your corporate mail administrator first. If you already use DomainKeys, we allow you to enter your key details and still use the same signature from Campaign Monitor.

    Janice:

    Great to hear, thanks for the feedback!

  • Kris

    Just a note for those of you who also use Plesk to manage their DNS settings. Plesk users will notice that adding a domain key with an underscore in it will not work. You will get a warning that the domain is invalid.
    On http://forum.swsoft.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=26721, you will find a discussion about this problem.

  • Dave Greiner

    Thanks for the heads up about that Kris, I’ll make sure we add that to our DomainKeys FAQ.

  • Blair

    Hi,

    Will this be available for Mail Build?

  • Chris

    Is this feature actioned on MailBuild yet??

  • Rules

    I found it simple to add the TXT Records using MediaTemple’s control panel. Pretty straight forward. Just click on the “Edit Zone” icon and then click the “Add New Record” button.

Want to improve your email marketing? Subscribe to get tips on improving your email marketing delivered to your inbox.
X

Join 200,000 companies around the world that use Campaign Monitor to run email marketing campaigns that deliver results for their business.

Get started for free