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Are you getting the most out of your Email List? Email Lists are a valuable resource for bloggers and businesses alike. Many vital factors are considered before you email your campaign. You may think – “I need to focus on a compelling copy.” or “How do I write a subject line that will get the most email opens?”.
Think about this for a moment – whilst these are important to consider. The most vital aspect of sending out your emails is to get it to your reader’s inbox. If the email ends up in the spam folder or undelivered then it won’t matter how compelling the copy is nor how enticing the email subject line is either.
What if I told you the most efficient way that you could improve your emails’ deliverability, trustworthiness and prevent it landing in the spam folder? And that it would only take a few minutes of effort. With a set of comprehensive and easy to follow steps to guide you through. Well, that’s exactly what this post aims to do by setting up your Email Authentication directly through your Email Domain’s DNS.
But before we go into the “how to” section. Let me explain a little about what and how Email Authentication works.The most vital part of an email campaign is to keep it out of the spam folder. Even the most compelling copy won’t make a difference if your reader never sees it. Make sure your emails get delivered by following this easy guide! Click To Tweet
What Is Email Authentication?
First of all, Email Authentication (also known as Email Validation) is what lets your web domain know that a service outside your domain such as Email Marketing software can send emails on your behalf. It’s also used to prove that the email is indeed from the domain it says and not a forgery. Email Providers like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft etc., use it to detect, prevent and protect their users from spam, spoofing and phishing.
The method has limitations. Afterall, we do still see the occasional fishy email, right? But what’s important is that if you email to a list of subscribers you must setup Email Authentication. So you can ensure large amounts of your email campaign arrive in people’s inboxes. Not the spam folder or end up not delivered at all.
How Does Email Authentication Work?
By default, MailerLite completes Email Authentication for your email campaigns on your behalf. Whilst it helps to keep your emails out of the spam folder of subscribers it is more effective to set up Email Authentication yourself, directly in your Domain DNS. This is why the “from” address field gets amended with additional information that looks like this:
[email protected] via mlsend.com
The mlsend.com part depends on which Email Marketing Software you use. I’ve seen quite a few other variations in my inbox from different blogs and newsletters I occasionally like to indulge in. Even some brands with huge followings.
Some different ones I have seen are:-
Ouch, that’s quite a list!
This extra information appended to the “from” address in emails tends to show in Outlook and Gmail. It does not show in all email software. Keep this in mind when you test. If you want to make sure your emails don’t display the extra information. Especially, when you consider the number of people who use Gmail or Outlook to manage their emails.
How does this help me?
Many people will see this extra information appended to the “from” address. Most of which won’t understand what it is for. They will either disregard it as some extra information of how the email was sent or they could panic and think it is an email from a suspicious source. When I tested my emails I certainly had the latter response. This is not the response you want your subscribers to have. Subscribers who get emails with extra information like “via mlsend.com” added to the “from” address will trust the email less than one without.
Fact: You send emails because you want them read. Not flagged as spam, hidden or deleted. Also when compared to others who have set up their own authentication it just doesn’t look as professional right? Which kind of “from” email address are you more likely to trust?
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What Should I Expect From This Guide?
This ‘how to’ is specifically for MailerLite and Bluehost users. As these are both the systems I use myself. I don’t have access to any other Hosts or use any other Email Marketing Software. So it’s a struggle for me to write specific instructions for them. If you do find yourself stuck feel free to drop a comment below or contact me privately. We can try and figure it out together!
It’s easier than you think! You’ll be able to do this in 10 minutes or less, even if you take your time being careful with each step. The only long bit is waiting for the changes to take effect on the server. This will take a few hours dependant on your host and server. You don’t need to do anything during the update period. In fact, you can even go sleep and come back to finish it the next day. It’s merely a case of being patient.
The Step-By-Step How To:
Setting Up MailerLite To Manage Your Own Email Authentication
Let’s get started then!
Log into your MailerLite account.
In the top right corner click on your avatar to bring up the menu.
Select Authentication from the list.
On the next screen you’ll want to select I’ll manage my own authentication.
Then click on the green button at the button called Add new domain.
Another screen will show, enter your domain into the text box.
Click on Show DNS record.
You should now get 2 DNS records. One for DomainKeys/DKIM and one for SenderID/SPF.
You will need this information for a later step so make sure you keep this page open.
Add Your Email Authentication DNS Records To Bluehost
Login to your Bluehost account with your Hosting Login.
Use the top menu tabs go to hosting > cpanel
Under domains find the green icon for DNS Zone Editor. Click on it.
The below screen will appear.
Here we will need to enter the information provided to us by MailerLite by adding 2 DNS records.
Make sure the correct Domain is selected. It should be the same one you entered into MailerLite.
Add The DomainKeys/DKIM From MailerLite
Next, under Add DNS Record fill in the information with the DomainKeys/DKIM values from the MailerLite page you should still have open earlier.
If you did accidentally close the page you can reopen it by clicking your Avatar in the top right corner and clicking Authentication. You can then click on the Domain in the table to bring the DNS Record values back up.
Fill in the values like this:-
Host Record: Enter the TXT Name here.
TTL: Leave this as the default value.
Type: Change this to TXT
TXT Value: Copy and paste the TXT Value here.
Be careful when you copy and paste values. Any extra spaces at the start or end of them will cause an error.
Once complete, click add record.
Wait for a moment for the process to complete. If you want to check the record has been added you can scroll down the page to the TXT (Text) table to see it.
Hosts Other Than Bluehost
Remember: If you are trying to do this through a different host other than Bluehost then the names of the fields may be different. Sometimes the field that you enter the TXT Name into is called Host Record, Host, or Hostname. If you leave this field blank it will usually default to @ when added to the DNS tables.
Add the SenderID/SPF
To add the information of the 2nd DNS Record for the SenderID/SPF you may need to add another DNS Record like previously. Or edit a record that already exists, so read carefully what information MailerLite gives you.
Depending on what DNS Records your web host already has set up, MailerLite will give you different DNS Records to add. If MailerLite gives you a message like “You already have SPF record in your DNS. Please alter it to the new one:” then you should not add a new DNS Record.
Instead you should find the record in the TXT (Text) table and click edit. You should then be able to change the TXT Value to the one MailerLite provided you. Save your changes once done.
If MailerLite tells you to add a DNS Record for the SenderID/SPF then it may give you only a TXT Record Value. This means you should leave the Host Record field empty and it will default to @ once the record has been added. This is nothing to worry about!
Wait For DNS Records To Update On Your Server
Once you have added or edited the required DNS Records as per MailerLite’s instructions you will have to wait for the changes to be applied to the server. Depending on your web host and your individual plan it can take several hours for the changes to take effect. The DNS Zone Editor page for Bluehost highlights that it can take up to 4 hours. When I made these changes in my own DNS Zone Editor, it did take about 4 hours before the changed were applied. Some hosts and servers can take up to 48 hours so it might require a bit more patience.
So go ahead and find something else to do for a few hours!
Finalize The Email Authentication In MailerLite
Once you feel enough time has passed (I’d suggest at least 4 hours) go back to the MailerLite page you had open from earlier with all the values for the DNS Records you were asked to add.
Again, if you did accidentally close the page you can reopen it by clicking your Avatar in the top right corner and clicking Authentication. You can then click on the Domain in the table to bring the DNS Record values back up.
At the bottom of the screen, you can click Check DNS Records and MailerLite will check to see if the DNS Records have been made active. If they haven’t you’ll get red error messages above any DNS Records that have failed. You may need to wait a bit longer or one of the DNS Records might be set up incorrectly. So check for typos and extra spaces that shouldn’t be there from copy and pasting.
If you see green messages like the below, then the DNS Records have been updated and match what MailerLite expected. You’ve cracked it! It’s easy isn’t it?
When you next send an email through MailerLite and your domain’s email the “via” should no longer show. You should send a test email to check this.
Important Takeaways Of Managing Your Own Email Authentication
So it all adds up to this, by managing your own Email Authentication no extra details will be added to the sender field. Your emails look more professional and secure. Above all, deliverability will be boosted even more than the default MailerLite authentication. It just requires a few extra steps and a little patience to wait for the changes to kick in server side.
Prioritize the configuration of your own Email Authentication. As it helps keep your email campaigns out of the Spam folder. Your email’s origin will be viewed as more trustworthy to your readers. And it can help prevent your emails being reported as spam which could result in your email address blacklisted.
Once you’ve spent the small amount of time required to set this up, you won’t ever have to worry about it again. Unless you change your domain or Email Marketing software. So make the most of your email list and get your Email Authentication setup directly with your Host DNS.Setup your own Email Authentication in a quick & easy 10mins with this guide. Boost your trustworthiness & keep your campaigns out of the spam folder to get the most out of your email list. Click To Tweet