How To Verify And Authenticate Your Domain - MailerLite (2023)

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Email verification and authentication are important in the world of email marketing as they help ensure the proper deliverability of your campaigns. Aligning your authenticated domain will even boost your deliverability.

A domain can be verified via a confirmation email or by authenticating it.

Note:Large public mailbox providers like Gmail or Yahoo are not recommended, as there are too manylimitationswhen using their free domains for sending. These can also not be authenticated since you do not own the domain.

Clickhereif you’re authenticating your domain with GoDaddy, orhereif you’re authenticating your domain with Wix.

You can also watch a video tutorialhere.

Why authenticating your domain is important

Although optional, we highly suggest that you authenticate your own custom domain to improve your deliverability rates.

It also significantly increases the chances of your email landing in the recipients’ inboxes rather than the spam or junk folder.

To authenticate it, you will need to add two records to the DNS page of your domain:

  • DKIM(DomainKeys Identified Mail): a sender identification tool that is used by email clients (such as Google, Yahoo, and Outlook) to identify and protect from phishing, spoofing and forgery.

  • SPF(Sender Policy Framework): indicates which IP addresses and/or hostnames have been authorized to send emails from the specific domain.

Note: TheDKIMandSPFrecords given to you on theDomainspage cannot be changed within MailerLite and the exact records must be added to your DNS page for the authentication to work.

How to verify your email address

  1. Head to the Settings page select the Domains tab.

  2. ClickAdd domain.

  3. Enter the email address you wish to use to send emails from and clickSave.

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  1. Once you receive the confirmation email, click on theConfirm my email addresslink.

  2. You will see a success message confirming the domain verification.

Note: If you haven’t received a verification email from us, use the resend feature, authenticate your domain, or contact our Support team atsupport@mailerlite.comfor additional assistance.

How to authenticate your domain

  1. Head to the Settings page select the Domains tab.

  2. Click onAuthenticatefor a verified domain, orAdd domainfor an unverified one (and then click onSend confirmation email).

  3. You’ll get theNameandValuefields for theDKIMandSPFrecords of this domain. Keep this page open.

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  1. Access the DNS page of your domain. If you don’t know how, contact your hosting or domain provider for further support (in most cases, their Support team can add theDKIMandSPFrecords for you).

  2. Add theDKIM as a CNAME recordandthe SPFas a TXT record with their respectiveNameandValuefields that we provide for you. Please note that these records cannot be modified within MailerLite, so they have to be an exact match.

How to get the DKIM and SPF records approved

  1. Head back to your MailerLiteDomainstab and click on theAuthenticatebutton for the domain you want to authenticate.

  2. Click on the green Check DNS Records button to check if the DKIM and SPF records match.

If they match, the records will be approved and the domain will be authenticated.

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However, sometimes the site will say that one or both records were not approved, even if all of the information was correctly submitted.

There are 2 reasons why this happens:

  • It can take the servers up to 24 hours to completely update this information. Most of the time, however, it is approved and updated in a matter of minutes.

  • Some information has to be re-checked and updated.

Troubleshooting authentication errors

Even if you are sure you set up the information correctly, we suggest that you follow the troubleshooting steps below, just in case.

DKIM record is not approved

If the DKIM record fails:

Check the Host field value: Depending on your DNS zone, theHostfield may only accept eitherlitesrv._domainkey(without your domain) orlitesrv._domainkey.yourdomain.com, so try both.

Check the record type: The DKIM record should be CNAME type.

SPF record is not approved

There are 3 reasons why an SPF record may not be approved:

  1. SPF records don’t match

You can usethis siteto compare both texts.

  1. SPF Name/Host record field must be left empty

Some hosting providers have settings that don’t allow the domain as theName or Hostfield for any record.

Use ‘@as theNameor Host field for the TXT record or leave it empty.

If you see that there is a commonNameor Host field being used for the rest of the records in the DNS page of your domain, try using that one.

  1. More than one SPF record was found

It’s only possible to have one SPF record on your DNS zone. If you have more than one, they need to be merged.

In the image below, there are two different TXT records for SPF. Both of these need to be merged into one single record.

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Fortunately, MailerLite does this for you after you click once on the greenCheck DNS recordsbutton. This allows the site to check and update the SPF record’sValuewith the merged version after clicking on it. The updated SPF value will be available on the same pop-up page.

At first, you will notice that the SPF value record will look something like this:

v=spf1 a mx include:_spf.mlsend.com ?all

After clicking on the greenCheck DNS recordsbutton and receiving the error message that more than 1 SPF record has been found, refresh the page, click on theAuthenticatebutton, will likely see that there is a new merged value for the SPF record.

You can confirm this by examining it. The merge was successful if the text includes more than oneinclude.

An example of a merged SPF record from MailerLite and Outlook:

v=spf1 a mx include:_spf.mlsend.com include:spf.protection.outlook.com -all

Note: If the method above is not working for you, take a look at our articleHow to merge SPF records.

Before setting up the new merged SPF record, it’s important to:

  • Removeallof the current SPF records in your DNS zone, including the original one from MailerLite that is not merged.

  • Add a new TXT record with the merged SPF record.

  • Go back to your MailerLiteDomainspage and click on the greenCheck DNS recordsbutton.

An error may still come up even after setting up the merged SPF record in the DNS zone. Don’t worry if this happens. Remember that servers can take up to 24 hours to completely update this information. Most of the time, however, it’s approved within a few minutes to a few hours.

You can check if the SPF record is correctly set up with thisthird-party tool.

What is mlsend?

If you are seeing that your emails are being sent with a notice that says “Via mlsend” on the sender’s email address, this is sometimes added in Gmail or in other email providers to indicate that the email is sent through Mailerlite’s servers. It doesn’t do any harm, as the emails are in fact being sent via the mlsend domain. Gmail and other email providers will stop displaying this once they start “trusting” the sender, which can be helped by authenticating the sending domain and building a healthy domain reputation.

Mlsend, mlsend2 and mlflow are domains owned by MailerLite and are used for sending emails. Similar to how Google's UTM tags work, the "ml" domains are used to gather click statistics to support our customers' email marketing efforts.

For example, if you are including a link in your campaign, subscribers will be directed to the intended domain via an mlsend domain in order to properly record data for your reports. If you would prefer the links to redirect using your own domain rather than the default mlsend one,you can do so by setting updomain alignment.

How to align your domain

Domain alignmentis an additional authentication method that lets you use your own domain throughout the entire email message, including the email header, tracking links, and image hyperlinks. It is an advanced yet optional feature to further boost deliverability.

The benefits of aligning your domains include:

  • Your sending domain will appear more trustworthy and credible to spam filters.

  • All links will be redirected using your own domain instead of a MailerLite domain.

  • Your “From” address will display as your own domain, and not as “via mlsend”.

  • You will have better control over your personal sending reputation via your sending domain and links inside the emails.

  • You will have safer DMARC implementation with two independent alignment mechanisms.

To align a domain for sending, your domain should be authenticated beforehand.

  1. Head to Settings and select the Domains tab.

  2. On the Sending domains section, under the Domain alignment column, click on Add custom domain for the sending domain you wish to align.

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  1. UnderSubdomain prefix, enter a prefix to create a new subdomain and clickAdd.

Note: Choose a subdomain prefix such as “email” that will be used for this purpose only. Make sure not to use a subdomain that is already in use.

  1. You will now see three records:A,MX, andTXT records. Create the A, MX and TXT records on your DNS zone page and copy and paste the value of each record, respectively.

  1. Save these changes and then clickCheck DNS recordsin MailerLite.

Once the records have propagated and been accepted on your DNS zone, which in some cases may take up to 24 hours, you will see anON/OFFswitch underDomain alignment.

All you have to do now is toggle theONbutton to have your domain aligned.

Note: Before removing these records from your hosting, make sure that you have already replaced your sender’s email with a new address and are no longer using a custom domain.

Removing the corresponding records from hosting, or disabling your domain alignment, will cause links in campaigns sent with the records present and active to no longer work.

If you have any questions, reach out to our friendly support team at support@mailerlite.com and we will gladly assist you.

Please note: While we’re happy to help with any issues taking place on our end, we do not have access your accounts with other apps or tools, even if they are connected to your Mailerlite account. This limits the support we can offer, so we encourage reaching out directly to the support team of those third-party tools for better assistance.

In this case, you can reach out to your domain host for help with adding new records to your DNS panel.

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