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How to Setup Custom SPF and DKIM Domain Authentication

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 by Beata |  Posted on 3/7/2017 12:51:02 AM |   0 Comments | Tags : Snipp Bootstrap UI growth

Authenticating the domain you are sending emails from tells your customers’ mailbox providers (like Gmail and Yahoo) that the SMTP service sending the email is authorized to do so. Passing authentication produces higher inbox rates and avoids the dumping of your emails in junk folders.   When you use TEARcloud SMTP to send your emails, you can easily authenticate your email messages with SPF and DKIM signatures and skip the technical challenges of setting up your mail server to do so. All you have to do is upload the records that we automatically generate for you.   What is SPF and DKIM? When an email passes through the TEARcloud mail server on it’s way out for delivery, it is signed with SPF and DKIM signatures. The signatures tell your customer’s ESP that the email was not spoofed or altered in any way, and identifies the email as actually coming from the domain that it claims to have come from. The receiving ISP can check the email’s signatures and trust its origin, therefore improving deliverability.   Authenticating with custom SPF and DKIM vs. TEARcloud's default   Default Authentication Default authentication requires the least amount of work. When you whitelist your domain or an individual sender, all of your campaigns will automatically use TEARcloud's SPF and DKIM signatures.   This may be a good option for you if you have a new website and have not had the time to build your sender reputation yet. You can always go back later and change your settings when you are ready.   For directions on how to whitelist your domain with TEARcloud’s default domain authentication, please use this tutorial. For 4-step directions on how to generate your own SPF and DKIM records to publish to your domain for authentication, please continue on to the next section.   Custom Authentication  Alternatively, you may authenticate your domain with your own SPF and DKIM records that we generate for you when you whitelist your domain. We've found that well-established websites may be better off using their own domain signatures because they have already built a trusted reputation with their customers’ ISPs.   Custom signatures also remove the "" authentication information that may show up in your email's header and display your information instead, making your campaigns look more professional.    How to setup custom domain authentication For this example, we used cPanel to upload our authentication information. Your interface may look slightly different depending on your hosting company, but the information being added is the same.   Step 1: Add your domain to your dashboard In the left hand column of your TEARcloud dashboard click on “SMTP” and then click on “Domain Whitelist” in the drop-down. On that page, type your domain name (ex. “”) into the domain field and select “Custom domain authentication”. Click the blue “Add Whitelisted Domain” button, and you will see SPF and DKIM records generated on the right side of your screen.   Step 2: Verify your domain Before uploading your SPF and DKIM records, let’s validate your domain. Click on the green “Verify Domain” button at the top right of your screen.   Follow the directions that appear in the pop-up modal. When you are done saving your verification file in your website’s root directory, click the green “Validate Domain” button at the bottom left of the modal.   Step 3: Upload your custom SPF information Now you are ready to upload your custom SPF and DKIM information. In your domain’s cPanel, go to the “Advanced DNS Zone Editor”, and select the domain you wish to use.   First we’ll add the SPF record. Fill out the “Name” field with the first row generated in your TEARcloud dashboard. In our example, this is “”. Then, fill in the TTL field with the 5 digit TTL number generated in your TEARcloud dashboard. For the “Type” field, select “TXT”. The last field, “TXT Data”, is the bold text starting with “v=spf1” in your dashboard. Copy and paste it into the field.     Click “Add Record” in your cPanel to complete the process.   Step 4: Upload your custom DKIM information Repeat the process for the DKIM record, this time using the DKIM credentials that were generated in your TEARcloud dashboard (found directly below the SPF record).   And that’s it! Your domain now has the proper SPF and DKIM records to ensure custom authentication when using TEARcloud SMTP. These changes may take between 15 minutes to 2 hours to fully propagate and take effect.      

  Last modification: 10/9/2017 10:55:30 PM

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About the author

Beata Bordas is the Marketing Manager of TEARcloud. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a BBA in Economics. In her spare time, you can find Beata fishing, teaching an Art class at the Boys and Girls Club, or running trails with her dog Kiera.