Adestra - Information Extracted from https://app.adestra.com/doc/page/current/index

Delegated Domains

Delegated domains are an opportunity for you to use a custom domain name for use in your campaigns, rather than a generic one we provide.

By delegating your domain to us (we recommend a sub-domain) our platform can use it for hosting your images and gathering reporting data. And you have an opportunity for additional branding throughout your campaigns, as your domain will be used for URLs in images, form actions, click-tracking etc.

As domain delegation also helps your recipients to identify and verify where the email has come, it can assist with deliverability.

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Selecting your Domain

Before a domain can be delegated there are a couple of things you need to confirm:

  • You must own the domain and any subdomains you intend to use, for example: the domain adestra-demo.com and a subdomain marketing.adestra-demo.com.
  • You must be sure that the domain is not in use for something else, so it won't cause problems with your infrastructure if you change anything.

The next step is then to decide on your subdomain. Using a subdomain rather than the domain itself allows you to continue using the domain for other things.

Typically we recommend using 'email' as your subdomain, for example email.adestra-demo.com, but you can use whatever suits your purpose for example 'newsletter' or 'marketing' etc.

Delegation Methods

We support two different methods of delegation; using CNAME records or NS records.

CNAME Delegation

We would recommend using CNAME records as it is the easiest method of delegation. To do this you need to create a CNAME record for the subdomain you wish to use, to point it at a MessageFocus domain (please contact Support for which one to use). The CNAME record should look like:

email  CNAME  example.msgfocus.com.

We would recommend talking to your account manager before and after set up to check everything is as it should be.

NS Delegation

Although we recommend using CNAME records, it is also possible to use NS records, which should look like:

email  NS  dns-1.adestra.com.
email  NS  dns-2.adestra.com.

If you want to set up NS delegation, you will need to communicate with us once you have set up the NS record, so that we can complete the configuration on our side.

There are other delegation methods that we do not support, including using A records because if any changes are made to our infrastructure, the A records would need to be updated each time.

Delegate a Domain

Third party DNS providers will vary, but below is an example of a typical interface, and how a CNAME record might be set up.

Please note: even though the DNS server says it's working, if the domain has been looked up prior to set up, there may be a delay before it will actually work. Generally speaking this could take 24 to 72 hours.


Adding Domains to MessageFocus

Once you have set up your domain with either a CNAME or NS record in your DNS provider, you will need to add the domain to the 'Domains' interface of MessageFocus.

You can access the 'Domains' section of MessageFocus via the 'Admin' tab in the header bar at the top of the screen, and then the 'Delegated' tab.

Any existing delegated domains will be displayed in the domains list. Each domain will show the delegation method, whether that domain is correctly configured, and the last time this was checked. You can click on the domain name to access more information about that particular domain.

To add a new domain, select the 'Create Domain' link in the sidebar.

Enter the domain name, for example 'example.adestra-demo.com'.

You have the option to disable conversion tracking cookies for this domain. Please note: conversion cookies track behaviour and therefore fall under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.

Click 'Save' and you will be directed to the overview for that domain which, if everything has been set up correctly, will display the delegation method for the domain.

However if the domain has been set up incorrectly a warning will be displayed, with advice on how the record should be added to your DNS provider. If you require additional help please contact Support.

If you need to delete the domain you can select the 'Delete Domain' link in the sidebar.

Once a domain has been saved it will be displayed in the domains list.

You can test the domains list to make sure that all of your domains have been correctly configured using the 'Test Domains' link in the side bar.

If a domain is working as it should, the delegation method will be displayed with 'Yes' in the 'Valid Auth' column. Any that are not configured correctly will be flagged with crosses, and the 'Valid Auth' column will display 'No'.

Campaign Options

Once a domain has been set up in both your DNS provider and the 'Domains' interface, it will be available to select in the Campaign Options when creating a campaign.


FAQ

Can I use the root domain instead of a subdomain for delegation?

Although this is possible, we do not recommend it or officially support it.

Do I need to add MX/TXT/SPF/Sender-ID records?

No, if you are using CNAME or NS delegation, these records will be served by our DNS server, adding extra records will cause problems.

Isn't delegating domains to a third party a security risk?

No, all you need to do to disable it is to remove the NS or CNAME record from your DNS server.

Can I delegate domains with foreign characters?

We strongly discourage using internationalised domain names in email, as significant deliverability problems are likely.

Once I've delegated my domain can I set up an email address for it too?

No, you will not be able to set up an email address for a delegated domain, for example [email protected] Once the domain is delegated, you will lose the control of that domain and we are unable to provide email inboxes for it. In this scenario, we recommend you use the root domain, for example [email protected]

Authenticated Domains

Authenticating a domain is required if you want to use a custom 'From address' in your campaigns.

By authenticating the domain with an SPF/Sender-ID record, it verifies that our platform can send on your behalf. This will enable you to apply some branding to your campaign, outside of its content, as well as aid deliverability by using a specific From Address related to your communications.

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Domains with an existing SPF/Sender-ID record

If your domain already has an SPF/Sender-ID record assigned to it, you will need to update the record so it contains 'include:msgfocus.com', otherwise this will cause significant delivery problems.

For example, a valid SPF record will look similar to this:

"v=spf1  ip4:127.0.0.1  -all"

You will need to add 'include:msgfocus.com' which will alter the record to look similar to this:

"v=spf1  ip4:127.0.0.1  include:msgfocus.com -all"

Domains without an existing SPF/Sender-ID record

If your domain does not already have an SPF/Sender_ID record, you need to decide whether to keep the domain this way or to create a new record.

Continue without an SPF/Sender-ID record

If your domain does not have a valid SPF/Sender-ID record, and is not set up in the Domains interface, when you go to add the 'from address' in the Campaign Options, MessageFocus will display a warning:

Please note: using a domain without an SPF/Sender-ID record will cause slightly reduced deliverability.

Create an SPF/Sender-ID record

When you create a new SPF/Sender-ID record, you must make sure that you add all of the servers that will be sending emails on behalf of your domain. Please be aware: if the record is created incorrectly, it will cause significant deliverability problems for any other mail sent from that domain.

In order to set up an SPF record properly you will need to list all the other legitimate sources of email to the record. In this case, we recommend not adding an SPF record until you are sure you have identified all the valid sources of email.

Third party DNS providers will vary but below is an example of a typical interface, and how an SPF/Sender-ID record might be set up.

Please note: even though the DNS server says it's working, if the domain has been looked up prior to set up, there may be a delay before it will actually work. Generally speaking this could take 24 to 72 hours.


Adding Domains to MessageFocus

Once you have set up your domain with an SPF/Sender-ID in your DNS provider, you will need to add the domain to the 'Domains' interface of MessageFocus in order for it to work.

You can access the 'Domains' section of MessageFocus via the 'Admin' tab, in the header bar at the top of the screen, and then the 'Authenticated' tab.

Any existing delegated domains will be displayed in the domains list, which will indicate if each domain is correctly configured and the last time this was checked. You can click on the domain name to access more information about that particular domain.

To add a new domain, select the 'Create Domain' link in the sidebar.

Enter the domain name, for example 'adestra-demo.com', and click the 'Save' button.

You will be directed to the overview for that domain which, if everything has been set up correctly, will display the message 'Your current SPF record looks okay.'

However, if you add a domain that is not authenticated, a warning will be displayed with advice on how the record should be added to your DNS provider. If you require additional help please contact Support.

If you need to delete the domain you can select the 'Delete Domain' link in the sidebar.

Once a domain has been saved it will be displayed in the domains list.

You can test the domains list to make sure that all of your domains have been correctly configured using the 'Test Domains' link in the side bar.

If a domain is working as it should, the delegation method will be displayed with 'Yes' in the 'Valid Auth' column. Any that are not configured correctly will be flagged with crosses and the 'Valid Auth' column will display 'No'.


DKIM

DKIM signing is a type of email authentication that allows senders to sign an email with a particular domain. This is a digital signature which can be validated by recipients, meaning it can be confirmed that the email came from that sender and that it hasn't been modified. It works using a private and public key system, so MessageFocus will encrypt emails with a private key, and recipients' email servers use a public key to decrypt it, which they look up via DNS.

By default, your campaigns will be signed by the msgfocus.com domain if a custom DKIM has not been configured for the domain.

If you want to sign with an authenticated domain the DNS will need to be configured. If your account uses multiple authenticated domains they will all need the DNS to be configured. Please contact Support for help on how this can be done.

When using a custom authenticated domain, and it has been set up correctly, the domain overview will display a message similar to this:

If you have custom DKIM set up, but there is a problem with the configuration, the domain overview will flag the issue:


FAQ

Can I use a delegated domain in the from address?

Yes, but you won't be able to get email sent to that address unless you use the tracking code that MessageFocus generates.

What is the impact of using msgfocus.com for the DKIM signature?

Some recipients' email servers wouldn't check the DKIM if an email was signed with a different domain to the from address, however if they did this would have little effect on deliverability.