What is Delivery Setup and why do I need it?

Delivering email is a tricky business. The world of technology is constantly evolving, meaning spammers are getting savvier and security is getting tighter. Making sure that your DNS records are set up for delivering email from JangoMail is a critical step in reaching the goal of the inbox! If you will be sending in any large volume (10,000 messages per month or more), delivery setup will be required before being able to send. 

Let's start with the basics.

What is delivery setup exactly?

Delivery setup, as JangoMail defines it, is making sure that you have several key components in place for your sending domain. Those are an SPF record, a DKIM record, a Custom Tracking Domain, a DMARC record, and a Yahoo Feedback Loop. These function together to authenticate your messages, instruct servers of how to handle Spam, and allow for insight into Yahoo recipient actions.

Why do I need delivery setup?

The brief explanation is that your sending/From Address is "yourdomain.com", but the receiving server of your email can see the email came from third party servers (JangoMail servers). Companies like Yahoo, Microsoft, Google, and AOL are increasingly checking for authentication records, so when you send your email campaign through JangoMail with your company's domain, the receiving server will go to "yourdomain.com" and ask if JangoMail is truly authorized to send emails on your behalf. Adding these records tells that seeking server "Yes, it's OK for them to send for us." Without these records in place, the server receiving your messages gets a "No, they are not authorized to send." At that point, the receiving server is more inclined to drop the message into spam or delete it entirely. 

What are these components: SPF, DKIM, Custom Tracking Domain, DMARC, and Yahoo Feedback Loop?

SPF Record

Simply put, an SPF record says that someone else is authorized to send on your behalf. It means that JangoMail servers used with your account are allowed to send emails from "yourdomain.com".

DKIM Record

The DKIM record functions as a lock and key. It's an encryption process that protects your email from anyone trying to tamper with it between when you send it and when the recipient receives it. No "man in the middle" attacks on your messages. Here's an example of what DKIM prevents:

Person A sends to Person B with a message that says to be home at 9 pm. If Person C can intercept the message and change the content to say be home at 10 pm, that may not be so good for Person B.

The DomainKey/DKIM process makes the message unreadable by Person C, so there is no way he or she can alter its contents. Moreover, if a spammer tries to impersonate your From Address, then having a DKIM proves that your messages are legitimate and authorized.

Custom Tracking Domain

The tracking domain is the domain used in various JangoMail tracking mechanisms, such as the open-tracking, click-tracking and unsubscribe link. It is present throughout the HTML portion of your email campaign. Without a custom tracking domain, a system default domain is used, like x.jango5.com. If you set up a custom tracking domain, based on your organization's domain, then the domain might look like "track.yourdomain.com".

The benefit of the custom tracking domain is two-fold. First, it contributes to your sending reputation because the domain used for tracking links will be controlled by you. Second, it keeps your branding consistent! Your From Address, your click-tracked links, and your content work together to keep your brand front and center.

DMARC

DMARC, or Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance, is a new standard for email authentication and handling of fraudulent emails. This is a TXT record, similar to SPF. **You must create an SPF and DKIM record before creating a DMARC record.**

Your DMARC policy can do several things. 

  1. Notify you of email sent from your domain that fails the authentication check.
  2. Instruct email servers to junk or reject email failing the authentication check.
  3. Improve your sending reputation and successful delivery using this added security and spoofing prevention.

Yahoo Feedback Loop

Feedback Loops enable complaints to be automatically recorded in your account as unsubscribes. Setting up a Yahoo complaint feedback loop helps with your delivery to yahoo.com recipients. If a yahoo.com recipient marks your message as spam, you do not want to continue sending to that person, so having that address automatically unsubscribed from your account helps prevent continued sending to recipients that no longer desire your emails. While this is a good process to have in place, it is not critical for lower volume sending or sending primarily to domains other than Yahoo.

 

 

There's so much more to learn about delivery!
  • Read up on Email Authentication to discover how it impacts your delivery.
  • Interested in a thorough explanation on what it takes to get your email to the inbox? Take a look at the article Destination: Inbox.
  • The Deliverability section of the Help Center has great guides on setting up your DNS.
  • Watch videos on how to set up delivery records in your DNS, using Hostmonster as an example.  The three records are SPF, DKIM and Custom Tracking Domain.
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