A Guide to Setting Up Your Dedicated Sending Domain for Email Marketing Success

Email Marketing Expert

Posted By Peyton Fox | January 24th, 2024

In case you missed it, things are about to get cracked down on in your email sending. Specifically, your dedicated sending domain! If you’re wondering what the heck that is, think of it as a driver’s license for your email sending. Anyone can drive and pretend to be you behind the wheel, but with a dedicated sending domain, this is your ID to show all inbox providers that you are legit!

But with that comes massive responsibilities, just like driving more carefully on the email interstate. And if you are found emailing without this ID, say hello to the spam inbox backroads.

Okay, weird driving analogy aside, let’s dive into the steps you need to take to set this up for your brand! (The deadline is coming – February 2024!)

Step #1 - Find a 'Shut-Off' Date

Making this swap over isn’t a quick little to-do; this takes some planning! Find a good time on your email calendar to block off a launch day for this swap. On this date, you’ll be putting all of your flows into Manual status and not sending out any campaigns. This will make your swap over to a dedicated sending domain super clean while it is being verified! 

If you’ve been sending for a long time and have good engagement with your domain, then a full shut-off won’t really be necessary. 

As a rule of thumb, if your open rate is below 35% on average, I’d stick with doing a strong re-warming once you swap.

Step #2 - Get Your Values

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In your email program settings (I’m using Klaviyo in this example), you’ll find a domain area with a prompt to set up your dedicated sending domain. After you click add, you’ll then need to select what you want this subdomain to be. It MUST be a new subdomain and not one you use for other projects or webpages. 

The go-to would be send.yourdomain.com or send.yourdomain.com, as examples. Next, a set of values will appear, and that is when you’ll head over to where you host your main website domain, like GoDaddy or Cloudflare, for example.

Step #3 - Apply It To Your DNS

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Luckily Klaviyo has example documentation for almost every major domain host, so even if you aren’t on Klaviyo, you can follow the steps in applying your records per your host. Getting these applied is simple! 

Just click copy on each type, host, and value, and then save it to your DNS. Well, easier said than done, but once you do the first one, it isn’t so scary!

Step #4 - Verify & Warming

Once all records are applied to your DNS, you may need an hour or so for it to reflect, but just keep coming back to your email program and clicking Verify to see if it accepts it. If after a day it still doesn’t, there may be an issue with the record you put in, so double-check those! After verified, you are now set, BUT the warming process now begins. 

Depending on the age of your sending account, this won’t be as crucial, but I highly recommend you only email your top engaged subscribers for a week or two. Your flows can be back on, but I recommend not putting your Sunset Flow back on due to the low engagement it typically gets. 

There are a few other rules and cross-checks you should do for this big swap over; you can check those out in Klaviyo’s blog post here!

Schedule Your Call

In our meeting together, we will run through your current email marketing setup, the hurdles you are facing, and more. At the end of our call, I’ll be able to detail how my team and I could help.

When booking, you’ll see a few questions that must be answered prior to our call. We are very selective about what brands and clients we work with to ensure we can succeed with your email marketing.