How to Set Up a Dedicated Sending Domain

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Overview

Learn how to set up a dedicated sending domain so that when emails reach inbox providers they will appear to come from your brand, rather than from the Klaviyo domain. There are several reasons you may want to have a dedicated sending domain, including having greater control over your business’s branding and sending reputation. In this article, you will learn more about how Klaviyo’s self-service domain authentication tool works to accomplish this task.

What Is a Dedicated Sending Domain?

The process of setting up a dedicated sending domain improves deliverability in the eyes of inbox providers since you will now send from your own designated domain. As such, your sender email address (i.e. from address) will match the domain you’re sending from. This means that your emails will no longer appear to be sent by a shared domain.

For example, in the image below, the “via klaviyomail.com” will no longer appear after you set up your own domain.

An example of an email with vsi klaviyomail.com domain before it has been updated

The steps you will take to create a dedicated sending domain, are:

  • Navigate to the Domains and Hosting page in Klaviyo
  • Generate DNS records
  • Update DNS records (not within Klaviyo)
  • Verify your domain
  • Apply your domain
  • Warm your sending infrastructure

We will cover each of these steps in the following sections.

Navigate to Domain and Hosting

In the top right corner of your account, click on your company name to expand a dropdown. Select Account.

Open Company Name menu dropdown and then click on Account

On your Account page, select the Settings dropdown. Then, choose Domains and Hosting from the main tab.

Inside of accounts page, there is a Settings dropdown, click on this and then domains and hosting

To begin, select Get Started.

Please note that, while this selection is available to all users, only those with Owner, Admin, Manager, and Campaign Coordinator privileges can make changes.

Generate DNS Records

The next step is to generate domain name system (DNS) records. After clicking Get Started, you will see text boxes titled Root Domain and Sending Domain.

After you have clicked Get Started on the Domain and Hosting section, this exposes text boxes titled Root Domain and Sending Domain

Root Domain

Your root domain is the domain that you want your emails to be sent from. For example, if your company is called Hello World, your root domain may be: helloworld.com.

Sending Domain

Your sending domain is the domain that your emails are sent from and will appear in the email header. In the box labeled Sending Domain, specify an arbitrary subdomain (prefix) from which your emails will be sent.

You can only use a particular subdomain once within the DNS. “Send” is the most common subdomain for dedicated sending, and one we recommend, because it is typically unused by another service within most DNS's. That being said, choose any subdomain that is not already in use that best fits your brand.  For example, send.helloworld.com or emails.helloworld.com are both valid. However, we recommend that you do not use mail as a subdomain as it is typically reserved for an inbox setup and already used in the DNS. For more information, head to How to Choose a Subdomain for Dedicated Sending.

Once both of these fields are ready, select Continue.

There is a limit of 10 record requests per company for each rolling 30 day period. Also, once records are generated, the Root Domain and Sending Domain fields will become uneditable.

Note that multiple companies and thus, multiple Klaviyo accounts, can use a given sending domain, as long as all relevant DNS records are found upon verification. For example, if you manage multiple accounts for different global stores of the same brand, such as a US and UK account, you can use the same dedicated sending domain for both of them. If you use one sending domain across multiple accounts, the CNAME should be the same, but each account will have a different TXT value and each TXT value needs to be added into the DNS record.

When you generate records for a given sending domain, there will be an output of TXT and CNAME records, which will look similar to those shown below:

After generating a sending domain, a modal then displays a list of all your text and cname domains

If a TXT record for the root domain already exists and your DNS does not allow for another record to be added, simply append the Klaviyo provided site verification value to the value field of the existing TXT record. Do not edit the existing value as we do not want to hinder any other services you make use of.

After these records are generated, hover over and click the text to copy these records to your clipboard.

You will then need to implement the copied values into your DNS records with your DNS provider in order to successfully verify your domain.

If your DNS provider does not accept the "@" symbol during this process, then your TXT record will need to be added with your root domain as the hostname. The “@” symbol is just the shorthand method to achieve the same result (i.e., placement of a TXT record on the root domain). For example, the record will simply be:

Type: TXT
Hostname: YOURWEBSITE.COM
Value: klaviyo-site-verification=YOUR_PUBLIC_API_KEY

Update Your DNS Records

This step of the process requires you to complete tasks outside of Klaviyo. Go to your company’s DNS provider’s platform, or consult your IT team on next steps. Apply your new DNS records that were generated in Klaviyo to your domain.

The process of editing your DNS records will depend on which domain provider you are using. We've compiled links to documentation for some common providers here:

Not all domain registration services allow you to directly edit all DNS records. If you cannot update the records below, contact your DNS provider for information on how to update these records.

Verify Your Domain

After you confirm that your DNS records are updated and apply them via your DNS provider, it is time to verify your domain.

Click Continue to Verify Domain.

When you are done applying these DNS records, click on the button for Continue to Verify Domain

There is also an option to Cancel Dedicated Domain Setup. This allows you to return to your previous domain state (with your prior root and sending domains pre-filled) if you decide not to proceed.

You will also be notified if your account has scheduled or current sending that will impact your deliverability. Campaigns are considered to be conflicting if the estimated recipient count of a given sending or scheduled campaign at the time of page load exceeds 40% of your account’s emailable profiles, and is greater than 100,000 recipients.

If your records are valid, a success message will appear; if they are not, you will see an error.

Apply Your Domain

If your domain is successfully verified, your page will update to the final step of the process. You will see two final options: Apply Domain and Cancel Dedicated Domain Setup.

To apply your domain, select Apply Domain.

In this domain modal, you will then click on the leftmost button for Apply Domain

A popup will appear, verifying your choice to apply the domain. You check a box indicating that you understand that you must warm your infrastructure by changing your sending behavior.

If your sending goals do not permit this initial warming period, please consider moving to a dedicated sending domain at another time.

If you agree and wish to continue, click Apply Domain.

A confirmation modal where you need to click on the button for Apply Domain to finish the domain process

Klaviyo will now apply your dedicated sending domain to your account, and produce a success message when completed. If for some reason the domain cannot be applied, an error message will appear instead, directing you to try again. If the problem persists, reach out to a member of our Support Team for further assistance.

After you have set up your domain, when you return to the Domains page, you will see these changes in place. You will also see the date on which these changes took place, and instructions on how to warm your sending infrastructure in the next two to four weeks.

Warm Your Sending Infrastructure

It is essential to warm your sending infrastructure in the first two to four weeks after setting up your dedicated sending domain; this process involves limiting sending to only your most engaged subscribers. Warming your domain causes inbox providers to see you as a "good" sender and strengthens your sending reputation.

The basic process of warming is:

  • Turning on high engagement flows (abandoned cart, welcome series, browse abandonment)
  • Migrating engagement data over from your previous email service provider
  • Begin sending campaigns to engaged segments
  • Monitoring your performance

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