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

About Generating Domain Name Systems (DNS) with Klaviyo

A key part of creating a dedicated sending domain is generating domain name systems (DNS). 

To generate a DNS, you'll need to input both a: 

  • Root domain — the domain that you want your emails to be sent from
    • Example: for a company called Hello World, the root domain may be helloworld.com
  • Sending domain — the domain that your emails are sent from and will appear in the email header
    • Must be unique for the DNS
      • Send is the most commonly used sending domain
      • Mail is not recommended, as it's typically reserved for an inbox setup and already used in the DNS
    • Take the form of a prefix for the root domain
      • Example: send in send.helloworld.com

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.

Requirements for Creating a Dedicated Sending Domain

Prerequisites

Before starting this process, make sure that you'll have time to warm your infrastructure. If your sending goals do not permit this initial warming period, please consider moving to a dedicated sending domain at another time. 

Also, check that you do not have any campaigns currently sending or scheduled to go out soon, as their deliverability may be impacted if the domain is updated. 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.

Checklist

  1. Generate DNS records
  2. Update DNS records (not within Klaviyo)
  3. Verify and apply your domain
  4. Warm your sending infrastructure

Generate DNS Records in Klaviyo

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

  1. Click on your company name in the top right corner of your account
  2. Select Account
    Open Company Name menu dropdown and then click on Account
  3. Select the Settings dropdown
  4. 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
  5. Select Get Started 
  6. Input your root domain (e.g., helloworld.com)
    1.  
  7. Specify an arbitrary subdomain under Sending Domain (e.g., send)
  8. Click Continue
  9. Hover over and click the text to copy the generated TXT and CNAME records to your clipboard
    After generating a sending domain, a modal then displays a list of all your text and cname domains

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.

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

  1. Navigate to your DNS provider; for instance:
    1. GoDaddy
    2. Google Domains
    3. Hostgator
    4. Hover
    5. Namecheap
    6. Squarespace
    7. AWS
  2. Paste in the copied text
  3. Update your DNS records

Tip: 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

Verify and Apply Your Domain

  1. Click Continue to Verify Domain
    When you are done applying these DNS records, click on the button for Continue to Verify Domain
  2. Review any message that appears
    1. If a campaign is conflicting, you will see a notification that the deliverability may be impacted 
    2. If your records are valid, you will see a success message
    3. If they are not, you will see an error
  3. Select Apply Domain
    In this domain modal, you will then click on the leftmost button for Apply Domain
  4. Check the box indicating that you understand that you must warm your infrastructure by changing your sending behavior
  5. 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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