Code on a computer screen

How to Authenticate your Domain with Mailchimp

Your Mailchimp email campaigns may be suffering from delivery issues that you may not even know about, which could be impacting your open and click rates. By authenticating your website domain inside your Mailchimp account, you can verify yourself as a legitimate sender, which will result in your emails being delivered right into the inbox of those on your mailing list, instead of in their junk folder.

Here’s an example of an email that was sent from Mailchimp, but not from a verified domain. The email still appeared in the recipient’s inbox, but it only appeared within the junk folder, and it also has an ‘unverified’ notification, making the email much less reputable, which has a direct impact on an email’s performance. Recipients are much less likely to see, let alone interact with your emails if they do not seem legitimate.

To fix this, you’ll want to log into your Mailchimp account, and head over to the ‘Account’ section. From here, you’ll be presented with a selection of options. You’ll want to select ‘Websites’ from the list, and when greeted with the next screen, press ‘domains’.

 

There are a few options on this page that may be of interest to you, but for Domain Authentication, we’ll want to scroll down to the ‘Email Domains’ section, and press on the ‘Add & Verify Domain’. Mailchimp will likely ask for you to verify access to the domain you’re wanting to authenticate, by using an email address that matches that domain. As an example, if we were wanting to authenticate the ‘purplerobot.co.uk’ domain, we would likely need to verify using our hello@purplerobot.co.uk email address. Mailchimp will send an email to that address, where you’ll have to follow some simple instructions.

Once you’ve verified your email domain, press the ‘start authentication’ button. Now, this is where things get slightly more complicated. Mailchimp will ask you for your email domain provider (where you purchased your domain). There is a dropdown list of popular domain providers here, so if you match one of these, we recommend selecting that and following those instructions as they will be a little more specific and easy to follow. If your domain provider does not match this list, however, simply press ‘other’ at the bottom of this list! (Your next step will be fairly similar, regardless of the domain provider.)

 

You are then asked to add two ‘CNAME’ records into your domain DNS settings. I can imagine this might sound a bit complicated and confusing for those who may not have added records like this before, but trust me when I say it’s not as bad as it sounds. You’ll need to log into your domain provider (again, where you had purchased this from) . Within here, there should be an option for ‘DNS Management’. Each provider has a slight difference in appearance, but you are looking to find a screen, which looks a little something like this:

(If you have any trouble finding your DNS Management, we recommend reaching out to your domain provider, who should be able to assist).

What you are looking at is your current DNS Records. Now, Mailchimp is wanting you to add 2 CNAME records, so select ‘CNAME’ from the options under ‘add new record’, and paste in the fields that Mailchimp has provided you with on your set up screen. If it helps, the fields that contain ‘k2._domainkey’ & ‘k3._domainkey’ should be pasted into your record’s ‘Name’ or ‘Host’ field, and your ‘dkim2.mcsv.net.’ & ‘dkim3.mcsv.net.’ fields should go into the ‘Value’ field. The names of these fields may differ depending on your domain provider. In our case, we used 123reg.co.uk. Here the ‘Name’ fields went into ‘DNS Entry’ and the ‘Value’ fields went into ‘Destination/Target’.

(As a side note, do not edit any other fields on this screen! You can edit your new CNAME records, but we do not recommend editing any other existing fields, as it could cause problems for your website.)

Once finished, save your new CNAME records to your DNS, and head back over to the Mailchimp authentication screen. Here, you will be able to verify the changes made by pressing a button on-screen. Now you will be able to find out whether or not you have added your records properly.

Please note that these changes could take 24/48 hrs to update at an absolute maximum. In our instance, this was updated within a matter of seconds.

If you’re not having any luck verifying a few days after making this change, we recommend reaching out to your domain provider’s support, as they will be able to look at your records to see if you’ve set things up properly.

However, if you’ve done this correctly, you should have a brand new shiny green label next to your domain, letting you know that your domain is authenticated!

I hope that this guide has been helpful for you!  Hopefully, it can have a positive influence on your email campaigns if it’s something that you haven’t set up before. If you get unstuck on any part of this process, I’d be more than happy to help out! Be sure to shoot an email to oliver@purplerobot.co.uk, and I’ll see what I can do.