Configuring email authentication - SPF & DKIM

What is email authentication

Email authentication helps systems trust your email. This will help get your email delivered to your subscribers inbox, leading to more opens, clicks, and conversions.

Major email providers like Gmail have even indicated that authenticated email will soon be required if a business wants to keep their email out of the spam folder.

How it works

Email authentication is an optional, but recommended for security and deliverability, so that your brand’s email sending domain (such as example.com) can be optimized to send email with AdRoll. This one-time setup process will have you update some information within your DNS management tool with two kinds of information: 

  1. SPF, to show which IP addresses that your brand domain allows to send email from.
  2. DKIM, to protect the integrity of your email content as it travels the internet.

When email authentication is set up successfully, your AdRoll-sent email will also be able to pass DMARC — an email security policy that your business might enforce.

How to setup email authentication

Note: You are required to update DNS outside of AdRoll with your DNS Provider. This is typically the service where you purchased your website name from, Godaddy for example. If you’re not familiar with DNS, or who your DNS Provider is, contact your IT person to complete this setup.

  1. Go to Automated Emails then click Email Campaign Settings.

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  2. Navigate to Sender Authentication tab, enter your brand’s domain name, and click Verify.

    Screen_Shot_2020-09-03_at_8.37.53_AM.png

    Note: For this next step: If you’re not familiar with DNS, or who your DNS Provider, consider contacting your IT person to complete this part of the setup.
  3. Once you click Verify, you’ll be presented with some information like the following:

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  4. You’ll need to take this information to your DNS Provider which is where email authentication information is stored. Have your account credentials ready (typically username / password), and 2-Factor-Authentication, in case this is required. (More info on updating DNS for AdRoll here.)
  5. Copy/paste the information provided by AdRoll into your domain’s DNS records. 

    Note: For information on how to complete this step, utilize your DNS Provider’s own support documentation. You might be able to search for “setting up SPF and DKIM” within their documentation to find the appropriate steps.
  6. Once AdRoll email authentication information is added to your DNS Provider, return to AdRoll and select Verify. When you see "Yes" for each item under the Valid column, you’re done.

    Screen_Shot_2020-05-12_at_1.39.16_PM.png

    Note: DNS records take time to “propagate” across the internet. This might take up to a few hours, so if you click Verify and don’t see results, come back in a few minutes or an hour to click Verify again once your AdRoll email authentication information has propagated across the internet.
  7. Congratulations! You've successfully configured your email authentication.
Note: Only one email sending domain is supported in your AdRoll account at a time. If you re-configure a different domain, after using the "Delete This Domain" button, your previously configured email sending domain may not be usable.

Send a test email

Once you’ve verified that your email authentication is configured correctly, send a test email to make it sure works.

Workaround for Shopify users

Please note that Shopify DNS doesn't support the widely implemented and standard-approved methods of authenticating email via CNAME records. This is publicly known issue with Shopify DNS that their users have raised concern about on their community forums.

While this is not an AdRoll-specific issue, it nevertheless affects whether customers can use AdRoll if they are also using Shopify DNS, which is common if customers have purchased or migrated their website's domain name to Shopify DNS.

The current workaround is to migrate your Shopify DNS to another DNS provider.

Video walkthrough

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