If you have open and click tracking enabled for your email campaigns, Direct Mail inserts tracking URLs into your outgoing emails. Part of that tracking URL may contain a domain name that is shared with other Direct Mail users. Using a custom tracking domain name will help protect your email reputation from being influenced by the reputation of other Direct Mail users.
If you already own a domain name (for either business or personal reasons), then adding a custom tracking domain name should cost you nothing extra and is easy to set up. Below please find the technical details, as well as links to instructions for many of the top domain name registrars (e.g. GoDaddy, Network Solutions, Namecheap, etc.) on how to set up the custom tracking domain name.
You will need to choose a subdomain off of your root domain, and then create a CNAME record for that subdomain that points to one of e3 Software's tracking servers. You can find out what domain name the CNAME record should point to by consulting your Direct Mail Account control panel:
- Open Direct Mail
- Choose Direct Mail > Direct Mail Account from the menu bar at the top of the screen
- Scroll down to the Tracking Domain Name section and click Change.
Let's say you own the example.com domain name and wanted your custom tracking domain name to be tracking.example.com. Let's also say that you followed the three steps above and determined that tracking.example.com should point to dmanalytics1.com. You would then go to the website of your DNS provider (or web hosting provider) and create a CNAME DNS record that points tracking.example.com to dmanalytics1.com.
Instructions for Popular Domain Name Registrars
Here are instructions for setting up a CNAME record for some of the popular domain name registrars:
- GoDaddy (look for the CNAME section)
- ix web hosting (look for the CNAME section at the bottom)
- Network Solutions
- Yahoo! Small Business
I've got my CNAME record set up, how do I input it into Direct Mail?
Once you've set up your CNAME record, you'll need to enter it into Direct Mail. Here's how:
- Choose Direct Mail > Direct Mail Account from the menu bar.
- Scroll down to the Tracking Domain Name section and click Show.
- Enter your subdomain ("tracking.example.com" in the example above).
- Click Change.
Once you've set up your own custom tracking domain name, then any tracking URLs that Direct Mail inserts into your message will look like they came from you. This will help protect your email reputation and give your emails a more professional appearance. If you have any questions on setting up CNAME records, please try contacting your domain name registrar.
Custom Domain Names and HTTPS URLs
Even if you have a custom tracking domain name set up for your account, Direct Mail will use the standard tracking domain name for links that use HTTPS URLs. This is because web pages that are served over HTTPS require the server to provide a valid certificate that matches the custom domain name, and our servers cannot issue a certificate on behalf of a custom domain name that we do not own. If Direct Mail used a custom tracking domain name for HTTPS links, the recipient would not be able to open the link (due to security warnings in their web browser), and it could also potentially cause issues with spam filters.
If Direct Mail does not accept your custom tracking domain name
If Direct Mail does not accept your custom tracking domain name, please check the following:
- You have spelled the domain name correctly
- You have set up the CNAME record to point to the domain name shown in the Direct Mail control panel
- You do not have any other record types on that same domain name (e.g. A, TXT, MX, etc.)