To improve your deliverability, Mailchimp automatically adds default authentication to marketing emails sent from Mailchimp domains. If you are sending emails with a private domain like your website, domain authentication is strongly recommended to make sure your emails are not marked as spam or blocked entirely.
In this article, you'll learn the benefits of email domain authentication.
Beginning February 2024, Gmail and Yahoo will require a custom authentication and a published Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) record for anyone sending more than 5,000 emails to Gmail or Yahoo addresses in a 24-hour period. To prevent your emails from bouncing, we strongly recommend authenticating your email domain and configuring DMARC.
Also, if you use a free email service like Gmail or Yahoo for your From email address, we strongly recommend you switch to an email address from a private domain, like the one you use for work or for your website.
For more information about custom authentication and DMARC, check out About Email Domain Authentication.
Why authentication matters
Authentication is critical to the delivery of your email from Mailchimp, and works like a license plate. It provides a trackable identifier that shows your recipient’s internet service provider you're a legitimate sender, and it helps your email arrive in their inbox.
Benefits of Mailchimp's default authentication
Mailchimp's default authentication has a few important benefits.
- You automatically get DKIM authentication on all your emails.
- Since our authentication is enabled by default, you don't have to edit any advanced settings like DNS records.
It's not possible to turn off Mailchimp's authentication. However, you can set up your own authentication instead, which provides additional deliverability benefits.
What is DKIM?
Domainkeys Identified Mail (DKIM) authentication is a sender identification tool that protects email senders and their recipients from spam, forgery, and phishing. DKIM ensures email content is kept safe from tampering by adding an encrypted digital signature to email headers and secured with public key cryptography.
When a receiving server determines that an email has a valid DKIM signature, it can confirm that the email and attachments have not been modified. This process is not typically visible to end users such as the intended recipient of the email message.
What is SPF?
A Sender Policy Framework (SPF) helps detect forgery by reviewing an email’s listed return-path address. This email address is also referred to as the Mail From or the bounce address.
When an email can’t be sent to its intended recipient after several attempts or a delay, a notification of that failure is usually sent to the return-path address.
What is DMARC?
Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) is a method of email authentication to show that an email you send is from the real you. DMARC uses SPF and DKIM to check the authenticity of email messages. If either method fails, DMARC tells a receiving server what to do with messages from your domain.
Completing DMARC authentication for your domain not only keeps you compliant with large email services such as Google and Yahoo, but helps ensure that your emails won’t be identified as spam, so you can make sure you’re reaching recipients’ inboxes.
Custom domain authentication
If you use your own email domain, you'll need to set up your own DKIM authentication. This way, Mailchimp will be permitted to display your domain's information in your email header, which can help improve your delivery rates and make your emails look more professional.
To do this, you'll need to make a few changes in your DNS records, so you may want to ask your website manager or domain registrar for help.
Benefits of custom domain authentication
Authenticating your own domain has three important benefits.
It removes the default Mailchimp authentication information ( "via mcsv.net" or "on behalf of mcsv.net") that shows up next to your From name in certain email clients.
While this works for most email clients, some, like Outlook, may still display authentication information after custom DKIM is set up. This is specific to each email client and isn't something we can prevent.
It can help your email arrive in recipient inboxes, rather than spam or junk folders.
Do I need custom domain authentication?
Before you authenticate your domain to use in Mailchimp, review these questions to make sure it's a good fit.
- Is your Mailchimp From email address associated with your email domain, rather than a public webmail address like gmail.com or hotmail.com?
- Are you or your IT team able to access your domain's cPanel or Zone editor?
- Do your delivered emails show "on behalf of mcsv.net" or "via mcsv.net" in the sender details section?
If you answered yes to all or most of these questions, custom authentication is a good fit for you.
Next steps for custom domain authentication
To authenticate your domain, you'll verify it first, and then edit the CNAME and DMARC records in your domain's DNS records.