Email Deliverability: Part 2 – DKIM Records

What is DKIM?

Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) is an email authentication method that enables the receiver to check that an email was sent and authorized by the owner of the domain. DKIM generates a unique digital signature that is sent in email headers and secured with encryption.

DKIM is relatively easy to set up. As this is automatically created, we are not going to cover how to hand-craft a DKIM signature.

How do I setup a DKIM TXT record?

If you have a Web Hosting service with us, here are some instructions.

  1. Sign into the DirectAdmin control panel (details were sent in your service purchase email)
  2. Click on E-mail Managemer
  3. Click on E-Mail Accounts
  4. On the right is an action to “Enable DKIM”.
    1. If the action says Disable DKIM, then your domain is already setup, but you’ll want to verify it’s DNS entry. Skip to step 6.
  5. Click Enable DKIM.
  6. Click on Account Manager
  7. Click DNS Management
  8. Inside the DNS entries list should be a TXT entry with a name like “default._domainkey”. The value of this entry starts with “v=DKIM1;…”
    1. For reference, the name includes two parts. “default” is the selector that is used to verify the signature. This may be different depending on the hosting provider. The remaining “._domainkey” is the identifier, indicating that it contains the value that should be validated.
  9. To validate your DKIM TXT record, go to Mimecast’s DKIM Record Check, enter the DKIM selector (“default” in this example) and your domain.
  10. Check the box and complete any Captcha’s that pop-up.
  11. Click Validate DNS.
  12. Below the button, the results will be displayed. If all is well, you should see a green sentence indicating “This seems to be a valid DKIM record.
  13. Your DKIM record is valid and working. If you received an error message, you may want to reach out to your hosting provider for further assistance as their DKIM generator may not be working properly.

Now that you have set up a DKIM record, you are well on your way to a better domain and IP address reputation.

Series:

Conclusion

I know that this is a VERY long article. However, getting the settings right for your DNS records ensures that you have a higher probability of success with sending emails to outside recipients. If you are still struggling to get your DNS entries correct, please feel free to submit a ticket or to email us ([email protected]) for assistance.

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