Onboarding: Sender Domains

As of September 2019, all Mautic customers began using the Maestro interface to configure custom domains and sender domains. This applies to customers who actually use Maestro, and those who only use Mautic.

Although this document looks long, the process for users only takes a few minutes. This is a detailed, step-by-step guide to configuring sender domains.

Note: This applies to any customer using Mautic’s email delivery service, which is Sparkpost. Customers using their own email delivery provider (including their own Sparkpost credentials) do not need to complete this process. 

What is a sender domain?
Creating a sender domain
DNS records for a sender domain
Attaching domains to instances

What is a Sender Domain?

…And why do I need one?

A sender domain is any domain you’d like to send emails from; the part that comes after the @ in your from address. Any email addresses you plan on using to send emails from in Mautic must have the sender domain configured. This includes the primary email address you’ll use (default), different addresses for individual emails, and any Contact Owner email addresses if you plan on using the Mailer is Owner feature.

A single Mautic instance may be configured to send from multiple sender domains, and a single sender domain may be used across multiple Mautic instances.

Mautic requires proper configuration of sender domains. This is critical because it helps recipient mail servers authenticate your messages. Without that, your messages would be likely to end up in spam folders (if they’re delivered at all).

Creating a Sender Domain

All customers now configure sender domains from maestro.mautic.com. Log into the administration panel there, then look for the settings wheel in the left side panel.

Maestro-Settings-Domains

Once you’re there, click on Create to add a new sender domain. You’ll see a pop-up that looks like this:

Create Sender Domain

Sender Domain: Enter just one domain you’d like to use. You’ll be able to create more, but only one at a time. Each domain must also direct to a real website. Example: acquia.com

Bounce Domain: We’ll autofill this field with bounces.[senderdomain] if you leave it blank, but if you’d like to use a custom bounce domain add that here. The bounce domain overrides the default return-path header in your emails. Recipient email service providers will be able to verify that the return-path (or Envelope FROM) header matches the sending domain. Example: bounces.acquia.com.

Tracking Domain: We’ll also autofill this field with clicks.[senderdomain] once you click Save if you leave the field blank. For a custom tracking domain, add your own value and include the sender domain. The tracking domain enables reporting for click tracking in your emails. The click event gets reported to Sparkpost, who then relays the information to your Mautic instance. Example: clicks.acquia.com

Default From Email Name: The name you’d like most of your emails to have in the “From” field. You can change this in Mautic for each email, this is just the default or fallback in case you don’t add a different name. Example: “Acquia”

Default From Email Address: The address you’d like most of your emails to have in the “From” field. Example: marketing@acquia.com

Note: If you decide to use custom values for the bounce and/or tracking domains, be sure to notify support@mautic.com. Your Customer Success Manager will need to make a simple change in our system.

Once you’ve added these required values, click Save and you’ll see the newly created sender domain in a list.

DNS Records for a Sender Domain

For this step, you’ll need access to your Domain Name Server. Whoever manages your website and/or domain should be able to assist with this.

Unconfigured Sender Domain - Main Screen

In the list of sender domains, red dots indicate that the DNS record hasn’t been validated. All three records must be validated before you can use the sender domain. Once validated, those red dots will turn green.

To get the records, click on the sender domain. You may see a message that says “One moment as we provision this domain. Please check back in a minute.” When you see that, we’re just connecting with Sparkpost to ensure it’s a domain we can create. Our APIs are talking with their APIs. If that message doesn’t go away after about 15 minutes, email support@mautic.com for help.

Sender Domain DNS Records

Follow the directions on this screen to add records to your DNS manager. Or, copy them into an email or ticket for the person or team who will be adding the records for you.

The three records are:

Sender Domain:

Type: TXT

Hostname: scph0819._domainkey.[domain]

Value: This is always a unique value. Copy and paste from your screen.

Note: The 0819 in the hostname will change. Yours may be different.

Bounce Domain: 

Type: CNAME

Hostname: bounces.[domain]

Value: sparkpostmail.com

Tracking Domain:

Type: CNAME

Hostname: clicks.[domain]

Value: spgo.io

Note: Some DNS managers, including GoDaddy, automatically append the [.domain] to new records. If yours does, just add “scph0819._domainkey”, “bounces”, and “clicks”, respectively.

Sometimes, it takes a few hours for these records to propagate. If you’re still seeing red after up to 24 hours, use a tool like dnschecker.org to see if the internet has accepted your record change. If it takes that long, chances are something isn’t right with the configuration. Once the records are all validated, the record values will disappear and the red dots turn green.

Validated Sender Domain

Attaching Domains to Instances

You can complete this step even while you’re waiting for the DNS records to propagate.

In order to actually send emails using a sender domain, the domain must be attached to the Mautic instance you’d like to send from. You can do this either from the records page using the “Select Action” option in the top right, or from the domains list page. Assign Sender Domain

Simply select the domain(s) you’d like to attach to an account or instance, and the Select Action dropdown will appear.

Assign to/Remove from account(s): This action assigns the domain to or removes the domain from all instances within the account(s) you select.

Assign to/Remove from instance(s): This action assigns the domain to or removes the domain from all individual instances you select.