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What is a DKIM record?

Nic Getkate
Nic Getkate

We have talked about the basics of email deliverability and SPF in detail, so it’s about time we got into DKIM records, what they are, why you need one for your domain, and how to create them. The theory behind the DKIM record may seem a little more complicated than SPF or DMARC but the actual use is far less intimidating or difficult.

So what is a DKIM Record?

A DKIM record in all its glory is a certificate that allows email servers to authenticate an email and ensure it isn’t false. It works using a pair of keys that act as a signature for validation. In all honesty though, you simply need to think of it as a line of code that lets your email recipients know everything is legit and on the up and up.

Suffice it to say then that without a DKIM record in your DNS settings, yours subscribers email servers cannot authenticate the validity of the email you send them and thus deliverability takes a hard knock and your open rate hits the floor.

Don’t panic! Adding one is really easy, and a quick test of it will let you know if you’ve done it well.

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Adding a DKIM Record

Your ESM should have provided you with the DKIM TXT to utilize so all you need to do is add it and there it is. To add the record, login to your domain, and navigate to DNS Settings

• Under DNS setting select “Add Record”

• You should then see a screen which asks you to specify the type, host name, and TTL.

• For type, select TXT

• For Host, type in your domain name

• Once this is done simply add the DKIM txt file and click “add”.

And that’s it, you’re done!

Testing that your DKIM record is behaving

There are a host of good sites you can visit that can analyze your DKIM, SPF, and DMARC records to make sure everything is as it should be. Sites like these make quick work of checking your signatures and pointing out any potential problems or failed record adding attempts. Below is a list of the most popular.

So then, if you’ve added your DKIM record and the test comes back solid, you’re golden. The last step in ensuring your email deliverability is optimum would be DMARC. Keep an eye out for the spill on that coming soon!

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Nic Getkate

Freelance Copywriter and newsletter curator.

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