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Create a custom from address
Create a custom from address

Set up a branded email sending address to help improve open rates and engagement, and encourage brand recognition.

Laura Russell avatar
Written by Laura Russell
Updated over a week ago

Suggestions for CFAs

When you create a custom from address (CFA), there are some words to avoid, and some we'd recommend using.

Words we would suggest steering away from to avoid triggering spam filters are:

  • offers

  • special

  • promotions

  • info

  • credit

Words that are often used that work well are:

  • news

  • events

  • latest

  • email

  • updates

  • marketing

  • transactional

Here are some full CFA examples that can work well:

Your CFA can’t contain accented characters. The subdomain must only consist of a combination of the letters a-z, the numbers 0-9 and the hyphen sign (-).

Your chosen subdomain can’t start with the hyphen sign.

Implement a subdomain as a CFA

Firstly, you need to check with your IT department and/or domain provider whether your subdomain can be pointed to us. This is because some domain providers don't allow subdomains to be pointed to different name servers to those of the parent domain.

If allowed, then you need to create specific NS records that point to us.

Can I provide MX records for my existing domain?

No. We require the NS records to be pointed to us rather than just the MX records. This is because we need to set up some of the other services on the subdomain, such as the hosting of landing pages, and the enhanced reporting of opens, clicks and bounces. If the subdomain is delegated to us only using the MX records instead of the NS records it isn't possible to set this up.

Can I run a domain myself by being given the DNS records or a copy of the zone file?

No, we don't provide DNS records, or a zone file, or anything of this nature for you to then manage.

In order for you to have your own subdomain, we provide two options:

  • purchase one through us that we manage, or

  • delegate the *subdomain to us that we manage

In the case of the latter, all you need to do is ensure the subdomain is pointing to our name servers (as described in in Delegating a subdomain to our servers). This will ensure full functionality of our services.

There may be some restrictions and further requirements associated with delegating a subdomain to us.

Purchase a new domain for my CFA

It's possible to have a variety of different custom from addresses to send from, as well as multiple sending domains.

To purchase a new sending domain:

  1. Expand the User menu, then go to Settings > Email > From addresses.
    This page lists your available sending addresses; each address may be Active and therefore available to use in campaigns, or Pending which means the from address is currently being set up.


Option not available?

If this feature isn't enabled, the page may not be visible in your account. Contact us to discuss adding a new from address.

On the Address purchasing page you can:

Domain names can be purchased within Dotdigital which end with:

  • .com

  • .net

  • .org





  • .mx

  • .in

Other domain names are available. Contact your Customer Success representative to discuss options.

Purchase a new sending from domain name

⚠️Sending from a new domain

We strongly recommend that you don't send from a newly purchased domain for 30 days. This is because mailbox providers treat brand new from domains as a bad reputation indicator. Sending from it before 30 days have passed could adversely affect your deliverability.

  1. Enter the email address you want to send campaigns from.

  2. The domain name needs to be one that you don't already own, and that no one else owns. To check if it's available, select Check availability.

  3. If the name is available, select Purchase. If it’s not, we suggest some alternatives.

  4. Enter your details.
    When you purchase the new domain name, you need to provide some contact information. Your name (this cannot contain accented characters), address and contact details are made publicly available for anyone looking up the owner of a domain.

  5. Select Purchase address. You're asked to confirm your choice, and can see the details of the cost for the new domain.

Once we have your details, we charge your account and start setting up the new address.

Domain verification

You must verify your domain within 15 days of having purchased it, otherwise the domain will get suspended.

An email containing a verification link is sent to the email address you registered the domain with, so it's important to make sure this email address is entered correctly.

These verification emails are not sent from or by Dotdigital.

Dotdigital are able to request the resending of a verification email for all TLDs except

You can tell if a domain has been suspended by looking at the NS records. If suspended, they read:




If a .uk domain is suspended, you need to contact Nominet. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to assist you.

Purchase an alias for a domain already in your account

Let's say, for example, you already have the sending address

This means purchasing a new alias, such as updates, enables you to send from

  1. Select the domain name you want the address to be sent from, and enter the alias you want to use before the @.

  2. Select Purchase alias. You're asked to confirm your choice, and can see the details of the cost for the new alias.

This charges your account.

It can take up to 30 minutes to set up the new alias. This setup time ensures all of our servers are ready to receive replies and responses to your campaigns.

After this time, you can use the alias as one of your custom from addresses.

Aliases and deliverability

The alias is the bit before the @ in your CFA and this doesn't have a technical impact on inbox placement. Mailbox providers and filtering or security applications don't look at this portion of the sending address to determine reputation; they look at the reputation of the sending domain: the reputation of is going to be the same as the reputation for, as they both use the same domain.

However, your recipients might be paying attention to the alias, which could influence whether they open your email. They might also add your email address to their safe list or a specific folder or label, so if you change the alias you're sending from, this could impact whether or not they see your emails. Recipient engagement determines your sender reputation with a mailbox provider, so choose an alias that your recipients can trust and interact with – and stick to it.

Domain security

All domains purchased through Dotdigital, including those that have been purchased with us in the past, are secured with SSL, ensuring security best practice. Increasingly, non-SSL websites are going to get red-flagged by browsers. Instead, people are expecting to see the secure padlock icon when visiting a page. All email links, unsubscribe pages, landing pages, surveys, signup forms and preference centres under your branded domain benefit from this security.

Change the registrant details for a domain post-purchase

  1. Expand the User menu and go to Settings > General > Domain names.

  2. Select the Edit icon under View and edit registrant for the domain you want to edit details for.

  3. Enter the new details, then select SAVE.

You may be required to reverify your domain if you change the registrant details. If so, you receive an email sent from either ICANN or Nominet to the email address listed under Registered owner details for the domain. It's not always the case that reverification is required but it's best to keep a lookout for this email, otherwise your domain could become suspended.

Change the renewal status for a domain

  1. Expand the User menu and go to Settings > General > Domain names.

  2. Select the Edit icon under Renewal options for the domain you want to change.

  3. Select the Renew domain check box to renew the domain.

  4. Select the Auto renew check box to ensure the domain is renewed every year automatically.

  5. Select SAVE.

Can I change the DNS records for my purchased domain or delegated subdomain?

No. Because our DNS records are all uniform, our domains are constantly managed and optimised for correct email delivery. Therefore, it's not possible to make any changes to those DNS records.

After registering a new CFA

If you've purchased a brand new domain for sending, then we recommend waiting for at least 30 days before you start sending. This is because mailbox providers treat brand new from domains as a bad reputation indicator and this can adversely affect deliverability.

This grace period is not required for newly created subdomains of an existing domain, as long as the existing parent domain was created more than 30 days ago.

Whether you've purchased a completely new domain or you're using a subdomain, you need to ramp up. This means gradually increasing the volume you send through your new CFA over time, targeting engaged recipients to build a good sender reputation with mailbox providers. We can work with you to create and execute a comprehensive ramp up strategy that gives the best chances of success; you can contact your Customer Success representative or our Support team to discuss this.

Find and manage CFAs

You can find your custom from addresses in two places:

  1. Once available, they can be selected from the From address dropdown in the campaign setup details page (the 'Create' stage of the campaign creation process).

  2. They can be managed by expanding the User menu and going to Settings > Email > From addresses, where you can set a default from address and edit your custom from addresses.

Can I have a dynamic alias in my CFA?

No, not currently. Our infrastructure doesn't support dynamic aliases. You can, however, use a personalised Friendly from name by using the relevant personalisation placeholder.

You can set this in the Create stage of the campaign creation process.

For example, you could insert a contact data field such as @ASSIGNED_TO@ which includes the name of the contact’s allocated account manager or advisor. As long as the staff member’s name is included as a value in the contact data field against the contact, then this value dynamically populates when the email is sent.

Contact data fields have an option to set a default value when setting them up, so if there's an instance where a contact doesn't have a staff member assigned to them, then the default value, for example Your [company name] advisor, is used instead.

Replies and emails sent to my CFA

Replies are handled directly by Dotdigital and can be viewed in the 'Replies' report in email reporting.

Replies can also be handled and forwarded at either:

Dynamically forward replies

As well as the Friendly from name, the forwarding address can also be a personalised, dynamic value taken from a contact data field. It means that replies from contacts can be forwarded to an address you set on a per contact basis.

For example, let's say you have three account managers that look after all of your customers, and these customers are all contacts stored with us. You can create a contact data field called something like ACCOUNTMANAGEREMAIL, and make sure each contact has the email address of their account manager stored inside it.

When creating your campaign, you'd enter @ACCOUNTMANAGEREMAIL@ in the Forwarding address field.

If a contact replies, you get their response not only stored in email campaign reporting, but it is also sent directly to the relevant account manager. You can enter a default value for this data field to set a fallback email address for any contact who doesn’t have a specified account manager, or where the field is empty for any reason.

Transfer a CFA registered with Dotdigital to a new registrar

It is possible to transfer a CFA to a new registrar. How this works depends on the type of domain the CFA uses.

  • For domains: You need to provide us with the TAG code of your new registrar and we then push the domain to them on your behalf.

  • For any other domains: We provide you with your domain's authorisation code and you need to give this to your new registrar to initiate the transfer.

It could be the case that you're transferring the domain so that you own it, but you still wish to use it in your account with us.

If so, you need to be aware of the following:

  • You can't use the domain whilst the transferral process is taking place.

  • Once the domain is transferred, you need to point the name servers to us.

  • You must let know when the domain is with your new registrar, so that we can check to see that the domain is ready to use.

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