Delegate a subdomain to our servers

Learn how to delegate a subdomain to our servers so you can use a custom from address. 


You'll need to delegate a subdomain to our servers when you want to implement it as your custom 'from' address (CFA) with us, but the subdomain is registered with another domain provider. 

First, you'll 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 may not allow subdomains to be pointed to different name servers to those of the parent domain.

The providers Network Solutions and 123Reg do not let you to create NS records for subdomain delegation.

If your domain registrar's application doesn't provide you with the ability to delegate subdomains within their interface, then contact their customer support to request implementing it. Most registrars let you do this.

Things to change

You need to create NS records that point to us only for the subdomain that you want to delegate to - not for your domain. Therefore, let's say your domain is and you want to use with us, in which case you'll need to add the following three nameserver records on your domain:

  • Name: email, Type: NS, Value:
  • Name: email, Type: NS, Value:
  • Name: email, Type: NS, Value:

The most important step here is to make sure that you're using whatever subdomain name you're delegating to us for these records. This would mean that if you're using the subdomain instead, for instance, then you'd replace the name of 'email' with the name 'transactional' on the three records shown above.

All other NS records for the subdomain must be removed so that only the three records pointing to dotdigital nameservers exist.

You'll find some step-by-step instructions below about how to implement this with the most popular domain providers.


Aside from the process documented for AWS Route 53, we generally don't recommend adding SOA records. This is because it can cause confusion for some servers when it's asked to get an SOA record from a nameserver which isn't the one the record points to.

Reasons to use DNS records

We rely on our DNS (domain name system) records being the same for all sending subdomain names that we host. There are many thousands of these.

This allows us to transparently and safely make changes when we need to add or update features, or our network infrastructure.

The reason we don't add custom DNS records is that Engagement Cloud is a service platform. We rely on the platform being consistent and not having special cases and exceptions. This allows us to provide a high quality and consistent service to all customers, and means our technical staff can work on it as a single platform.

After the subdomain is pointed at us 

Once the subdomain is pointed to us, contact your Customer Success Representative to confirm associated costs and next steps, and give them the more details:

  • confirm that the subdomain is pointing to us
  • provide the alias you want to use for the custom 'from' address (before the @)
  • provide the username of the account that the CFA needs adding to

We can then set up your CFA for you.


Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for the CFA to be activated.

Delegate subdomains for different domain providers

AWS Route 53 DNS management service

Follow these steps:

  1. On your parent zone, click Create Record Set
  2. Enter the name for your subdomain without the main domain name, for example just 'email' in this case
  3. Select NS - Name server for the type of records to create
  4. Enter the following values (one record per line):
  5. Click Create



Follow these steps (after logging into your GoDaddy account):

  1. Click on your name in the top right corner of the app, select My products and then click on DNS next to the domain whose subdomain you want to delegate to us
  2. At the foot of the 'Records' list for the domain, click on Add. If you don't see a 'Records' list, it means that your DNS records are being managed elsewhere, in which case you'll need to visit wherever that happens to be instead.
  3. Set the 'Type' to 'Nameserver', set the 'Host' to your subdomain name without the parent name (e.g. 'email' if your parent domain is ', set 'Points to' to '', set 'TTL' to '1 Hour' and click Save

  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to add the records for and

Correctly setting DMARC

Contact our support team if you're using Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) at an organisational level. If you're not sure you're using DMARC, check with your IT/security team. We can then set DMARC for your custom from address to the correct level and add your reporting address.

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