Delegate a subdomain to our servers

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

Overview

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 xyzdomain.com and you want to use email.xyzdomain.com with us, in which case you'll need to add the following three nameserver records on your email.xyzdomain.com domain:

  • Name: email, Type: NS, Value: ns0.dns.dotdigital.com
  • Name: email, Type: NS, Value: ns1.dns.dotdigital.com
  • Name: email, Type: NS, Value: ns2.dns.dotdigital.com

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 transactional.yourdomain.com 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.

Important

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 Dotdigital 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.

Information

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

To delegate a subdomain in AWS Route 53:

  1. In your AWS Route 53 account, go to Hosted zones.
  2. Select the zone you want to add the subdomain to.
    The NS records for the subdomain must be added to the hosted zone for the parent domain. Don’t create a new hosted zone for the subdomain.
  3. Select Create record.
    create-record.png
  4. For Record name, enter your subdomain.
    record-values.png
  5. Expand the Record type drop-down menu, and select NS - Name servers for a hosted zone.
  6. For Value, enter the three Dotdigital nameservers.
    1. ns0.dns.dotdigital.com
    2. ns1.dns.dotdigital.com
    3. ns2.dns.dotdigital.com
  7. For TTL (seconds), we recommend entering 3600.
  8. Select Create records.

GoDaddy

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

  1. Select your name in the top right corner of the app, then select My products.
  2. Select DNS next to the domain's subdomain you want to delegate to us.
  3. At the bottom of the Records list for the domain, select Add.
    If you don't see a Records list, your DNS records must be managed elsewhere. You'll need to visit wherever your DNS records are managed.
  4. Expand the Type drop-down menu, then select Nameserver.
  5. For Host, enter your subdomain name without the parent name.
    For example, email if your parent domain is email.yourcompanyname.com.
  6. For Points to, enter ns0.dns.dotdigital.com.
  7. Expand the TTL drop-down menu, and select 1 Hour
  8. Select Save
    GoDaddy_subdomain_delegation.png
  9. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to add the records for ns1.dns.dotdigital.com and ns2.dns.dotdigital.com

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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