deliverability

How to set up DKIM for your domain (2024 Update)

lemlist team
LAST UPDATED
April 9, 2024
READING TIME
7 min.

Setting up a DKIM record can increase your open rates by 50% or more.

DKIM adds a layer of security to your emails that email service providers love.

This added trust gives your emails superior inbox placement, leading to a higher ROI for your email outreach.

In short, setting up and configuring DKIM is a pivotal factor influencing your email deliverability.

You'll find out why that's the case, plus how-to tutorials on enabling DKIM and verifying DKIM settings.

What is a DKIM signature?

DKIM signature (DomainKeys Identified Mail) is an email authentication method that assists in detecting forged sender email addresses.

It helps senders associate a domain name with an email message, vouching for its authenticity in the process.

In simple terms, a DKIM key configures an encrypted signature to the header of all your outgoing messages, which email servers later decrypt, thus verifying the message was not changed after it was sent.

In short, what is DKIM? → It's your digital signature that fights email spoofing.

Here’s how to setup DKIM for your domain

We've organized all tutorials into two groups: Google and Microsoft Office. No matter which email service provider you use, you'll find how-to guides to help you out.

1. How Configure DKIM for Gmail

  • General set up (all domain providers)
  • Google with Namecheap
  • Google with Cloudflare
  • Google with Bluehost

2. Configure DKIM for Microsoft Office

  • General set up (all domain providers)
  • Microsoft with Namecheap
  • Microsoft with Cloudflare
  • Microsoft with Bluehost

1. How to set up DKIM for Gmail

Google is a straightforward choice for many.

Luckily for all, Google DKIM setup is a breeze if you have the right tutorial to follow.

We've prepared a few for you, depending on your domain provider.

How to create a DKIM record for all domain providers

To set up Google Workspace DKIM record, you need to get a unique record from Google, and to do that we need to go to Apps -> Google Workspace ->  Gmail -> Authenticate email:

Now click "Generate new record" and copy the hostname and TXT record value:

Now you need to:

  1. Go to DNS
  2. Click on "Add new record"
  3. Choose a TXT record
  4. Put DNS hostname in "Name"
  5. Put TXT record from Google in "Value"

DKIM Setup for Google with Namecheap

To set up a DKIM record, you need to get a unique record from Google, and to do that we need to go to Apps -> Google Workspace -> Settings for Gmail -> Authenticate email:

Now click "Generate new record" and copy the hostname and TXT record value:

  1. Log in to Namecheap
  2. Go to Domain list and choose your domain
  3. Go to Advanced DNS
  4. Click on "Add new record"
  5. Choose a TXT record
  6. Put DNS hostname in "Name"
  7. Put TXT record from Google in "Value"
  8. Save it!

Now come back to Google Workspace and click "Start authentication":

DKIM Setup for Google with Cloudflare

To set up a DKIM record, you need to get a unique record from Google, and to do that we need to go to Apps -> Google workspace -> Settings for Gmail -> Authenticate email:

Now click "Generate new record" and copy the hostname and TXT record value:

  1. Log in to Cloudflare
  2. Go to Domain list and choose your domain
  3. Go to Advanced DNS
  4. Click on "Add new record"
  5. Choose a TXT record
  6. Put DNS hostname in "Name"
  7. Put TXT record from Google in "Value"
  8. Save it!

Now come back to Google Workspace and click "Start authentication":

DKIM Setup for Google with Bluehost

To set up a DKIM record, you need to get a unique record from Google, and to do that we need to go to Apps -> Google Workspace -> Settings for Gmail -> Authenticate email:

Now click "Generate new record" and copy the hostname and TXT record value:

  1. Log in to Bluehost
  2. Go to Domain list and choose your domain
  3. Go to Advanced DNS
  4. Click on "Add new record"
  5. Choose a TXT record
  6. Put DNS hostname in "Name"
  7. Put TXT record from Google in "Value"
  8. Save it!

Now come back to Google Workspace and click "Start authentication":

2. How to set up DKIM for Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office is your preferred choice? We got you.

DKIM setup, depending on your domain provider, is a bit different than when you're using Google.

Let's crack on.

How to create a DKIM record for all domain providers

In order to set up a DKIM record, you need to get a unique record from Exchange, and to do that we need to go to Home -> Policy -> DKIM.

Select the domain for which you want to enable DKIM and then, for Sign messages for this domain with DKIM signatures, choose Enable. Repeat this step for each custom domain.

Configuring DKIM record for Microsoft Office & Namecheap

To set up a DKIM record, you need to get a unique record from Exchange, and to do that we need to go to Home -> Policy -> DKIM.

Select the domain for which you want to enable DKIM and then, for Sign messages for this domain with DKIM signatures, choose Enable. Repeat this step for each custom domain.

Setting up DKIM Record for Microsoft Office with Cloudflare

To set up a DKIM record, you need to get a unique record from Exchange, and to do that we need to go to Home -> Policy -> DKIM.

Select the domain for which you want to enable DKIM and then, for Sign messages for this domain with DKIM signatures, choose Enable. Repeat this step for each custom domain.

DKIM Record Setup for Microsoft Office with Bluehost

To set up a DKIM record, you need to get a unique record from Exchange, and to do that we need to go to Home -> Policy -> DKIM.

Select the domain for which you want to enable DKIM and then, for Sign messages for this domain with DKIM signatures, choose Enable. Repeat this step for each custom domain.

How DKIM protects from spoofing attacks?

Email spoofing is a common tactic used to deceive recipients into believing that an email comes from a legitimate source when it's‌ a fraudulent attempt to steal sensitive information. DKIM helps in the fight against email spoofing, working alongside SPF and DMARC to enhance email deliverability and security.

DKIM adds a digital signature to outgoing emails.This signature is verified by the recipient's email server, ensuring that the claimed domain has indeed sent the email.

This is another layer of authenticity to emails, making it difficult to forge the sender's identity.

While DKIM is a potent tool, combining it with other authentication protocols further strengthens email security:

  • Sender Policy Framework (SPF): SPF allows domain owners to specify authorized email servers for sending emails from their domain. When an email arrives via an authorized server, it's considered legitimate, helping prevent spoofed emails from reaching recipients.
  • Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC): DMARC works in conjunction with SPF and DKIM, providing instructions to email systems on how to handle emails that fail authentication. It helps organizations protect their brand and makes sure that only genuine emails from approved domains are delivered.
  • Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI): BIMI enhances brand visibility in email clients by displaying a company's logo next to its emails. This not only verifies the email's authenticity but also reinforces brand trust and email sending reputation.

By implementing DKIM alongside SPF, DMARC, and BIMI, organizations can significantly reduce the risk of email spoofing attacks. Boost email deliverability, and provide recipients with a safer email experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you send emails without DKIM?

Yes, you can send emails without DKIM. It helps prevent email spoofing, phishing, and impersonation by verifying that the email was sent by the domain owner and not someone else.Without DKIM, messages sent from your domain are more likely to be marked as spam. This can damage your domain reputation, trustworthiness, and deliverability.

Where is the DKIM signature?

The DKIM signature is in the email header that contains the encrypted hash of the message content and the domain name of the sender. It’s generated by using a private key that is kept secret by the sender, and a public key that is published in the DNS records of the sender’s domain.

How do I check my DKIM and SPF records?

To check your DKIM and SPF records, you can use various online tools or services that can help you test and validate your records. For example, you can use lemwarm's free deliverability test, which will give you an overview of your technical setup including DKIM and SPF.

Key takeaways

  • Setting up DKIM records helps fight email spoofing and misuse
  • If you want to have high email deliverability, it's a must to enable DKIM record

☝️ Once you enable DKIM, the job isn't done. You have to set up SPF and MX records next.

lemlist team
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