Local and multi-sending domains: exploring the technical aspects

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9, oktober 2017

Local and multi-sending domains offer many advantages for email marketing that you might not be aware of. Why should you definitely consider using local and multi-sending domains? A local domain with a good reputation leads to increased inbox placement. By using multi-sending domains – multiple local domains under one licence – the reputation of one brand can never affect the reputation of another brand. On the other hand, this solution does allow you to send all your emails from a single environment. These and other advantages were covered in this article. In this blog, I want to delve deeper into the technical aspects.

Are you curious about the technology that ensures your emails are delivered to the recipient’s inbox faster when you use local and multi-sending domains? In this case, reputation is everything. The better your reputation, the higher the chance that your email is delivered to the inbox. Two factors that affect your reputation are identity and authenticity. These, in turn, are affected by DNS, the domain name system. Below, we will cover DNS and the associated terminology in more detail.

“The local domain can be seen as a technical solution, related to the client. When you use a local domain, you take advantage of all available options to ensure that the emails you send are authentic and authorised for sending via your ESP. The same goes for multi-sending domains, although these are only truly multi-sending when they have been properly configured by your ESP.” (Ewald Kessler, Webpower expert Deliverability & Abuse Management)

Several DNS settings are important here.

A records (Address records)

A records indicate the server or, more specifically, the IP address connected to the web pages of a certain domain name. For ESPs, this is related to the local domain. The local domain forms the basis for the links that are visible in the emails that are sent out.

Records are not set up in your email software. Instead, this is done via the DNS settings that you or your hosting provider manage.

MX records (Mail eXchange record)

MX records detail which mail servers are set up to receive any email sent to a given domain. For emails sent via ESPs, it is important that a correct MX record has been set up for the local domain, e.g. to properly handle bounces (emails that could not be delivered to the recipient).

TXT records (TeXT record)

To safeguard the optimal deliverability of email sent via the ESP licences, TXT records are used to verify the authenticity of emails. This also helps counter the misuse of a domain with SPF, DKIM and DMARC.

These terms (SPF, DKIM and DMARC) are explained below.

SPF records (Sender Policy Framework)

This is a file on the DNS (domain name system) that indicates whether a certain IP address or domain can send email on behalf of the organisation. This is one of the methods an ISP uses to detect falsified sender data and mark your emails as spam.

DKIM records (DomainKeys Identified Mail)

This is also known as a digital signature. Information – e.g. a key with which to verify an email’s authenticity – can be published in a TXT record (a text file, also used for SPF records). This is a method used to link a domain name to an email and it allows a person or organisation to claim part of the responsibility for the email. It helps recipients to recognise the sender of an email.

The digital signature includes the local domain, which is assigned a reputation by ISPs. If your email does not have DKIM, the chance of an ISP delivering your email to the recipient’s inbox is reduced.

DMARC records (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance)

DMARC is a validation system that lets you publish a policy (recommendation for recipients) on your local domain. This policy advises receiving email servers on what to do when an unauthorised server attempts to deliver a message from your sender. What makes DMARC so powerful is the fact that it tells a recipient what to do with emails that do not pass the SPF or DKIM test.

“You cannot send an email with DMARC validation if your sender address does not align with your local domain. The local domain is the key to success.” (Ewald Kessler, Webpower expert Deliverability & Abuse Management)


I hope I was able to explain the various technical aspects of local and multi-sending domains that contribute to a higher inbox placement. Be sure to contact your ESP to discuss the possibilities, because it is definitely worth it.

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