Authenticate your domains

Domain authentication is important for two reasons:

  • For marketing email messages, it enables recipient email servers to confirm that the from-address shown on each of your messages actually belongs to your organization, and that your organization has approved Dynamics 365 Marketing to send messages on its behalf. Messages that fail this test are increasingly likely to get filtered away as spam, which can dramatically impact your deliverability.
  • For externally hosted forms, it confirms that you own the domain and therefore establishes an enhanced trust relationship with your domain, which enables embedded marketing forms to be prefilled with data for known contacts.

The primary purpose of email-domain authentication is to detect forged messages and domains, and thereby prevent spam, phishing, and other fraudulent activity. A method called DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) helps make these authentications possible. Domain authentication is implemented through the internet DNS system, and is based on public/private key encryption and signatures.

When you error check or go live with a marketing email message, the verification system makes sure the message uses a from-address that specifies an authenticated domain registered and confirmed for your organization. You'll get a warning if you try to send a message that has a from-address that has an unregistered domain; you'll get an error if you try to send a message that uses a from-address that uses a domain that is registered as belonging to another organization. You can ignore the warning (but will probably have low deliverability), but you can't go live with the error.

To learn more about email marketing and deliverability see Best practices for email marketing. To learn more about embedded forms and prefilling, see Integrate with landing pages on external websites.

The default authenticated domain

By default, all new Dynamics 365 Marketing installations come with a pre-authenticated sending domain ending in "-dyn365mktg.com". This means that you can begin sending authenticated emails right away, but you should still authenticate your own actual sending domains right away so your authenticated messages will show a from address that recipients will recognize as coming from your organization.

When a user creates a new email, the From address is automatically set to the email address registered for that user's Dynamics 365 Marketing user account. However, if that email address uses a domain that is not yet authenticated using DKIM, then the initial From address will be modified to use an authenticated domain (email addresses use the form account-name@domain-name). The resulting From address will still show the account-name of the user creating the message, but will now show a DKIM-authenticated domain-name that's registered for your Marketing instance (for example, "MyName@contoso-dyn365mktg.com"), which will provide the deliverability benefit, but probably isn't a valid return address. Users can overrule this by editing the From address after creating the message, but this will probably lower message deliverability.

Which domains to authenticate

Set up as many authenticated domains as you need to cover all the from-addresses you use in your marketing emails, plus all domains and subdomains where you want to support embedded forms with prefill enabled.

  • When you're authenticating a domain for email, use the full domain name as it appears in your email return addresses. Email addresses take the form <MailAccount>@<domain>, so if your email address is lamar.ferrari@contoso.com, then the domain you need to authenticate is contoso.com (not www.contoso.com or any other subdomain).
  • When you're authenticating a domain to support prefilled forms, you must authenticate each subdomain individually. So if you have forms on contoso.com, www.contoso.com, and events.contoso.com, then you must set up a separate domain-authentication record for each of them and specify the full subdomain each time.

Important

To use form prefilling, the page hosting the form must be served over HTTPS (not HTTP).

Note

All new instances and trials automatically authenticate their instance domain with DKIM and set that domain as the default sending domain for your instance. Therefore, you'll usually see at least one authenticated domain already set up for all new instances.

Authenticate a domain

To set up Dynamics 365 Marketing and the DNS to authenticate marketing email messages and embedded forms for a given domain:

  1. Go to Settings > Advanced settings > Marketing settings > Authenticated domains. A list of existing authenticated domains opens.

  2. Select New on the command bar to add a new domain.

  3. A new authenticated domain record opens. Make the following settings:

    • Domain name: Enter the name of the domain you want to authenticate. This must be a domain that your organization owns, and which you can access through your DNS provider.
    • Authenticate email: Select this check box if you want to authenticate email for this domain using DKIM.
    • Enable prefilled forms: Select this check box if you want to authenticate marketing forms embedded on this domain for the purpose of supporting prefill for known contacts. This check box also enables page personalization on this domain.
  4. Select Save from the command bar. Dynamics 365 Marketing saves the new record and generates a set of authentication keys for your specified domain. The page reloads to show the new keys. The following are provided:

    • Ownership authentication key: Proves that your organization owns the domain.
    • Email authentication keys for DKIM: Prove that Dynamics 365 Marketing is authorized to send messages that show your organization's domain name in the from-address.

    Generated keys

  5. Contact your DNS provider and tell them you'd like to create some DNS records for domain authentication and DKIM. They will typically provide you with an online form where you can create DNS records by submitting the Host and Value values for each authentication key generated by Dynamics 365 Marketing, or they may instead ask you to send them these values in an email. The procedure varies by DNS provider, so be sure to follow their instructions.

  6. When you are done setting up the DNS records with your provider, return to your authenticated-domain record in Dynamics 365 Marketing and select Confirm DNS registration on the command bar. Dynamics 365 Marketing checks to make sure the values are correctly set up and active in the DNS system. If you get a success message, then everything is working and you're done. DNS registration may require up to 24 hours to take effect, so try again later if your registration isn't confirmed right away.

Example DNS records

TXT record
TXT name: @
TXT value: d365mktkey=abc123abc123abc123abc123

CNAME record
Host name or Alias: eurkey1.\_domainkey
Points to address: eurkey1contosocom.marketing.dynamics.com

DNS Confirmation Statuses

As you are setting up an authenticated domain, you can track the progress of both its Ownership status and Email status , each of which is reported as one of the following:

Status Description
Waiting to confirm The system has generated the keys you requested and is waiting for you to register them with your DNS provider and then return here to confirm them (by selecting Confirm DNS registration on the command bar).
Confirmed The authentication keys have been registered with DNS and confirmed in Dynamics 365 Marketing. This domain is ready to use.
Cancelled The registration was cancelled.
Not requested You didn't request this type of authentication.
Confirming DNS registration Dynamics 365 Marketing is working to confirm the registration with DNS.
Keys not found on DNS Dynamics 365 Marketing successfully checked for the keys in the DNS system, but they weren't there. This may be because your key registrations are still being implemented by the DNS (allow up to 24 hours). It could also mean that you haven't registered the keys or that something went wrong while you were entering them. You can check again by selecting Confirm DNS registration on the command bar. If problems persist after 24 hours, please contact Microsoft Support and/or your DNS provider for assistance.
Internal error (record not found) An internal error occurred while confirming the DNS registration. Please contact Microsoft Support for assistance.
Internal error (query failed) An internal error occurred while confirming the DNS registration. Please contact Microsoft Support for assistance.
Internal error An internal error occurred while confirming the DNS registration. Please contact Microsoft Support for assistance.

Prevent sending emails from unauthorized domains

To benefit from DKIM, the from-address for each message you send must show a domain that you've authenticated for DKIM. Microsoft is dedicated to helping our customers achieve maximum email deliverability, so we've added a few features to help make sure you don't overlook or inadvertently work around your DKIM setup:

  • The error check for email messages will show a warning if you try to go live with an email message that has a from-address not associated with any of your DKIM domains.
  • We recommend that you set a default sending domain that is authenticated for DKIM. When this is set, then the from-address for all of your email messages will automatically be adjusted to show your selected default domain (if it initially uses a non-authenticated domain) each time you create a new email message or change the user shown in the From field. More information: Default marketing settings and Set sender and receiver options
  • All new instances and trials will automatically authenticate the instance domain with DKIM and set that domain as the default sending domain for your instance.

See also

Open the advanced settings
Best practices for email marketing
Integrate with landing pages on external websites
page personalization