How are CNAME records generated and why are they important? What is an SPF Record?

One of the first things you will want to do when you set up your ActiveDEMAND account is to set your CNAME records. 

While you are in your DNS settings configuring your CNAME records, it would be wise to also add an SPF record - which we will discuss at the end of this article.

CNAME Records

If you go to Administration > Account Settings > Account Setup, you will find a "View Whitelabeling" button.

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Clicking the "View Whitelabeling" button will open a tab that looks similar to the image below:

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Where to add the landing page, links, and email sending domains? 

They should be set under Administration > Account Setup > CNAME Record Setup
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For example, the landing page CNAME record is the very first record shown above:

Record type: CNAME
Host: www2
Points to: submit.activedemand.com

That CNAME is determined by what you place as your landing page domain.

Your links are also populated based on that landing page domain, which is why the landing page and link will likely be very similar CNAME records:

Record type: CNAME
Host: link
Points to: submit.activedemand.com

The other remaining CNAME records are to do with email sending and deliverability. The email CNAMEs will only show up when you have configured a default marketing reply email:

Once you have configured a default marketing reply email address, then you should see CNAMEs that look similar to this:

Record type: CNAME
Host: email2
Points to: u3317883.wl134.sendgrid.net

Record type: CNAME
Host: s1._domainkey
Points to: s1.domainkey.u3317883.wl134.sendgrid.net

Record type: CNAME
Host: s2._domainkey
Points to: s2.domainkey.u3317883.wl134.sendgrid.net

Where do I set these CNAME records?

You will need to configure this in the DNS settings for the domain name(s) you are using for your ActiveDEMAND account.

In most cases, this is just one domain name. In other words, if your landing page domain and your email domain are the same, all of the CNAME records need to be set in the DNS settings for that domain name.

In some other cases, users wish to use a different email domain name than the landing page. This can be done, however you need to now put the right CNAME records in the DNS settings for the right domain name.

For example: If I am using MyDomain.com for the landing pages but my email address I am using to send emails from is on MyOtherDomain.com, then you need to add the CNAMEs in the DNS settings as shown in the screenshot below:
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Can I change my landing page and email domain names being used?

Yes. You should be able to update your landing page domain yourself under Administration > Account Settings > Account Setup. 

Changing the email domain may require you to contact support at engage@activedemand.com 

Setting an SPF record

What is an SPF Record?

ActiveDEMAND uses SendGrid to send all emails on behalf of your domain name. SPF (Sender Framework Policy) records effectively act as a sign of 'permission' for us to send emails on your behalf. This can help bypass things like firewalls that might otherwise see these emails as being spoofed by someone else.

Setting an SPF Record

You may not have to do this, but there is no harm in doing it anyway as it will be an added level of assurance your emails will be delivered.

To add an SPF record you will actually be adding a TXT record in your DNS settings for your email sending domain. Since you are already in your DNS settings when adding the above CNAME records, you might as well add the SPF record.

To add an SPF record you will actually be adding a TXT record in your DNS settings for your email sending domain. Since you are already in your DNS settings when adding the above CNAME records, you might as well add the SPF record.

Please note that you can only have one SPF record. So if you already have an existing SPF record, you will need to combine it with the new one. 

If you don't have an SPF record, you should add the following as a TXT record in your DNS settings for your email domain:

Name: YourDomainName.com
Content: v=spf1 mx a include:_spf.activedemand.com ?all

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If you already have an spf record, add 'include:_spf.activedemand.com' to it so it appears similar to the screenshot below:
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