Newsletter Crew July 14, 2020

Changing "send from" domain causing deliverability issues?

Aaron Nesmith-Beck @anesmithbeck

Hey everyone 👋

I’m planning to change the domain I’m sending from for an email list, and I’m wondering about potential deliverability issues.

I read Manu_C's post "A comprehensive email deliverability guide to help your newsletter open rates" (I would post a link here but am not being allowed) and the linked article describes how moving a list to a new domain could affect deliverability. It suggests gradually having subscribers opt-in to the new domain over a few weeks.

At the same time, Substack's onboarding (as an example) prompts you to just upload a CSV of your existing list, all in one go. They don't seem concerned about deliverability, even though the email would be coming from a new (.substack.com) domain.

I'm wondering if I'll run into deliverability issues if I start sending to the same list from a new domain?

Thanks! 🙏

  1. 3

    For Substack newsleters in particular, it seems like they actually send their newsletters from their @substack.com domain, e.g. my newsletter MakerList gets sent from [email protected]. So you're essentially piggy-backing off of their great deliverability already, making it not necessary for you to worry about your own deliverability (which is really nice!).

    1. 2

      Yep, that's the reason.

      It's quite different from switching between two domains you own, one of which is new and with essentially zero reputation.

    2. 1

      Right, that makes sense, thanks!

  2. 3

    If you setup the new domain correctly (ie mx, SPF, dkim, DMARC) I think the only issue could be that some people might have white listed your old domain and as such won't have the new domain white listed?
    Also, I would make sure that you announce the domain change so that people on your list will recognize the new domain.
    So in summary: I wouldn't worry :)

    1. 2

      The issue is that if they don't have your new domain/contact whitelisted, they are more likely to receive your emails in Promotions (or even Spam), which then lowers your deliverability, which then makes even more of your emails go in Promotions/Spam and the cycle continues.

      It also affects every new subscriber that comes to your list. If you put them on a new domain, they are more likely to get your welcome email in Promotions than a domain with high deliverability. Which then starts the cycle again...

    2. 1

      Great, I have set these up and am planning to let the subscribers know (sending from the original domain) that it'll be switching soon. Thanks for your reply!

  3. 1

    If your old and/new domain have SPF/DKIM/DMARC set up, be sure to quintuple-check the configuration. Scratch that, sestuple-check it.

    Do this even if the mails are sent by a newsletter provider such as Substack or Revue. Ask for help to the domain registrar's and the newsletter provider's customer support. If your organization staffs system administrators or DevOps persons, ask them for help. Use checking tools.

    When I moved my domain to a different registrar, I screwed up the DKIM/DMARC configuration and all the mails of an issue bounced. All of them.

    1. 1

      Thanks for the tip! I used Mailerlite's built-in authentication (SPF and DKIM) so I think that should be sufficient.