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Subdomain such as news.mydomain.com vs top-level domain for sending email and protecting reputation
  • Vote Up0Vote Down yongremyongrem
    Posts: 5Sendy user

    A recent event got me thinking whether I should use a subdomain such as e.mydomain.com instead of mydomain.com to send my newsletter from.

    Do you guys use a subdomain and why or why not? (this question is not about where to install sendy. I have that on a completely unrelated domain)

    Here is a bit more background:

    Some time ago, spammers had used my list-signup form and submitted a large number of addresses that didn't bounce. Some did bounce. I use double-opt-in, so a lot of people got an email asking them to confirm their subscription.

    I am concerned that mishaps like this one (or a similar one) can cost my main domain reputation and, who knows, it might get blacklisted some time in the future.

    Some companies use a subdomain to send their newsletters and other bulk mail from, while others don't.

    Examples that use a subdomains:

    • Mozilla.org uses e.mozilla.org
    • Apple uses email.apple.com
    • Yahoo communications.yahoo.com
    • Goodreads.com mail.goodreads.com

    Others don't use them:

    • Amazon.com
    • Wordpress.org and wordpress.com
    • Twitter.com
    • Most bloggers I have subscribed to.

    On the side of email service providers, Mailgun recommends using a subdomain to protect one's main domain's reputation.

    What do you guys think?

  • 5 Comments
  • Vote Up0Vote Down colcolcolcol
    Posts: 16Sendy user

    AWS suggests considering subdomains as well:

    https://docs.aws.amazon.com/ses/latest/DeveloperGuide/tips-and-best-practices.html "Consider using subdomains for different types of communications. For example, assume you are sending email from the domain example.com, and you plan to send both marketing and transactional messages. Rather than sending all of your messages from example.com, send your marketing messages from a subdomain such as marketing.example.com, and your transactional messages from a subdomain such as orders.example.com. Unique subdomains develop their own reputations. Using subdomains reduces the risk of damage to your reputation if, for example, your marketing communications land in a spam trap or trigger a content filter."

    Amazon, Wordpress, Twitter etc are large enough to sort out their own mailing problems. Small fry like us may not be so fortunate. I can't see using a subdomain will do major harm, although a sudden switch to using a fresh subdomain may trigger a few spam filters (I don't know). For what it is worth, I do not use a subdomain -- which is due to ignorance when I set up my Sendy and that things have yet to go wrong.

    (PS How did you stop the spammers? This service works for me: https://cleantalk.org/)

  • Vote Up0Vote Down JLantzJLantz
    Posts: 3Sendy user

    This was an interesting question, I never thought about that. If I would like to use a subdomain for the mail, is it enough to just change the "From" parameter when creating the campaign or would I have to change some setting in Sendy?

  • Vote Up0Vote Down yongremyongrem
    Posts: 5Sendy user

    @Colcol: Thank you very much for your info! Very helpful.

    I am not yet sure whether the spammers are gone, but so far it looks like it. At first, I used Contact Form 7 together with an integration Plugin to do the signup.

    I have now changed to the standard form you can grab from the Sendy list - and styled that with CSS. It looks even better now than CF7.

    Sendy's standard form contains a 'honeypot' field to stop spambots from signing up (https://sendy.co/api). I hope that will do it. Thanks for that cleantalk link. That looks very interesting.

    @JLantz: I haven't done it yet, but I think you need to set up the subdomain in your DNS, so that you can also create an MX record and a correct email address you are sending from. After all, you might want to receive replies at the FROM address. For the verification in Amazon SES, I am not sure whether it is necessary. As I read in their docu, verifying the parent domain would render subdomains verified. Here is my preliminary plan:

    1. Add a subdomain to my DNS.
    2. Add an MX record and create an email account I plan to use for sending.
    3. Add the subdomain to Amazon SES and have it verified. Basically go through the whole process I went through with the parent domain.

    If someone has done it, I'd be happy to be pointed in the right direction. Also, if someone has a different opinion about sub domain vs parent, it'd be great to hear about it. Have a great day.

  • Vote Up0Vote Down colcolcolcol
    Posts: 16Sendy user

    @yongrem I use the standard Sendy form on my (WordPress) website with a little extra CSS. Within a few days of introducing the form, I received about 20 fake signups a day. The Sendy honeypot field just did not work for me. I now have next to no fake signups with CleanTalk

  • Vote Up0Vote Down yongremyongrem
    Posts: 5Sendy user

    @colcol: Many thanks for that feedback. So I probably have to go a step further too. CF7 was no way to go.

    I am wondering what @Ben suggests to fight these spam signups? Double-Optin doesn't keep users from complaining about the initial signup message.