What Is Domain Keys Identified Mail?
Before setting up Domain Keys Identified Mail, let us know what it means first. Domain Keys Identified Mail is a public key that connects the email to the server Domain Name System of origin. It shows that the domain is real to the receiver. It gives authentication as well as identification of the sender’s domain. As well as increases the deliverability rate of your email marketing campaigns. The main purpose of DKIM protocol is to prove that the domain name used by others is real or not. And the signed message during transference has not been changed.
How Does Domain Keys Identified Mail Work?
DKIM works in a quite simple manner. It depends on uneven encryption and therefore it works with any other tool developed for that purpose. Firstly, you have to generate a private or public key pair. Secondly, you have to enter the public part of the key as a TXT record to the domain that is used as the sender address. The private key is then used to create a DKIM signature for each email. The signature basically includes a hash code, which is calculated by combining the content of the email with the private key using a security algorithm. Then, the signature is saved as a header field of the email.
When receiving Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, the mail server detects a signature header, as it looks up for the public part of the key by asking the domain name system (DNS) for the TXT record. One of the visions of public key decoding is that the keys are like brothers: they share the same DNA. And by using it, anyone can tell whether the email was sent by the domain’s owner or not. If this confirmation check fails or if the message header or the digital signature does not exist, then many email service providers (including the major ones like Gmail and Outlook) will raise an alarm and, depending upon the volume of the mails sent, decide to mark this mail as spam or even decide to block the sender’s IP address.
Why Should You Use Domain Keys Identified Mail?
The main reason that you should use DKIM verification along with SPF and DMARC, as they provide email authentication methods for verifying the identity of senders. And the implementation of the DKIM protocol improves email deliverability which increases the chances of your emails reaching your contacts’ inbox and not the spam folder.
These are the standard protocols in the email marketing world. A mail sent without DKIM or SPF may consider suspicious by different email marketing tools.
How To Set Up Domain Keys Identified Mail In 3 Simple Steps:
1. Setting up of DKIM to generate the key pair
The choice of tool totally depends on your operating system. For Microsoft Windows you can use PUTTYGen, for Linux and Mac, you can use ssh-keygen.
2. The public key is placed as a TXT record in the DNS settings
There is a list of DNS providers together with links to official and third-party documentation. That can help you with TXT and DNS record setup:
- Amazon Route 53: SPF and DKIM
- Bluehost: General DNS Setup
- CloudFlare: General DNS help
- DynDNS: General DNS setup
- GoDaddy: SPF and DKIM
- HostGator: General DNS setup
3. Generating and saving the signature
When using any SMTP server that supports milter, you can use a special milter that is ( = email filter), the DKIM milter. The milter has been introduced as an Open source that allows signing the email headers with a generated private DKIM key.