A Hack to Keep Your MailChimp Campaigns from going to Spam, PuzzleBoxCommunications.com

A Hack to Keep Your MailChimp Campaigns from Going to Spam

In my last post I talked about the importance of including your name and business name in the from field of your campaigns so your subscribers can easily recognize you in their inboxes. But what if your emails aren’t landing in their inboxes at all and are going straight to spam? Well, MailChimp has a solution that you can easily implement to keep your campaigns from going to spam.

The reason your campaigns might be going to spam is because your emails appear to be coming from MailChimp’s mail servers rather than your own. To ensure that your recipients’ servers get the message that you are a real person, you’ll have to authenticate your domain. If you want to know more about authentication and how it works, you can read about it here. Authentication  requires you to make some changes to your hosting account, so I’ll walk you through it with a few screen shots.

I love working with MailChimp — it’s my preferred email marketing platform — and one of the reasons is because they make things like this so easy. Now if you aren’t on MailChimp, these screen shots will still be helpful, but you’ll want to google “authenticate my domain in [enter your provider]” to get their specific instructions.

  1. Start by logging into your MailChimp account. From the drop-down menu in the top right, choose ACCOUNT then under SETTINGS select VERIFIED DOMAINS.Find your MailChimp Settings

More than likely you’ll find a green check mark next to Verified. You would have had to verify your email address when you signed up for your account otherwise you wouldn’t be able to send emails at all. But you might have a red X next to Authentication. This is where you need to authenticate your domain.


2. Next to Authentication, click VIEW SETUP INSTRUCTIONS, and a dialogue box will open up with the settings you’ll need to create a CNAME and TXT record on your your hosting account. Leave that open and open a new tab in your browser. We’ll get back to that.

MailChimp domain authentication instructions

3. In the new tab, hop over to your web hosting account, log in and get to your control panel or cPanel. Find your DNS settings. On my preferred host, Websavers, they make this super easy to find.

Find DNS Settings4. Open up the DNS settings and click ADD RECORD. Next to RECORD TYPE select CNAME. Then go back to the instructions in you MailChimp account and copy the CNAME record we’ll be creating (See the image above in step 2.) and paste it in the DOMAIN NAME box. Then copy the value (in red) and paste it in the box where it says CANONICAL NAME. Then click OK. Create cname Record

You might get a warning message at this point, but that’s okay. It’s because you haven’t yet added the TXT record. So let’s go ahead and do that.

5. It’s a similar procedure. Click ADD RECORD. This time next to RECORD TYPE choose TXT. Go back to the MailChimp instructions. There is nothing to enter in the DOMAIN NAME box. Copy the value in red under TXT RECORD and paste it next to TXT RECORD. Click OK.

Create TXT record

6. Back in MailChimp, click AUTHENTICATE in the instructions box. Depending on who your host is, this could take some time to take effect. Generally with Websavers it’s pretty much instantaneous.

Once you’ve authenticated your domain, your subscribers’ mail servers should read your emails as coming from your domain rather than MailChimp’s, which tells them that you are a legit person. And that’s how you keep your MailChimp campaigns from going to spam.


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Tamara Sztainbok

I design and build WordPress websites for purpose-driven businesses. I love nothing more than connecting people who are passionate about what they do with exactly the people who need to know them.


  1. Anna Osgoodby on April 6, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    I am SO happy I found your post on the #BPT post. I just followed all of your steps to authenticate our account. I would have never known you should do that. Thank you so much!

  2. Alisa on November 6, 2018 at 1:25 am

    Thank you! I find it frustrating that MC doesn’t seem to mention this anywhere to those starting new email campaigns. When just starting out with group emails you obviously need to do everything you can to keep these emails out of Spam folders. Wonderful, helpful post. It is a bit challenging to implement because my web host A2 has all different fields and different DNS interfaces but without your post I would’ve been utterly clueless!

  3. Lauren on February 18, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    What about the TTL field, that “must be a positive integer”?

    • Tamara Sztainbok on March 6, 2019 at 11:55 am

      Hi Lauren. The TTL field is not an option for TXT or CNAME records in my hosting environment, nor does MailChimp specify a setting for that. If you’re not sure what to do there, check with your host for guidance.

  4. Andrea D'Ottavio on May 23, 2019 at 4:50 am

    what would the hack be? this is an essential feature offered by Mailchimp…

    • Tamara Sztainbok on May 23, 2019 at 8:13 am

      That’s true, Andrea. Unfortunately, many people aren’t aware that authenticating is essential.

  5. Anthony on February 4, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    Hi and thanks for this… the big issue these days is MS 365 mail. It’s truly a nightmare and junks an avg of 73% of outgoing for apx 23 clients.


    • Tamara Sztainbok on April 8, 2020 at 11:43 am

      Hi Anthony. I’m afraid, as you said, that’s a big issue with MS 365 mail. Setting up your Mailchimp properly is one step you can take to help keep your posts out of spam. Writing great, non-spam content that reads like conversational speech is another.

      • Nina on June 3, 2020 at 11:25 am

        I am trying to do this for Outlook MS 365 but I can’t even access the admin to change the DNS settings – does anyone know how to do this?

        • Tamara Sztainbok on June 12, 2020 at 2:46 pm

          Hi Nina. What you’re authenticating is your own custom domain. The DNS settings are found in your website hosting account. Reach out to your host for help in finding the DNS settings as they might look different from my example.

  6. Steven on April 4, 2020 at 1:44 am

    Thank you 🙂

  7. Emma on April 6, 2020 at 8:09 am

    But for this post, I would have dumbed mail chip. Kudos Tamara

  8. Noga on May 28, 2020 at 6:00 am

    Hi Tamara, your post really helped me so I want to pay forward the favor – for GoDaddy domains, I had a lot of trouble for a while. after going through both GoDaddy and Mailchimp supports, the issue was that when I created the CNAME record, I copy-pasted its name directly from mailchimp as k1._domainkey.mydomain.com. in GoDaddy, unlike your example, it’s not very clear that the .mydomain.com part is already included.
    So by copy/pasting the mailchimp name I ended up having a record that looked like this –
    k1._domainkey.mydomain.com.mydomain.com – with no way of knowing it.
    After two days of waiting for the whole 48 hours to pass and being very frustrated, turned out all I had to do was just to rename the record as “k1._domainkey” only.
    hope this is helpful for anyone else stumbling upon your helpful post!

  9. Katelyn on September 15, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    Hi, I am having trouble accessing DNS setting for gmail. Any tips?

    • Tamara Sztainbok on October 4, 2020 at 9:22 am

      Hi Katelyn. You won’t be able to authenticate a Gmail email because you don’t own that domain. You can read more about that here.

  10. Sandra on November 4, 2020 at 9:07 am

    I am not sure if this is because of authentication or not, but I use a specific email to send out my emailers across, and that’s the same email address that I use for my work emails as well. After using it on Mailchimp, I’ve noticed that my emails have started to land into junk. I am not quite sure how or why? is there a way I can rectify this?

    • Tamara Sztainbok on December 15, 2020 at 12:54 pm

      Hi Sandra. If you’ve followed the steps to authenticate the domain for your email address that I outlined, then I would reach out the MailChimp for more guidance.

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*I value your privacy. You can learn about how I handle information I collect by viewing my Privacy Notice.