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Domain Debate


Once a month the DMA Email Council meet – a collection of industry experts championing the use of email as part of the marketing mix, highlighting industry innovation and best practice. Each month a key topic is debated allowing members to both share and challenge opinion. Here we share our latest discussion.

Written by Nick Crawford, member of the DMA Email Council and director and principal consultant at Twist Consultancy.

You have a business domain in place for your website (and probably internal email) When setting up your mass email solution (rather than emails sent from an individual) there are two different approaches to consider:

  1. A sub-domain (e.g.
  2. A new one (e.g.

There are pros and cons to each approach and so which is the best option? It’s a balance between both technical and brand perception considerations.

The benefits of using a subdomain

  • Readers instantly recognise the send domain as being a match for the corporate domain and so can have absolute confidence that this is a genuine send
  • Using an existing domain with an established reputation (warmed) may enable higher volume sends from the start, rather than having to ramp up volumes over time.

The benefits of using a new send domain

  • You protect the reputation of your web domain. Should email activity lead to any blacklisting or spam blocking, your web domain is not impacted.
  • If being purchased by your Email Service Provider their ownership of the send domain may provide an easier set up across DNS records, SPF and DKIM records.
  • Use of dedicated IP address via a separate send domain will ensure that any loss of reputation or technical issues with either email or web can be contained.
  • Using a completely separate and different domain name can have a brand impact or enhancement, especially if this is tied into a well-recognised brand message.

Final thoughts

Consider using separate send domains for different types of emails. Your transactional, high priority, low volume e.g. sale confirmation, password reset could be sent from your corporate domain.

Marketing emails (lower priority, high volume, higher reputation risk) could be sent from a separate domain ensuring no impact on your transactional sends.

If your email sends are to be delivered by a 3rd party and especially if this includes deliverability and reputation management, your provider may have a preferred option based on technical and reporting considerations.

For further information on the DMA Email Council and how you can get involved email Lizzie on

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