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Why You Should Avoid Using Public Domains for Email Marketing

Delivery General questions Updated on January 14, 2021

Many things can improve your email marketing, but the number one thing you should never do is use a public domain as your sending email address. Using a public domain may cause distrust in your recipients, send you to the Spam folder, and in some cases even have your emails quarantined completely! In this article, we’ll list the different reasons why using a public domain to send marketing emails is not a good idea.

First, what is a Private Domain?

A private domain is the email address provided by your website. For example, if your BUSINESS  name is Shoe Store, then your website name would most likely be And your private domain email address would be whereas a public domain would have @yahoo, @gmail, @aol in the domain part.  If you want to keep your email and website reputations separate, then you can create sub-domains to maintain the distinction.

Brand Identity and Recognition

Using a private domain provides easy identification to your subscribers/customers. Your subscribers are more likely to open an email from someone they recognize than a personal email. Your sending domain is what your recipients see as the FROM in their inbox. A private domain adds professionalism to the emails. Based on the amount of spam out there, brand recognition builds up confidence and automatically increases the likelihood of email engagement.

Complete control over Reputation

Compared to using a public domain like AOL, Yahoo, or Gmail, etc. Using a private domain for sending emails provides you total control over maintaining the reputation of the domain and content. ISP’s tend to accept bulk emails coming from a legitimate and reputed domain compared to public domains. Owning a private domain also allows you to update the authentication records which are of the utmost importance when using an Email marketing platform

Authentication records

Owning a private domain enables you to update the following authentication records. 

  1. SPF records: Sender Policy Framework is a form of email validation method for your sending domain that allows your recipient’s mail servers to verify that the emails coming from your domain are sent by you, and are not being spoofed by someone else.
  2. DKIM Records: DomainKeys Identified Mail records grants the Identifiers with the responsibility for the message that is being delivered. The Identifier is either the main sender or originator of the email message. The identifiers reputation is responsible for email delivery success.
  3. DMARC policies: Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance is a rule that works with both the records mentioned above to confirm the authentication from an email message. Since public domains like Yahoo or AOL do not allow sending bulk emails from their domain, SPF and DKIM authentication can fail. As a solution, Benchmark converts Yahoo and AOL email addresses to This way, we can ensure that your email is successfully sent and delivered to its intended recipient.

Although we have policies in place that allow you to send from a public domain, we do not recommend it. We highly suggest you send all your email marketing communication via a private domain with the SPF and CNAME updated. 

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact our support team via Email, LiveChat or Phone.

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