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When you send out emails to your customers, followers or members you want them to end up in their inbox, not their junk folder. This means that they need to get past the increasing anti-spam measures of email providers. Google, Yahoo and Microsoft in particular are continually refining their filters which means that legitimate emails can get caught as spam.

Historically, platforms such as Mailchimp offered verification so that your emails could go out “from Nepeta Consulting” rather than “from Mailchimp on behalf of Nepeta Consulting”. With the massive increase in spam, verification and now authentication is now necessary rather than just nice to have.

What are verification and authentication?

Verification checks that you have access to the domain email address you are using to send emails. Mailchimp sends an email to the email address you specify. This has a button you can click to complete the verification, or you can enter the verification code back into the Mailchimp website. Once you have verified the domain, you can send from any email address withing that domain.

Authorisation goes one step further and asks you to add (or add to) the public information held on your domain. This does two things:

  • You have to make changes to your domain records. This proves that you control the domain and, by extension, are allowed to send emails from that address.
  • The records you add tell email providers that Mailchimp has been authorised to send emails on your behalf.

How do authenticate my domain?

If you have a Mailchimp account, you may have received an email advising you to authenticate because Google is changing its rules. This will have a link in it. If you have not received an email (or dislike clicking links in emails just in case …):

  • Log into Mailchimp.
  • Go to Accounts and billing by clicking on your avatar/ initial top right of the screen and select from the menu.
  • Click on Domains on the tabs across the screen.
Mailchimp Domains page showing a domain needing authentication
Mailchimp Domains page shows you need to verify

The display will tell you whether your domain is verified and authenticated. If not there will be buttons to click to complete the process. This takes you through the process step by step. If you need more guidance, look at the Mailchimp help.

Authentication is not instant as it takes time for the new records to propogate. We suggest you log back in to check rather than hang around.

Where are my domain records?

Mailchimp’s instructions assume that you can log into your domain (DNS) record editor. This may not be the case if your domain is managed on your behalf by your web support company. Do not worry – just pass the details across to them and they will make the changes for you. (Note that we prefer that you copy and paste the information rather than take a screenshot as we can then copy into the DNS and avoid typos!)

A note about SPF records

One of the records specified is an SPF record (which is actually a TXT record starting “v=spf”). You may already have an SPF record on your domain as it can also authenticate emails sent from your website. If this is the case, you need to amalgamate the two records. The record looks like:

v=spf1 +a +mx +ip4: ~all

Keep all the information in the existing record and add the additional includes needed by Mailchimp before the “~all”, ignoring any duplicates. I recommend you do this in Notepad (or similar) and copy the resulting string into the edit field.


This post covers authenticating with Mailchimp but other email platforms will also need to make sure they are seen as valid senders. If you use a different platform, check whether you need to make any changes.

If your website is hosted by Nepeta and we manage your domains for you, please contact us so we can coordinate any changes needed or if you want help with the process.

Nepeta Consulting can provide Mailchimp consultancy by the hour to address this or any of your Mailchimp questions. Please get in touch to discuss how we can help you.