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One of our customers has asked us to implement sending from their root domain (company.com) rather than the SAP subdomain (send.company.com). I've explained (until I'm blue in the face) that you can't do this — well, you can but you shouldn't — but they are insistent that it's possible. That is, they believe they can simply add TXT records to their DNS for DMARC, DKIM and SPF.

Technically, they are right, but I believe the consideration is related to processing spam complaints through the "feedback loop" which I believe sends a Abuse Reporting Format (ARF) formatted email to the abuse@ (or postmaster@?) username and domain that is used to send the email, for example, [email protected]. That is why Marketing Cloud includes an MX record for the root (@) SAP domain in its DNS records, as it needs to receive these spam complaint emails. If it was possible to send an email from Marketing Cloud using the root domain, then the company mail server would have no way of forwarding the complaint to Marketing Cloud.

I wanted to validate my assumptions here. We opened a support ticket and Salesforce explained that we simply just need to register the root domain in From Address Management to send from it, which (as you hopefully know) is incorrect and terrible advice. It has been pointed out that Salesforce send emails from Marketing Cloud to customers using their root domain (salesforce.com), but I assume this is an exception and they can only do this because they, well, are Salesforce, and have a mechanism to route feedback loop messages to the platform.

Is my understanding correct? Has anyone actually configured the platform to send emails from their root domain?

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It is easily doable, and not that uncommon, especially in B2B scenarios where there is a need to send emails from e.g. account owners. So Company Ltd. might have send.company.com as SAP domain, but send emails from [email protected]

To begin with, one needs to purchase Private Domain SKU (in addition to SAP SKU). Having SAP as send.company.com, while sending from example.com makes bounce domain bounce.send.company.com. This is why SAP domain cannot be company.com because of DNS sub-entries that conflict with existing use of domain. This will also indicate, that complaints (still) will be routed to the SAP domain, hence arriving all the way into SFMC.

For the company.com Private Domain, it obviously needs to be self-hosted and only DKIM-related DNS entries will be configured, as implementing SFMC MX record for the private domain would (obviously) break the corporate mail! If private IP is used, the SPF record can also be updated for that additional email authentication.

Since you specifically mention working with send.company.com as SAP and company.com as PD, you should not see any DMARC issues. In other cases, where SAP would be send.company.com and PC companybrand.com, the DMARC would fail, unless “multi-bounce domain” feature is configured by Salesforce to ensure all private domains will comply with DMARC.

One should be mindful of the difference between from and reply-to email addresses, as replies might in same cases go to: [email protected] if not configured correctly. If that's the case, one can ask Salesforce to change MX of send.company.com to point to client mail server, then client can configure mail routing as desired. This won’t disrupt domain’s usage with Marketing Cloud - so here I will also not expect any issues with feedback loop. These are Salesforce' own words, not coming from their support, but from the deliverability team.

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  • Hi @lukas, I don't believe you can use your root domain as the private domain, as Yahoo requires an MX record for their feedback loop, which is explained in the last paragraph in this help doc. Nov 9, 2023 at 0:52
  • Confirmed this is possible, but Salesforce need to register with Yahoo FBL manually. Your mail admin (or whoever has access to the postmaster@ root domain email address) will need to forward the FBL registration code to Salesforce in order to complete the FBL Process. Nov 20, 2023 at 0:02

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