Authentication is sort of like a license plate for your email. It provides a trackable identifier that indicates you're a legitimate emailer.

In this article:

Types of authentication

There are four different types of authentication you have to take into consideration when sending bulk email content:

  • DKIM
  • Domain Keys
  • SenderID
  • SPF

Learn more about authentication types.

Set up MailChimp authentication

MailChimp's authentication is enabled by default and automatically adds DKIM authentication to your campaigns along with SPF, SenderID, and Domain Keys. When authentication is disabled for a campaign, we still include the MailChimp SPF record. Disabling authentication in MailChimp only removes DKIM from the campaign send.

If you've previously turned off authentication for your campaign and need to re-enable it before sending, this can be done on the Setup step of the Campaign Builder. Under More Options, make sure the Authenticate campaign option is checked.
authentication options

Set up your own authentication

When sending through MailChimp, you can set up your own SPF record for our IP addresses, but not DKIM or Domain Key authentication.

If you already have your own SPF record, add this bit of code to your SPF text record to enable SenderID Authentication for all your MailChimp campaigns:

For example, your SPF record might look something like this:

v=spf1 mx ptr ~all

When you've modified your SPF text record, your MailChimp campaigns will pass both SPF and SenderID checks. However, you won't be able to establish DomainKeys and DKIM authentication if MailChimp is handling your delivery and you aren't using MailChimp authentication. If you want to make sure everything is set up correctly, you can send a verification campaign. Once you've added the appropriate records, it could take more than 24 hours for the changes to take full effect.

Additionally, we have a blog post that can help you or your IT team with setting that up. If you do use your own authentication, you'll have to fully test and configure the setup. We aren't able to troubleshoot or support any external server configurations.

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