What is a custom tracking domain and what does it do?

In order to track certain things like email opens (for example - and link clicks in the future), we insert special code into the body of your emails.

That special code is generally in the form of a URL - for example. xyz.inreg1.com/[code]

Now while we keep changing that URL every once in a while, that same domain is used by every Instantly customer - unless you setup a custom tracking domain.

When you setup a custom tracking domain, the special code that we insert will use your specified domain instead of ours.

And so it will be unique - which helps ensure that your sending reputation and deliverability are completely isolated from the rest of the accounts.

Think of it as bringing your own toothbrush on a road trip rather than using one

that's shared by multiple people. Only you get to use it, which prevents any dental problems that you could get by using a shared one.

When you add a custom tracking domain, it essentially works as a proxy/mask for

the tracking end-point and it isolates your sender reputation from the rest of the

user base... and so in a nutshell, always use a custom tracking domain.


How to add a custom tracking domain to Instantly?

Start off by going to the settings for the email account

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  1. Then, click on ‘Use custom tracking domain’

  1. Add a new CNAME for your domain and set it to prox.itrackly.com

    1. Use inst as the name of the CNAME

    2. Use prox.itrackly.com as the value of the CNAME

  1. Add the new CNAME in the Instantly settings and click on ‘Check Status’

    1. Add it as inst.yoursendingdomain.com in Instantly with yoursendingdomain.com being the domain you added the CNAME record under.

  1. If everything is set up correctly you will receive the following notifications below the Check Status button.

    1. CNAME Verified SSL Verified

Not using GoDaddy as a domain registrar? Here are other providers and how to add a CNAME record to each one of them:

If your domain registrar is not shown here please google: (name of your domain registrar) how to add cname record and usually the first page that shows in the search results is the one that shows you how to add a CNAME record. Or you can reach out to the support team of your domain registrar and ask them where the DNS settings are to add a CNAME record to your domain.

Should I use a new custom tracking domain per account?

There are a couple of different ways to organize your custom tracking domains:

  1. Organize them on a per-business basis - i.e., use a single custom tracking domain for multiple sending accounts. This would make sense if your primary domain is old/warmed up. If you're running a lead agency, this is what we would recommend.

  1. Organize them based on the associated domain for the email account. For example, if you had [email protected]first.com and [email protected]second.com, you may use inst.first.com for all email addresses associated with first.com and inst.second.com with all emails associated with second.com (and so on). This approach would make sense when all of your domains are new, or if you’re experimenting with a new campaign that could potentially have a negative impact your reputation. By creating separate groups, you can minimize the damage from a ‘bad’ campaign.

💡If you use Instantly's in-built warmup tool, you can automatically warm up the new tracking domains and accounts at the same time!

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