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Custom Tracking Domain
Custom Tracking Domain

Check this if you'd like to learn how to add a custom tracking domain that helps separate your metrics and analysis from other accounts! 🤩

Marija Zivanovic avatar
Written by Marija Zivanovic
Updated over a week ago

In order to track certain things like email opens and link clicks, we insert special code into the body of your emails. That special code is generally in the form of a URL - for example.[code]

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

When you set up 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?

If you want to add a custom tracking domain to Instantly, you should create a CNAME record in your DNS page and then add that record in your Instantly account once the record is propagated. Please follow the steps below:

  • Log in to your domain provider account

  • Find the domain that you wish to create a custom tracking domain for

  • Go to Manage/Edit DNS records for that domain

  • Create a new CNAME record with the following hostname and value:

    Host (name): inst
    Type: CNAME

  • Save record

  • Go to your Instantly account and add CNAME record in Account Settings

  • Add your CNAME record - in Instantly with being the domain you added the CNAME record in your DNS Zone.

  • Click on 'Check Status'. If everything is set up correctly, you will receive the following notifications below the Check Status button: CNAME Verified, SSL Verified

  • You can save the custom tracking domain when both the CNAME and SSL are verified.


Q: I have added the custom tracking domain but it's not working.

A: When you add a CNAME record in your DNS section, usually it takes up to 72 hours (or we can put 48 hours) to be propagated.

You can check if the record has been propagated by doing the test on

  • Type as the CNAME you want to test and click CNAME Lookup. The test should show the Canonical Name as

  • If this is not the case, wait a few more minutes and try again, or check your CNAME records for any typos or extra domains. You may want to contact your Domain provider and ask for help on propagating CNAME records.

Q: Should I use a new custom tracking domain per account?

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

  • 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.

  • Organize them based on the associated domain for the email account. For example, if you had and, you may use for all email addresses associated with and with all emails associated with (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 on your reputation. By creating separate groups, you can minimize the damage from a ‘bad’ campaign.

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