How do I create a custom tracking domain?

You can track opens and clicks with your own custom tracking domain to improve deliverability.

All Mailshake users track links and opens using one of Mailshake's shared domains. We monitor these domains and block abusers, but you can take tracking into your own hands by setting up your own custom domain.

Why set up a custom tracking domain? Using your own domain for link and open tracking will help with deliverability. When you set up your own custom tracking domain, your tracked links will match your sending email which is helpful for deliverability.

Additionally, using your own tracking domain will help to build your sender reputation. Default tracking domains are shared among many customers. Your email deliverability could be affected by other senders using default tracking. Using your own domain will help build your sender reputation - this is helpful for making sure you end up in the inbox.

In your web host DNS settings:

1. Create a sub-domain and set up a CNAME DNS record (this is done outside of Mailshake)

In order for you to edit your domain's DNS (domain name service) records, you'll need some kind of administrator access to your domain's DNS settings. The process of editing DNS records is different from web host to web host, but the basic steps are this:

  1. Create a new DNS record (example:; "links" would be the host part of the URL)
  2. Choose CNAME as the type of record
  3. In the points to or value textbox, enter
Tip: Your Host Name or Name value for your CNAME record can be anything. Most people choose to use "tracking" as their host name value like in the example pictured below.

Here are a few general links we found for specific web hosts:

  • GoDaddy
  • BlueHost
  • Namecheap
  • Network Solutions
  • Google has this page that lists variety of providers (just remember to use instead of whatever they specify in their help pages).
  • Tip for Cloudflare: when setting up your CNAME record, set it to DNS proxy only (the default is set to http and DNS)
Note: If you don't see your web host on this list or you aren't sure how to access your DNS settings, you'll need to reach out to your web host directly for steps to set up a CNAME record.

Here's an example of how your DNS settings might look:

In Mailshake:

2. In the left side menu, click "Team Settings"

3. Enter your tracking domain in Mailshake and click "Verify"

Your tracking domain is usually not your main domain, but rather a tracking domain you set with your CNAME record.

We'll do a check of your DNS records and see if everything looks good. If this doesn't work right away, please note that it can take up to 72 hours before these kinds of changes get distributed around the Internet.

That's it! Future emails sent for your team will use this domain to track clicks and opens.

Important: If your domain host, such as Cloudflare, offers protection or a proxy for records, make sure to disable that by selecting DNS Only. 
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