Sending emails with your own domain is good for your branding. However, if you are not setting up DKIM, your emails may be mistaken as spam from a malicious program. So if you are sending review requests from a custom email address instead of our default email address (requests@judge.me), you need to set up DKIM in your review request settings. This will add more credibility to Judge.me and make us an authorized 3rd party to send the emails on your behalf.

So what exactly is DKIM and how to set it up in Judge.me?


TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. What is DKIM?
  2. Why do you need to set up DKIM for your emails?
  3. How to set up DKIM when sending review requests via Judge.me
  4. How to add DKIM and Return-Path values in 10 popular hosting and DNS providers
    1. Google Domains
    2. Linode
    3. SiteGround
    4. Bluehost
    5. Cloudflare
    6. DNSimple
    7. GoDaddy
    8. Hostgator
    9. Hover
    10. Namecheap
  5. Troubleshooting for DKIM set up
    1. If your email domain is associated with another store
    2. If you can't access your DNS
  6. FAQ about DKIM set up

1. What is DKIM?

DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) is an email authentication technique that allows the receiver to check that an email was indeed sent and authorized by the owner of that domain. This is done by giving the email a digital signature. This DKIM signature is a header that is added to the message and is secured with encryption.

2. Why do you need to set up DKIM for your emails?

If you haven't set up DKIM in Judge.me (or other third-party apps that are allowed to send emails on behalf of you), the receiver (e.g. Gmail) may misunderstand that your emails are sent from a malicious program without your permission, and your email will be marked as spam.

After you have set up DKIM, the receiver will check if the DKIM signature encrypted in your email matches the DKIM stored in your domain. If the two DKIM values are matched, the receiver understands that this email is sent by you and not by a malicious program.

*Note: Any emails which have a "via xxx" next to the email address don't have their DKIM set up. Once DKIM is set up correctly, the "via xxx" next to your email address will be gone.

3. How to set up DKIM when sending review requests via Judge.me

Step 1:

From your Judge.me admin dashboard, go to Settings > Review Requests > Email InfoThen click Add email.

Step 2:

Update your corporate email address and click Save

You can only use a business email address with a custom domain. Public domain email addresses (e.g. gmail.com, outlook.com) are not allowed.

Step 3: 

Copy "Hostname" and "Value" of the 2 records "DKIM" and "Return-Path".

Step 4:

Paste the DKIM and Return-Path values to your hosting or DNS provider. Depending on the provider you are using, you need to paste the values in different places (see part 4).

*Note: If you don't know your hosting provider, you can use online tools such as https://lookup.icann.org/lookup or https://whois.domaintools.com to search for it. Just enter your website address and you'll see all the details.

Step 5:

Come back to your Judge.me settings and click the Verify button.


If everything is fine, the "Verified" badge will appear.


Otherwise, the "Unverified" badge will appear. It might take up to 48 hours for the DNS changes to propagate, so please come back later and verify again.


4.1. Google Domains

  • Go to the DNS tab, scroll down to find the Custom resource records section.
  • Paste the Hostname in the first box, and the Value in the last box. 
  • For DKIM, set the type as TXT and for Return-Path, set the type as CNAME.
  • Click Add.

4.2. Linode

  • Go to the Domains tab.
  • Click Add a TEXT Record to add DKIM and Add a CNAME Record to add Return-Path. 
  • Paste the Hostname and Value in the provided fields.
  • Click Save.

4.3. SiteGround

  • Go to Site Tools > Domain > DNS Zone Editor.
  • From the Create New Record choose the desired type of DNS record (TXT for DKIM and CNAME for Return-Path).
  • Enter the Hostname and Value for each record.
  • Click Create to create the new record.

4.4. Bluehost

  • Go to Domains, click the ▼ icon next to Manage, then choose DNS from the drop-down menu.

  • Scroll down to locate the record type you wish to update, and click the Add Record button.
  • Paste the Hostname and Value in the provided fields.
  • Click on the Save button to add the record.

4.5. Cloudflare

  • Within a specific account and domain, go to DNS.

  • Select Add record.
  • Paste the Hostname in "Name" and Value in "Content".
  • For DKIM, set the type as TXT and for Return-Path, set the type as CNAME.

4.6. DNSimple

  • Click on the records icon to access the record editor.

  • Click Add Record, the choose the record type you want to add (TXT for DKIM and CNAME for Return-Path).
  • Paste the Hostname in "Name" and Value in "Content".
  • Click Add Record.

4.7. GoDaddy

  • Select your domain to access the Domain Settings page.
  • Under Additional Settings, select Manage DNS.
  • Select Add below the table of your existing DNS records.
  • Choose TXT (for DKIM) or CNAME (for Return-Path) from the record options drop-down menu.
  • Paste in the Hostname and Value in the provided fields.
  • Select Save to complete your updates.


4.8. Hostgator

  • Look for the Domains section, click Zone Editor. On the next page, locate the domain name you need to edit.
  • Click the Add Record button. 
  • Choose TXT (for DKIM) or CNAME (for Return-Path) from the record options drop-down menu.
  • Paste in the Hostname and Value in the provided fields.
  • Click Add Record.

4.9. Hover

  • From the Domain's Overview page, click on the DNS section.
  • From the DNS section, click on Add a record.
  • Paste the Hostname and Value in the provided fields.
  • For DKIM, set the type as TXT and for Return-Path, set the type as CNAME.

4.10. Namecheap

  • Choose Domain List on the left and click on the Manage button next to your domain.
  • Navigate to the Advanced DNS tab from the top menu and click on the Add new record button
  • Paste the Hostname and Value in the provided fields.
  • For DKIM, set the type as TXT and for Return-Path, set the type as CNAME.
  • Click Save all changes.

5. Troubleshooting for DKIM set up

5.1. If your email domain is associated with another store

If you've already used your custom email address in another store with Judge.me installed, you need to confirm that this custom email address belongs to you. Once you update your email address, we'll send you an email, you can click on the confirmation link inside that email to verify your ownership of the custom email address.

5.2. If you can't access your DNS

If you can't access your DNS provider to update DKIM, an alternative is that you confirm that you are the owner of your email address. To do that, follow these two steps:

  • Step 1: Click on the Send me the confirmation email button below.

  • Step 2: Open the email you receive, click on the Confirm this Sender Signature button.

*Note: We don't recommend this option because even though it's is easier to do, it's a weaker authentication comparing to DKIM, and some email clients (e.g. Gmail) still sometimes don't like this and are more likely to mark your emails as spam. Please make sure to set up DKIM for your email address as soon as you can do it.

6. FAQ about DKIM set up

Q: My DKIM is verified but Return-Path is not. Why is it?

A: First, please check if you have entered the Return-Path correctly in your hosting provider.

If you have entered both values, rest assured that they are both verified. You might see that Return-Path is not verified but it’s only a temporary status and will go away after a while.

Q: Why couldn’t I update my own email address in Judge.me? It showed an error.

A: You can only use a business email address with a custom domain. Public domain email addresses (e.g. gmail.com, outlook.com) are not allowed. If you have updated your business email address, please make sure that you have set up DKIM and Return-Path correctly.

Q: Besides DKIM, should we also add an SPF record as well?

A: Regarding the SPF records, they are automatically handled by Postmark (our emails provider) so you don’t have to add this information anymore.

Q: It has been 3 days since I added the DKIM and Return-Path values but they are not verified. Can you help me?

A: Sometimes it takes longer than 48 hours for DKIM and Return-Path to get verified. In this case, please contact support@judge.me so we can assist you.