Cold Email

Choosing the Right Domains for Cold Email Success

Optimise cold email success by choosing the right domain: Learn the importance of domain selection for email deliverability and how it protects your main domain's reputation.

Dec 11, 2023

Choosing the Right Domains for Cold Email Success

Choosing the right domain can make or break your email campaign strategy. Nonetheless, you're about to discover the secrets to selecting domains that'll boost your email deliverability and safeguard your main domain's reputation.

You'll learn why some domains work wonders while others fizzle out, and how to pick a winner that aligns with your brand.  

Keep reading to uncover the best domain practices that'll set your cold email campaigns up for success.

Benefits of Using Custom Domains for Cold Email

1. Greater Deliverability and Inbox Placement

When you launch a cold email campaign, your primary goal is to ensure your messages land in prospects' inboxes. Using a custom domain can significantly improve deliverability. 

This is because custom domains have a unique reputation tied to their sending habits. With a well-managed custom domain, you have the power to build a positive sending reputation, which can lead to better deliverability rates.

ISPs (Internet Service Providers) scrutinize emails to protect users from spam. If you're using a free email service, your campaign may be lumped together with others, possibly including spammers. 

However, with a custom domain, you're able to distinguish your emails from the clutter, reducing the risk that your messages will be marked as spam.

As you consistently send out emails from a custom domain and recipients engage with your content, it sends a positive signal to email providers. 

Engagement metrics, such as open and click-through rates, contribute to a higher sender score, which can translate into improved inbox placement. Keep an eye on sending volumes and engagement rates to maintain a strong sender reputation.

2. Enhanced Branding and Credibility

Your domain name is not just an address; it's a reflection of your brand. When you use a custom domain for your cold emailing efforts, it reinforces your brand identity. 

Recipients are more likely to recognize your brand and consider your message legitimate when the domain matches your company name or relates closely to your business sector.

Credibility is key when reaching out to potential clients or partners for the first time. Emails from generic domains can often seem dubious or unprofessional. 

A custom domain provides an air of professionalism and shows that you're serious about your business. Indeed, first impressions count, especially when you have no previous contact with the email recipient.

Moreover, a custom domain with a professional-looking email address can bolster a trust factor. Prospects are more likely to engage with emails that look credible. 

To further enhance credibility, make sure your domain's DNS settings, such as SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records, are correctly configured. 

This not only helps to authenticate your emails but also protects against email spoofing and phishing attempts.

By investing in a custom domain for your cold email campaigns, you'll lay a strong foundation to build long-term relationships with your prospects. 

It's an essential step that should not be underestimated if you're aiming to optimize response rates and maximize the effectiveness of your outreach efforts. Choose a domain that aligns with and accentuates your brand for the best results.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Domain for Cold Email

1. Reputation and Domain Age

When planning your cold email campaigns, the reputation and age of the domain you choose are critical factors that can influence your success. 

Domains with a good reputation and a longer history are typically trusted more by email service providers, which can lead to higher deliverability rates. 

Make sure you're not using a domain that's been blacklisted or has a history of sending spam.

  • Establish Trust: Older domains with positive histories are often seen as more legitimate.

  • Avoid Blacklists: Check if the domain has had any issues with being marked as spam.

2. Domain Relevance to Your Industry

The domain name you select should resonate with your industry and target audience. A domain that's relevant to your industry can increase the likelihood of your emails being opened and engaging potential customers.

  • Enhance Brand Visibility: Your domain should align with your brand and what you stand for.

  • Target Audience: Consider if your domain name would appeal to your prospect's interests.

3. DMARC Policies and Authentication Protocols

To ensure your emails land in your recipients' inboxes, it's vital to implement DMARC policies and proper authentication protocols such as SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail). 

These standards confirm your legitimacy as a sender and protect against phishing and spoofing attacks.

  • Secure Your Email: Implement up-to-date authentication protocols to protect your domain.

  • Build Trust: By securing your email, you let your audience know they can trust your communications.

Best Practices for Setting Up Custom Email Domains

When running a cold email campaign, it's essential to set up your custom email domains correctly. This not only ensures your emails reach the inbox but also maintains your brand's professional image.

1. Choose a Domain Registrar

Selecting a reputable domain registrar is the first step toward creating your custom domain. 

Consider these aspects:

  • Security: Opt for registrars that provide robust security features, like two-factor authentication.

  • Customer Support: Access to reliable customer assistance is vital, especially if you encounter any issues.

  • Reputation: Aim for well-known registrars with positive reviews, which may contribute to your domain's trustworthiness.

  • Pricing: Look for competitive pricing, but watch out for hidden fees or high renewal rates.

2. Set Up DNS Records for Email Deliverability

Once you've secured your domain, setting up the right DNS (Domain Name System) records is crucial. 

Here's what you need to do:

  • Configure the MX (Mail Exchange) record to direct your emails to the correct server.

  • Set up a TXT (Text) record for SPF and DKIM validation, which will be discussed next.

  • Use a CNAME (Canonical Name) record if you wish to set up subdomains for different email campaigns or purposes.

3. Implement SPF, DKIM, and DMARC Authentication Protocols

Implementing authentication protocols is non-negotiable for a successful cold email campaign.

  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework) validates that the sending server has permission to send emails on behalf of your domain.

  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) adds a signature to your emails for receiver-side validation.

  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) ties SPF and DKIM together, providing instructions to the receiving server on how to handle emails that don’t pass authentication.

Properly implementing these protocols will drastically improve your email deliverability and protect your domain’s reputation.

Types of Domains to Consider for Cold Email

1. Personalized Domains

When you're setting up a cold email campaign, a personalized domain can help create a credible and trustworthy image. These domains typically include either your name or your brand's name, making them easily recognizable. 

Personal domains show recipients that there's a real person behind the message, which can increase the likelihood of engagement. 

When configuring a personalized domain, ensure that it's:

  • Short and memorable

  • Free of hyphens and numbers

  • Relevant to your brand or personal identity

2. Generic Domains

Using a generic domain can be tempting due to its broad appeal. These domains usually consist of common words or phrases and do not necessarily relate to a specific brand. 

Many businesses use generic domains to maintain a level of anonymity or to cast a wider net. However, Generic domains may face more scrutiny, as they could be associated with spam-like behavior. 

To make a generic domain work for your cold email strategy, consider the following:

  • Opt for simplicity and clarity

  • Avoid overused terms that might trigger spam filters

  • Select a domain name that's versatile enough for various campaigns

3. Industry-Specific Domains

Opting for an industry-specific domain can immediately communicate what your business is about. 

For instance, a tech domain might end with ".tech" or ".io", while a creative professional might choose ".design". 

These domains can bolster your authority within your field and can be especially useful for targeted cold email campaigns where industry relevance is crucial. 

When selecting an industry-specific domain, keep in mind:

  • The domain should reflect your industry's standards

  • It ought to resonate with your target audience's expectations

  • Ensure it's available and not overly similar to competitors' domains

Choosing the right domain for your cold email campaigns isn't just about the name; consider the impression each type makes on your target audience and how it aligns with your campaign goals.


Choosing the right domain for your cold email campaigns can make a significant difference in your success rate. 

With the insights you've gained, you're now equipped to select a domain that not only enhances deliverability but also resonates with your target audience. 

Remember to prioritize a domain that reflects your campaign's intent and ensures your emails land in the inbox. 

By carefully configuring your DNS records and adhering to authentication protocols, you'll safeguard your domain's reputation and boost your outreach efforts. 

It's time to put your knowledge into action and watch as your cold email campaigns yield the results you're aiming for.

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