Cold Email Setup Guide and Best Practices


Shown only logged in

If you want to be set up for success with cold emailing, it all starts with the setup.

Here are the basics, and what you will need to do:

Use a Separate Sending Domain for Cold Emails

As a best practice, you should not use an email address at the domain you use for your everyday emails for cold emails.

If your main email address is something like “[email protected]”, you should not be using an email for outreach like “[email protected]”, it should be something like “[email protected]”. 

Buy the domain with your domain registrar of choice (we like and recommend Cloudflare, but you can also use sites like Namecheap or GoDaddy).

Set Up Your Email Domain

Next, you will need to set up the email address with the email provider of your choice.

Common options are Google Workspace, Office365, and Zoho.

I personally recommend Zoho as it’s pretty easy to get set up.

With each of these platforms, you will need to: 

  1. Create your account
  2. Verify your domain by adding DNS records (e.g. TXT, MX)
  3. Create a new user / email address

By the end of this setup, you should have at least 1 new email inbox ready to use for outreach!

Set Up Email Authentication Records (DMARC, SPF, DKIM)

To ensure good deliverability, we will need to add certain DNS records to your domain. This helps you make it to inboxes and not end up in spam folders.

You will need to add certain DNS records to your name servers where your domain is hosted, and depending on who your email provider is that you set up the email address with. (Note: If you are using Zoho for email, you most likely set up all of these records when verifying your domain).

With Setting up your Email Domain, you will probably set up SPF and DKIM records, but if not, here is what you will need to do.

These steps may sound real technical, but we’re here to walk you through it.

All you need to know is this: If you have access to your domain, you can get through these next steps.

What is a name server and DNS, and where are my name servers located?

If you are not sure where your name servers are, go to mxtoolbox.com, and in the text box type “dns:[your domain]” and then hit enter. It will tell you where your name servers are.

MX Toolbox DNS lookup

And if you scroll down on the results it will tell you what the DNS provider is:

MX Toolbox DNS provider

Note: Your name servers are not necessarily pointing to the same place as your web hosting. You can have GoDaddy managing your name server, but some other host like Bluehost hosting your website. That’s completely normal, which is why it’s important to first know where your name servers are.

Adding these 3 records (DMARC, SPF, DKIM) will help increase the likelihood your outreach emails make it to inboxes and past spam filters.

When you are logged into your name server host, choose your domain, and then go to the area for managing DNS records, so you can add these next DNS records.

DMARC Record

For DMARC, the record is going to be pretty straightforward.

I won’t get into the details of what it all means, but, here is the record you will need to add:

Record Type: TXT

Name: _dmarc

Value: v=DMARC1; p=none; rua=mailto:[an email address to get notifications to]

It should be noted that when you receive the emails, you should set up a filter so that those emails just go to a specific folder and get marked read so you don’t need to deal with them.

SPF Records

SPF and DKIM records are specific to the email service you are using. So, Google, Office, and Zoho will have distinct records for those.

For SPF records, it’s going to be the same every time for each service. Here they are:

SPF Record for Google Workspace

Record Type: TXT

Name: [either @ or the domain you are using]

Value: v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com ~all

SPF Record for Office365

Record Type: TXT

Name: [either @ or the domain you are using]

Value: v=spf1 include:spf.protection.outlook.com -all

SPF Record for Zoho

Record Type: TXT

Name: [either @ or the domain you are using]

Value: v=spf1 include:zoho.com ~all

Next up is the DKIM record, which has a few steps for setup.

DKIM for Google Workspace

You will need to log into your Google Workspace Admin and then go to:

Apps > Google Workspace > Gmail > Authenticate Email

Here is a direct link: https://admin.google.com/ac/apps/gmail/authenticateemail 

Then, click “Generate New Record”.

That will be the record you need to enter into your DNS provider.

It should look something (roughly) like this:

Record Type: TXT

Name: google._domainkey

Value: v=DKIM1; k=rsa; p=MIIBIjANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQEFAAOCAQ8AMIIBCgKCAQEApycCpKaQH8CNAkBI+oel,23r0FelfwfkeOFlOLRL+F+FELFrowlnfmrekfllvpreOlrlflfo3+eeOFBMTTOKQksg+ologoog0gWXetTLvPui8aoD+0ea+HVWJORFY74lgKPPUnIZpmncbqCUaQyB9RQ+ttBuhpAUeF3Gyu7wIDAQAB

DKIM for Office 365

Here are the steps for setting up a DKIM record in Office365:

  1. Log into your admin panel https://admin.microsoft.com/#/homepage as an administrator
  2. Go to the Security Center – ​​https://security.microsoft.com/homepage 
  3. Go to Policies & rules > Threat policies >  DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) – here is a direct link to that page: https://security.microsoft.com/dkimv2 
  4. Choose your domain, Enable DKIM, and copy the DKIM key into your DNS

Record Type: TXT

Name: google._domainkey

Value: v=DKIM1; k=rsa; p=MIIBIjANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQEFAAOCAQ8AMIIBCgKCAQEApycCpKaQH8CNAkBI+oel,23r0FelfwfkeOFlOLRL+F+FELFrowlnfmrekfllvpreOlrlflfo3+eeOFBMTTOKQksg+ologoog0gWXetTLvPui8aoD+0ea+HVWJORFY74lgKPPUnIZpmncbqCUaQyB9RQ+ttBuhpAUeF3Gyu7wIDAQAB

DKIM for Zoho

Here are the steps for setting up DKIM for Zoho:

  1. Log in to the Control Panel from https://mailadmin.zoho.com as administrator or super administrator
  2. Go to Domains from the left menu, and choose the domain for which you want to configure DKIM. 
  3. In the Email Configuration tab, select DKIM
  4. Click on Add to add a new selector for the domain.  
  5. Provide the selector name, for the domain to be used with Zoho Mail. Ex: zoho
  6. Click Add. The selector will be added and a TXT record will be generated and displayed across the added selector.
  7. Then, enter your values into your DNS provider and then click Verify in Zoho

Here is what a sample record might look like:

Name: zoho._domainkey

Value: v=DKIM1; k=rsa; p=MIIBIjANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQEFAAOCAQ8AMIIBCgKCAQEApycCpKaQH8CNAkBI+oel,23r0FelfwfkeOFlOLRL+F+FELFrowlnfmrekfllvpreOlrlflfo3+eeOFBMTTOKQksg+ologoog0gWXetTLvPui8aoD+0ea+HVWJORFY74lgKPPUnIZpmncbqCUaQyB9RQ+ttBuhpAUeF3Gyu7wIDAQAB

Connect Your Email to Postaga and Get Started With Outreach!

Now that your email authentication is set up, you can get started with cold emailing.

Just connect your email to your Postaga account (guide here), and you can get going.

We also recommend checking out our cold email deliverability best practices guide to further help you ensure you make it to people’s inboxes!

Free 14-Day Trial


Start building relationships now with your fully-featured 14-day trial!

Terms | Done-For-You Terms | Privacy | Write For Us | Press
© 2022 Postaga. All Rights Reserved. Made with 😺 in Boston.

Join Our Link Building Community on Facebook!