Custom tracking domain

...and why you may want to add one.

Bogdan Ostapchuk avatar
Written by Bogdan Ostapchuk
Updated over a week ago

We recommend adding your own custom tracking domain to track your email campaigns. It is not necessary, but it should increase your email deliverability rates.


  1. How link tracking works

  2. How link tracking influences email deliverability

  3. How custom domain tracking works

  4. How to set up your custom tracking domain

How link tracking works

First of all - even if you do not add any links to your emails, they are still there. Every service that tracks email opens uses an invisible pixel added to your email. Pixel is a small transparent image wrapped in a link. With the help of this thing, we know whether the email was opened or not.

Types of links in emails

To track link opens, a tracking service wraps your links into their own links, changing the original link. When a recipient clicks the link in an email, they are redirected to a kind of web gateway and only then to the link you were directing them to originally.

They will hardly notice anything because it doesn’t really affect the speed and the URL changes to the one you inserted in the process. This quick redirect is enough for the system to track the link clicks.

How link tracking affects email deliverability

  1. The first reason is spammers. It is a common spammer tactic to add links that will not lead where you might think they will, that is why spam filters always pay close attention to links in emails. They filter our redirecting links and this way protect their users by sending emails with suspicious links to the Spam folder.

  2. Also, when a lot of people receive an email from a Closely automation, or any other automation tool, the possibility that some of them will mark them as spam is high. This means that Closely, or any other automation tool domain, will be under the high attention of the spam filters. All your emails might be clean, desirable and not spammy at all (and we believe they are), but you can not be sure that all the other users of the same automation are as conscientious as you are.

  3. If you add your own domain, it means the domain in your tracked links will match the domain in your sender email address. If they do not match, it also does not look very good the spam filters.

    By default we use Closely tracking domain and you are free to stay with it. If you would like to keep your deliverability as high as possible, you would want to use your own domain.

    How custom domain tracking works

    Custom tracking domain will be used for:

    • Unsubscribe link: the Unsubscribe button in your emails will use your own domain

    • Email open tracking: your own domain will be used to track opens from your Closely emails

    • Link tracking: your own tracking domain will be used to track link clicks from your emails

How to set up your own tracking domain

First, you will need admin access to make changes in your Domain Name Service (DNS) records; or to contact a person who has this access. All required changes will take up to a few minutes.

  1. Go to the Outreach tab -> Accounts, choose an account you are sending your emails with, or add a new one.

  2. Scroll the settings down and hit the Setup domains link.

  3. Type your domain and hit Add

  4. Now let's add a tracking sub-domain. Log in to your domain hosting account -> DNS settings -> choose the domain you are adding a sub-domain to -> find an option to create a new record.

  5. Choose CNAME as the type

  6. Add as a CNAME

  7. Type track in the HOST or NAME field

  8. Save your record.

It may take some time for the DNS to update the settings for your domain. You may have to wait anywhere from a few minutes to 72 hours.

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