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CNAMES 101: Understanding the Basics

After signing on with ClickDimensions and getting set up, CNAMES are one of the things that new customers might hear a lot about. As such, we get quite a few questions about CNAMES, and we are taking the opportunity to answer some of those same questions in this blog post.

What is a CNAME?

A CNAME is an alias for your website’s domain.

Why would I use a CNAME?

A CNAME is used for branding links. As a ClickDimensions customer, if you don’t have a CNAME, any time there is a hyperlink in your email, it would start with elink.clickdimensions.com. If you choose to set up a CNAME, you can brand this link for your company. So, if your company is named Tomato Gardens, like our fictional company shown below, then all of your hyperlinks in the email could begin with links.tomatogardens.org.

 

Similarly, if you didn’t have a CNAME for web content, the URLs for your landing pages, forms, surveys and subscription management pages would begin with analytics.clickdimensions.com. If you set up a web content CNAME for Tomato Gardens, then these could all begin with web.tomatogardens.org.

Wait, so how many CNAMEs do I need?

At least three – assuming that you want to brand both your email links, your web content URLs and any URLs in your social posts. So, you would have an email CNAME, just for links in email messages, and a web content CNAME, which is used for forms, surveys, subscription management pages and landing pages, as well as a social CNAME if you are interested in branding links in a post on social media.

What do I tell my IT team to get a CNAME set up?

You or your IT team will need to contact your website’s DNS host. You will need to give them the URLs you would like use for your CNAMES (ex: links.tomatogardens.org, web.tomatogardens.org and social.tomatogardens.com).

For standard US customers:

You will need to point your email CNAME toward elink.clickdimensions.com. You will need to point your web content CNAME toward analytics.clickdimensions.com. You will need to point your social CNAME toward okt.to.

For US customers on AzureSend:

You will need to point your email CNAME toward elink.azuresend.com. You will need to point your web content CNAME toward analytics.clickdimensions.com. You will need to point your social CNAME toward okt.to.

For European customers:

You will need to point your email CNAME toward elink-eu.azuresend.com. You will need to point your web content CNAME toward analytics-eu.clickdimensions.com. You will need to point your social CNAME toward okt.to.

For Australian customers:

You will need to point your email CNAME toward elink.clickdimensions.com. You will need to point your web content CNAME toward analytics-au.clickdimensions.com. You will need to point your social CNAME for okt.to.

Your team can also review our help article for more details and sample instructions for various DNS hosts here: https://support.clickdimensions.com/hc/en-us/articles/115002109994-Introduction-to-CNAMEs.

Where do I put my CNAMEs?

Wait an hour after setting up your CNAME with your DNS host, then put the URLs into CRM. Your email CNAME goes in the ClickDimensions DNS settings. Make sure you don’t accidentally add a space at the end of your CNAME. This is the only place your email CNAME record will exist. You will not see it under the email CNAME entity, nor do you need to add it there.

Navigate to Settings > ClickDimensions Settings > DNS Settings.

Remove the value there and put your CNAME in the Email CNAME field.

 

Your web content CNAME goes in a domain record. Navigate to Settings > Domains and open the Domain record for your website. Leave your site’s domain in the Domain field and put your web content CNAME in the Sub Domain Alias field.

Your social CNAME will need to be set up in your DNS Settings as well. Navigate to Settings > ClickDimensions Settings > DNS Settings and place your value in the Social Post CNAME field.

Can I have more than one CNAME for content?

Yes, but you must first register these with your DNS host. If you wish to use more than one email CNAME, you will need to create a new record under the email CNAME entity. Navigate to Settings > Email CNAME and create a new record.

If you have more than one website or brand, you can use multiple web content CNAMEs as well. Create another domain record for your second brand’s domain and put the second web content CNAME in the Sub Domain Alias field.

Note: You can only use one Social CNAME per environment. 

Do I need to specify my CNAME in an email send?

No, if you only have one email CNAME, you do not need to fill in this field. We will automatically use the CNAME that you included in the ClickDimensions DNS settings when an email send goes out.

If you have more than one email CNAME set up and you do not wish to use your primary CNAME, you can specify which one to use in the Optional Advanced Settings of your email send.

Do I need to specify my CNAME for a web content record?

Yes, you will do this by selecting the domain record. Then, the web content record will use the CNAME that is in the Sub Domain Alias field of the corresponding domain record.

And do I need to specify my CNAME for a social post?

You do not have to specify the CNAME for use in a social post. We will automatically use the CNAME set up in your DNS Settings.

2018-05-02T14:36:36+00:00 By |Email Marketing|2 Comments

About the Author:

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Suzannah Thompson is a Lead Product Consultant at ClickDimensions.

2 Comments

  1. Maria May 7, 2018 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Hi,

    I was wondering if you were able to assist me. Our organisation is ablout to start using the click dimension tool more and more. I was wondering If I were to use social marketing in click dimensions to replace my organisations current facebook postings/account, e.g. post from social marketing click dimensions instead of solely using facebook account. The reason for this would to track our new leads from our facebook postings into our CRM system to see if we have received a lead or a customer as a result of that particular facebook posting in click dimensions/CRM. Is that a possibility? I know that we are able to track our current contacts in CRM and how they orientate the posting but I would like to know if it would work with new contacts

    I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

    Thank you

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