Tutorial: How to Use SendGrid’s Whitelabel Wizard

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Today, our VidGrid tutorial details what SendGrid’s Whitelabel Wizard is and why should you use it. Our Customer Success Rep, Mohammed, explains what this powerful feature is used for and quickly walks you through the 3 step whitelabeling process. (The whitelabel feature is available on Silver packages and higher.)

Video Transcription

Hey everyone, today we are going to be talking about the Whitelabel Wizard, which is an extremely powerful tool that is offered by SendGrid. What is the Whitelabel Wizard? And why do we need to whitelabel our accounts?

Whitelabel Your Account to Hide SendGrid Domain

Depending on the sets of apps that you have chosen, SendGrid can either alter or add links to emails. This includes:

  • unsubscribe links

  • click tracking

  • open tracking

In addition, SendGrid adds email headers that reference SendGrid servers so remote servers can check whether an email is genuine or not. Now, for non-whitelabel accounts these links and headers reference the SendGrid.me or SendGrid.com domain. By completing the Whitelabel Wizard and adding the necessary DNS records to your domain, the IP address resolves back to you and your domain and effectively masks SendGrid in the sending process. Your emails will appear to come directly from your whitelabel domain and your click tracking links and open tracking images lie under the same domain. For example, if you send an email through a non-whitelabeled account you will see in Gmail something like this–where it says via sendgrid.me. Properly whitelabeling an account will get rid of this “via” and all it will show is your domain.

So How Do We Start to Whitelabel a Domain?

On a brand new Silver account like the one we have here, the first thing you do is go to the Developers tab on the top. On the right hand side, click on Whitelabel Wizard. On this page, click on Setup new whitelabel. For your domain, enter in your domain. For the privacy policy you can enter in your rep site in there if you don’t have a privacy policy URL. Just having something in that field will allow you to move on. Then, click on Proceed to step 2- DNS Settings.

DNS Settings

Now the next step requires you to add some DNS records in your domain host, for example GoDaddy or Rackspace. The Subdomain field contains email by default. Now this is just a suggestion, you may choose anything you like such as mailer, no reply, and so on. In this case, we’ll stay with email as our subdomain. Once you choose a subdomain, type it in the top field in step two. Once you do that, the five DNS records below will update to show what records need to be added to your DNS host. Once the five DNS records exist in your host, the Validate & Confirm button will check to see if the records exist properly, and once clicked will show either a green check next to the ones that pass, or a red mark next to the ones that do not. For our case, because we do not have any of the records added, it will show a red mark and a warning that says “Your new domain DNS records could not be validated.”

DNS Host

So our step now is to add these records to our DNS host. In the video here we will use GoDaddy as an example. In GoDaddy (on the Domains dashboard) click on launch for domains. Once you’re in there, click on the domain that you are whitelabeling, and then under DNS manager click on launch again. Now once you’re here, this is the place where we will add the DNS records provided in the Whitelabel Wizard. Going back to the Whitelabel Wizard, we see that you are required to add three CNAMEs which have:

  • the subdomain
  • the two domain key or DKIM values
  • the SPF record
  • the A record (which has your static IP address that SendGrid has provided)

Let’s add these one-by-one to GoDaddy, or your domain host. So, the easiest way is to copy and paste these records to your domain host so that there are no errors or typos in the transfer process. For example, for the first one we have a CNAME: the host is .whateveryourdomainis and the data should be sendgrid.net. Go ahead and copy that, go to our DNS manager, do a quick add under CNAME and paste the host, and then for the data, you can just go ahead and copy that or just type it in: sendgrid.net for the first CNAME.

Because we have two other CNAMEs, I’m going to add another CNAME. So, go back to our Whitelabel Wizard, copy the first Domain key or DKIM record, and that is going to point to dkim.sendgrid.net. Make sure that it is also a CNAME. Do another add, copy this, and this one is also dkim.sendgrid.net. Once you’ve added all the CNAMEs, go ahead and do a quick confirmation that everything is correct.

Now that all the CNAMEs have been added, let’s go back to the Whitelabel Wizard and do the next one.

The next one is a TXT record, this one is actually going to the domain itself and the data is the SPF record that will allow sendgrid.net to send emails on behalf of your domain. Go down to where is says TXT (Text), let’s go back and get the value, and that is all set.

So one more left, which is an A record, which includes your static IP address that SendGrid has provided for you. Let’s copy the host, the A record in GoDaddy is the first one. Let’s do a quick add, this is going to point to your static IP address. So once again, make sure everything has been filled out. You should have a total of five records that you will add, and then click on Save Zone File, and confirm your changes.

Your changes have been submitted. Changes can take up to an hour, maybe even more in some cases. GoDaddy is a domain where usually the changes get updated pretty instantly. All your records should have been added. Let’s go back to the Whitelabel Wizard and let’s try to Validate and Confirm all of our records. Great, we have check marks on all our records and that means all our records have been added.

Confirm Settings

Now you’re on Step 3–Confirm Settings. Make sure the subdomain is the one that you have specified and click on Finish. And that’s it! Congratulations, you have completed the steps required to whitelabel your account. Now SendGrid will use the domain that you have specified in the whitelabel process to rebrand your emails.

Whitelabel Multiple IP Addresses

Now, keep in mind that only one domain can be whitelabeled to a given IP address. If you’re using the subuser functionality and you are using subusers to whitelabel multiple sending domains, this does require purchasing aditional IPs. You can contact our support team to purchase any additional IPs. Now although it is not required, SendGrid does highly recommend whitelabeling of all new accounts in order to help you get the best email deliverability possible.

Our Whitelabel Wizard is available to all Silver accounts and above. To learn more about our Silver plan, please click here.

When Kate isn't trying to teach herself the ukelele, make it through the mountain of books on her nightstand, or figure out if they are actually being serious about suggested serving sizes on ice cream, she is the Content Marketing Associate.

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