Why is verification with Mandrill necessary?
By default, we'll send all emails from your website from our own verified email address (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you want to send emails from your own email address, you'll need to verify your domain name with our provider Mandrill.
Who are Mandrill?
The email addresses on your domain name will be provided by your email host. Sending emails directly from your email address requires you to connect to your email hosts SMTP server. Administering a system where each of our customers enter their hosts SMTP server details to send transactional emails directly through their email host would be overly complicated and hard to manage. Instead we use an email service provided by a third party specialist company.
Mandrill is a third party service that specialises in sending, what are known as, transactional emails. Transactional emails, distinct from other types of emails like marketing emails or normal day-to-day emails, include things like order confirmations, dispatch notifications or forgotten password requests.
The delivery of email messages to your customers is a key component of running an ecommerce business successfully. We use Mandrill because of the stability, security and reliability that it provides, with an uptime guarantee of 99.99%.
Why do I have to verify?
Because we're not sending your emails directly through your email host, we have to 'spoof' the email address listed as the sending email address when we send your website's transactional emails. We do this so that your customers see your email address as the sender of the email rather than a non-descript 'no reply' email address.
The ability to spoof a sender email address is in place for good reasons, such as the purpose we use it for. But unfortunately it's often mis-used for malicious reasons like hacking, phishing and spam. A lot of email providers therefore block, or mark as spam, emails that have a spoofed email sender.
However, verifying an email address with Mandrill counteracts any deliverability problems the email might experience with a spoofed sender. Email providers check whether verification has taken place and will not penalise an email (and send it to a junk folder) if verification has been completed.
Verification is a three step process and is relatively simple to do.
It involves adding 2 DNS records to your domain name (known as DKIM and SPF records) - which you can find more about by clicking here.
It also involves sending an email address to an email on your domain name with a verification URL. You then just have to enter the URL they provide into your account with us. You can find out more about that by clicking here.
Adding DNS records to your domain name can be daunting. Please read the instructions in the help guides above carefully but get in touch with us if you have any problems.