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What is DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) alignment for DMARC?

Domain alignment is important for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) to work properly. Domains out of alignment may cause the DMARC check to fail.

DKIM alignment is when your email's parent (aka root) domain of the DKIM signing domain matches the Header From domain. The two types of DKIM alignment are relaxed alignment and strict alignment. If you do not specify strict alignment, relaxed alignment is assumed.

Relaxed alignment
This alignment type requires the DKIM domain to match the parent (aka root) Header From domain. Relaxed alignment is the default. Relaxed alignment allows a subdomain to be used and still meet the domain alignment requirement.

Examples:

  • If your DKIM domain is mail.example.com and your Header From is example.com, your email would pass DKIM alignment.
  • If your DKIM domain is example.mail.com and your Header From is example.com, your email would not pass DKIM alignment.

Strict alignment
This alignment type requires the DKIM domain to match the Header From domain exactly.

Examples:

  • If your DKIM domain is mail.example.com and your Header From domain is example.com, your email would not pass DKIM alignment.
  • If your DKIM domain is mail.example.com and your Header From domain is mail.example.com, your email would pass DKIM alignment.
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