Set up DMARC and see who's sending email using your brand's domain.

Getting started with Postmark

Once you know you’d like to use Postmark, migrating is super-easy. Depending on your desired approach, you can either integrate directly via SMTP settings or use our API and client libraries.

Before you begin your migration, it’s important to note how Postmark separates different types of emails to protect deliverability. Servers in Postmark have Transactional and Broadcast Message Streams. Transactional and broadcast traffic do not mix in Postmark, including IP ranges.

Transactional message streams are for messages sent to a single recipient and triggered by a user action like a welcome email, password reset, or receipts. Transactional streams do not support bulk messages. Broadcast message streams are for bulk messages sent to multiple recipients like announcements, newsletters, or other application email.

These classifications help us group and route emails into the right sending IPs, and lets customers use the same API and Postmark account for broadcasts and transactional messages. Splitting email traffic this way allows Postmark to follow best practices for separating email reputation as recommended by inbox providers like Gmail and helps ensure all your application emails get to their destination quickly and reliably.

Step 1: Create your account#

You’ll need to setup an account. The signup is simple and our free developer plan includes 100 test emails per month. Just visit our account setup page to get started.

Once you’ve set up your account, you’ll be greeted by all of our smiling faces and asked to confirm that you’re not sending bulk email or spam.

We’ll automatically create your first server so you can get sending quickly. Servers help you organize your emails (inbound or outbound) by project, client, or environments. You can add new servers at any time from the Servers page.

Step 2: Adding your Sender Signatures and Verified Domains#

In order to send through Postmark you’ll need to have a Sender Signature set up for each address you want to use in the From field of your messages or if you are sending from several or more email addresses on a domain, you can use Domain Verification to verify an entire domain for sending. See our help article here for steps to verify an entire domain for sending.

We use Sender Signatures and Domain Verification to ensure you own the mailboxes you want to send from, as this helps prevent spam and abuse. (These safeguards are one of the ways we maintain a great reputation with ISPs and are able to get your emails to the inbox reliably and quickly.) You can have as many Signatures and Verified Domains as you need, there is no limit.

Once you’ve created your account, we’ll automatically send you a Sender Signature verification message.They will arrive from Postmark and look like this:

Postmark's sender signature confirmation message.

Later on, if you need to add more Sender Signatures or Domains, you can add those from Sender Signatures.

Sender Signatures in navigation

Once you confirm a Sender Signature, you’ll want to move onto configuring the authentication for the domain. Note that if you proceed with Domain Verification, you will not need to add any more Sender Signatures for that domain since the entire domain will be authorized for sending through Postmark. This will also eliminate any further confirmation emails from needing to be sent.

Postmark also allows for the addition of a Personal note for Sender Signature emails, this is a field to provide context to the recipient of what the confirmation email is for. This field is helpful if you're sending on behalf of a customer, and is available via our API or UI when adding a Sender Signature.

Step 3: Authenticating with DKIM, SPF, and DMARC#

Setting up DKIM and Return-Path authentication isn’t absolutely mandatory to send using a Sender Signature, but we do recommend implementing it to ensure deliverability and security. For Domain Verification, however, it is required that you add a DKIM record to the domain's DNS in order to verify the entire domain for sending. For each domain you add, you will receive a unique DKIM key to add to your DNS. We strongly recommend setting up DKIM and a custom Return-Path to authenticate and protect your domain, even if you are only adding a Sender Signature. DKIM verification and a custom Return-Path for a Sender Signature will also ensure that the Signature's domain builds a solid reputation with ISPs.

Link for adding a DKIM DNS record

On that page, you’ll want to use the Add a DKIM DNS record link to dive in and begin configuring the authentication for your domain:

Screen for adding a DKIM DNS record

Configuring DKIM

The first authentication step is DKIM. You don’t have to be an expert on DKIM to be able to set it up and benefit from it, but if you’d like to be an expert, we’ve written a detailed guide all about DKIM. The DKIM setup page includes everything you’ll need to add and will look like this:

DKIM DNS record

The DKIM record shown will need to be added to your DNS and then verified using the Verify button after it has been added. For an idea of how to add DKIM records using your specific DNS provider, check out our help articles for different providers.

Configuring Return-Path

The final step for domain authentication is setting up a custom return-path. Besides effective delivery, adding a custom return-path also lets you pass DMARC's more strict SPF alignment requirements. The Return-Path setup area will look like this:

Return-Path DNS record

Add a CNAME record to your DNS with value and set the alias to pm-bounces. You can change pm-bounces to be anything you wish, just make sure it matches in the Postmark UI and your CNAME record in your DNS.

Step 4: Making changes in your code#

Once everything is configured for email sending bliss, you can make all of the necessary changes in your code. For this, we include several quick start options in a Streams Setup Instructions so you can integrate with Postmark quickly.

Using SMTP

If you’re already using SMTP to send your emails, this makes migration a breeze. Simply point your existing configuration over to Postmark’s servers and we’ll handle the rest. Sending with SMTP

Using our API or client libraries

If you’d like to use our API, you can get started with that through our API documentation or you can use one of several official client libraries for Rails, Ruby, .NET, PHP, Node.js, and WordPress. Postmark also has quite a few community-supported client libraries available as well.

Step 5: Let us help#

If you ever have any questions or concerns, we’re just a single live chat, tweet, email, or help doc away. We’re always happy to help, and we know this stuff can be tricky at times. So please don’t hesitate to reach out if there’s anything we can do to make migrating to Postmark easier for you.

Last updated March 10th, 2023

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