How to Create an Alias for Marketing Automation

By Mathew Sweezey

Your alias is the “vanity name” you will be using for your marketing automation solution. It is also referred to as a CNAME. The reason you need to set up an alias is that 99.9 percent of all marketing automation solutions are software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based technologies. This means that they are hosted online, not on your servers.

Because your marketing automation tool is not on your servers, landing pages created in your tool will not appear to be hosted by your company unless you create a vanity URL to fix this.

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For example, if you are using Pardot.com as your solution, and your company is site.com, you need to set up a CNAME so that all landing pages and emails that are sent from Pardot.com reflect your company’s name. So you will need to set up a CNAME, which might be go.site.com.

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You need access to your web hosting service to complete the following steps to create your CNAME:

  1. Choose your CNAME/Alias.

    This process is required by the majority of marketing automation tools; however, depending on your hosting service, details may vary. Hosting companies generally use the same process, but you might notice slight differences from these steps.

    You are free to choose any alias you’d like, but it’s best to go with something unobtrusive to give your visitors the best possible user experience. For example, if your domain is www.site.com, www2.site.com would work well and is commonly used in marketing. Other options are

    • go.site.com

    • content.site.com

    • info.site.com

    • news.site.com

    • marketing.site.com

  2. Log in to your domain’s Domain Name System (DNS) record.

    Your DNS record is the record on your IP address that SPAM filters use to verify whether emails sent from your vendor are really okay to send.

    The DNS entry allows the SPAM filter to ping your IP address and verify that the emails are really being sent by you. This is to protect you from people hijacking your email tool and spamming the world. You need to set up three things inside your DNS record:

    • Alias

    • Type

    • Points to

  3. Wait for your DNS to propagate.

    Keep checking your DNS record account. It may take up to 24 hours.

  4. Log in to your marketing automation tool to edit your account settings.

    Each tool requires you to do this in a different way, but you need to insert the alias information in to your system.

  5. Verify that your CNAME is working correctly.

    If everything is set up correctly and your DNS change has taken effect, entering your vanity into a browser should redirect to your home page. That is the easiest way to verify that your new CNAME is working correctly.