How to authorise FreeAgent to send emails from your business address
This article explains how to add a custom email domain so that FreeAgent can send emails from your address.
You can authorise FreeAgent to send emails to your customers on your behalf from verified email addresses. By default, the ‘From’ address for these emails is automatically set to ‘email@example.com’. However, if you own the domain from which you send your business emails (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org), you can set up a custom email domain in your FreeAgent account and display the address in the ‘From’ field.
Please note that if you don't own the domain from which you send your business emails (e.g if you’re using a Yahoo, Gmail or other common domain), you won't own the DNS settings for your email account and won't be able to authorise FreeAgent to send invoice emails from this account on your behalf. This means that if you use a Yahoo, Gmail or other common domain for your business emails, the invoice and estimate invoices you send from FreeAgent will always be sent from ‘email@example.com’.
How to add a custom email domain
1. Choose a verified email domain
Begin by selecting 'Settings' from the drop-down menu in the top-right corner and then select 'Sending Emails'.
The first time you do this, you'll be presented with a message about custom email domains. Please read this carefully and select ‘Add a Custom Email Domain’ when you're ready to continue.
In the ‘Domain’ drop-down menu, you'll see a list of domains from all the verified email addresses that are associated with your FreeAgent account.
If you want to use a domain that you can’t see in this list, you'll first need to add an email address on that domain and verify it. Please note that verified email addresses from Yahoo, Gmail and other common email domains will not appear in the list as FreeAgent is unable to send emails from these types of account on your behalf.
Choose the appropriate domain from the drop-down menu and select ‘Next step’.
2. Update your Domain Name System (DNS) settings
Next, you'll need to update your records with your DNS provider using the information displayed on the ‘step 2’ screen. Email domains can’t run without DNS Settings.
DNS is how domain names are translated into IP addresses to allow you to use your web browser to find web sites, and send and receive emails.
Select a link for instructions on how to apply DNS records for each provider:
A ‘TXT’ (Text) record is an informational record you can use to provide additional information about the named service. This helps the DNS Setting identify what FreeAgent is and understand what it is trying to do, which is send emails.
A validation key record needs to be entered in the DNS Settings to inform the DNS Settings that FreeAgent is valid.
The two records that you'll need to copy over when you update your DNS records is displayed in the 'Host/Key' and 'Value' fields. If you've added FreeAgent specific records to this domain previously, they can be now removed.
Once you have updated these records in your DNS provider, switch back to FreeAgent and select ‘Add [your domain name] as a custom domain’.
FreeAgent will then check to see if your DNS settings have been updated. If they haven’t, you’ll see an error message and you won’t be able to add your email domain as a custom domain until your settings have been updated. Please note that changes to DNS settings may not take effect immediately so if you see an error message within 48 hours of updating your DNS settings, you should check back again in a few hours. If you still see error messages after 48 hours, you should contact your DNS provider for further guidance.
If your DNS settings have been updated and set up correctly, you'll see a message confirming this and your email domain will be added as a custom domain. This means that the estimate and invoice emails you send from FreeAgent will be sent from your email address.
Please note that if you change or remove these DNS records your custom email domain will become unverified and your emails will return to using ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ as the `From` address. We’ll email you to let you know if this happens.
How to update your domain’s Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record
An SPF record is a special DNS record published on your domain that whitelists the different services allowed to send emails on your behalf. This is an email authentication protocol that allows the owner of a domain to specify which mail servers they use to send mail from that domain.
SPF records typically come in the 'soft' variety (ending in
~all), where the list of senders is given purely for advisory purposes and unlisted services can still deliver messages (although with a warning).
It isn’t generally necessary to publish an SPF record for FreeAgent unless you already have an SPF record published against your domain and the record ends with an
-all tag, in which case, follow the details below.
If you have a strict SPF record, which ends in
-all, you’ll need to explicitly add FreeAgent to the list of trusted senders by adding the below text to your existing SPF record:
A single SPF record can contain multiple services for whitelisting, separated by a space. For example, here’s a strict SPF record that whitelists both FreeAgent and Google to send emails on your behalf:
v=spf1 include:spf.mtasv.net include:_spf.google.com -all
If you’d like to learn more about SPF records, check out this article.
Further help and guidance
For help with updating your DNS settings, please contact your email provider directly.