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Instructions for Configuring Mandrill with CiiRUS

Why Use Mandrill?

Mandrill is an API driven mass emailing service that allows CiiRUS to send your emails through their powerful servers, safely and securely.

Previously, CiiRUS email were sent directly from one of our servers. This lead to some issues as receiving email services (like MS Exchange and Gmail) view our emailing system as one entity, not many individual companies. This means if one CiiRUS user misused the mailing system, all other accounts were at jeopardy of having their emails black-listed.

With Mandrill, all users are treated as separate entities protecting your correspondence from someone else’s misuse.

The original CiiRUS system will still send emails, and a Mandrill configuration is not mandatory for using CiiRUS. If you intend on fully utilizing the email tools in CiiRUS, we recommend configuring a Mandrill account.

Configuring your Email Sending Settings in CiiRUS.

Even if you do not plan on using Mandrill, you will still need to specify your sending email address in CiiRUS.

To do so, login to your CiiRUS account (SecureTrack administration permissions may be required) and go to >> Account Settings > Edit Account details. From here you should be able to find a button labeled “Mandrill API…”

Click on this button, and enter your full sending email address. This email address should have the same sending domain (your sending domain is everything after the ‘@’ in an email address) that you intend to use with you Mandrill account.

Click “OK” to save your changes. At this point, you are ready to send emails via the CiiRUS servers, but not yet with Mandrill.

Setting up your Mandrill Account.

Signing up for Mandrill is free and easy to do. To begin, go to the Mandrill main website here: http://mandrill.com/, and click “SIGN UP”.

When prompted, enter an email address (this will be your username; does not have to be your sending domain as this can be specified later) and password that you would like to use, agree to the Mandrill Terms of Use, and click “GET STARTED”.

You will be asked some basic questions about your business. Not to worry, this is just an anonymous survey, and so your responses are not crucial.

With the survey window closed, Mandrill will most likely ask for a sending domain.

From the Dashboard, click “Add Sending Domain and on the following page enter your sending domain and click “+ Add”. Remember, the sending domain is only the character after the ‘@’ in your email address.

We will need to verify this domain, but that will be covered in the next section.

The last step while we are still in your Mandrill account, is to create an API Key that CiiRUS can use to send email data. From “Settings”, click on “SMTP & API Info”. Mandrill may ask for your password again before accessing this screen.

From this screen, click on “+ Add API Key”, and copy this Key to a safe location. We will paste this Key into CiiRUS, but not until we have verified your sending domain. Remember, API keys are case sensitive.

Verifying your Sending Domain.

Feel free to stay logged into your Mandrill account as we can check back to see if you sending domain was verified, and go to your Domain Name Service provider’s logon page.

There are many different Domain Name Service providers: namecheap.com, godaddy.com, etc. As a result the following step may very slightly, but are generally the same for all DNS providers. I will be using GoDaddy as a specific example.

After login in, go to your Domains and select the option to Manage DNS Settings option on the domain you intend to use as your sending domain.

You will then want to navigate to your domain name’s Zone File configuration. There are many different types of Zone Files for every domain; for instance the ‘A’ record indicate what server your website is hosted on. You will want to find the option to add a ‘TXT’ zone file record, as we will be adding two new TXT records to this domain.

Setting the SPF Record

The first record you will want to add is the SPF record. In the TXT (or text) record, click “Add Record”, and makes sure TXT is the selected record type.

Enter “@” as the host (no quotes) and copy and paste the following into the TXT Value field:

v=spf1 include:spf.mandrillapp.com ?all

Set the TTL to ½ hour or less and Click Finish.

If you already have an SPF record for another purpose, simply edit the TXT Value to include “include:spf.mandrillapp.com” somewhere in between “v=spf1” and “?all”.

Setting the DKIM Record

The DKIM will be added as another TXT type record. Select the option to add a new record, and be sure the type is selected as a TXT.

In the “Host” field, enter the following:

mandrill._domainkey.yourdomain.com.

Be sure to replace “yourdomain.com” with your actual sending domain. In the TXT Value field, copy and paste the following:

v=DKIM1; k=rsa; p=MIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUAA4GNADCBiQKBgQCrLHiExVd55zd/IQ/J/mRwSRMAocV/hMB3jXwaHH36d9NaVynQFYV8NaWi69c1veUtRzGt7yAioXqLj7Z4TeEUoOLgrKsn8YnckGs9i3B3tVFB+Ch/4mPhXWiNfNdynHWBcPcbJ8kjEQ2U8y78dHZj1YeRXXVvWob2OaKynO8/lQIDAQAB;

Set the TTL to ½ hour, and click “Finish” to save. At this point, your sending domain should be verified. Repeat these steps for any other domains you wish to verify.

For more information about verifying domain names, please review Mandrill’s Support Documentation:

https://mandrill.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/205582277-How-do-I-add-DNS-records-for-my-sending-domains-