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FocusVision Knowledge Base

Setting Up a Domain Alias (CNAME)


A "CNAME"  (Canonical Name) is how we colloquially reference a domain alias. It allows an alternative domain name to be used to either access FocusVision hosted surveys or branded email sends. A CNAME can be created using a CNAME Record (for subdomains) or an A Record (for apex domains).

The setup presented here does not support secure connections and would only be used for accessing web pages over a nonsecure connection. To set up a secure connection, please reach out to your main FocusVision contact. 

Setting Up a CNAME

You need a current domain to setup a CNAME. If you do not own a domain, you can purchase a domain from a third-party vendor such as NamecheapA CNAME record can be setup as secure or non-secure depending on whether certificates are setup.

There are two ways to setup a CNAME:

CNAME Record - This is the easiest way to set up a CNAME. When a CNAME Record is set up, it redirects the current domain to the target domain and uses the same DNS settings as the target domain.

A Record - An A Record should be used when you can not set up a CNAME Record. For example, because your DNS system does not support CNAME Records, or because you are setting up an apex domain ( rather than a subdomain (

Using a CNAME Record

A CNAME Record should match the subdomain part of a current domain and its domain should point to the server where its surveys are hosted. To create a CNAME using a CNAME Record, add your CNAME Record as the host and your FocusVision server as the target.

For example, if you wanted to create a CNAME for customer, whose surveys are located on the main US server, the CNAME would be and it would point to

Main Decipher Servers by Region:

US Server

US-2 Server

EMEA Server

APAC Server (AU/NZ)

APAC Server (Asia)

Using an A Record

To set up an A Record, point your domain to the IP where your surveys are hosted. Please reach out to your main FocusVision contact in order to get the required server IP.

Sending Emails from a CNAME

By default, if you send your email out using your CNAME, it will be put into an invisible envelope and sent out as If you choose not to use the invisible envelope and plan on sending emails with your CNAME, you will need to set up MX, SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records.

You only need to create MX, SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records if you are sending an email outside of the invisible envelope. Sending outside of the envelope is only required if you want no trace of Decipher.

DKIM and DMARC need to be added as either CNAME Records or as TXT Records. While MX and SPF may be automatically inherited in a CNAME Record or may need to be set up as individual MX and TXT Records (respectively), you can not setup MX/TXT Records and may need to use an additional subdomain specifically for sending emails if you have setup a CNAME Record for survey links.

Once the CNAME has been setup, please send it to FocusVision support in order to verify that setup has been done correctly and to authorize Campaign Manager to send from that domain without using the invisible envelope of

When DKIM and DMARC are both set up as CNAME Records, they should not be setup instead of the previous CNAME Record, and should not conflict with any CNAME Record that already exists, since it should be added onto a new subdomain setup.



To set up DKIM using a CNAME Record, create an additional CNAME Record and add it to your subdomain.

For example, for, you would need to set up and target  

Example for





To setup DKIM using a TXT record, create an additional TXT Record on an additional subdomain of main2016._domainkey. So if it was for an apex domain, you would set up main2016._domainkey, but for a subdomain like, you would set up main2016._domainkey.customer. The TXT Record value should consist of the below:


Example for







To set up DMARC using a CNAME Record, create an additional CNAME Record and add it to your subdomain. For example, for, you would need to set up and target

Example for





To setup DMARC using a TXT record, create an additional TXT Record on an additional subdomain of _dmarc. So if it was for an apex domain, you would set up _dmarc, but for a subdomain like, you would set up _dmarc.customer. The TXT Record value should consist of the below:

p=none;;; adkim=r; aspf=r

Example for




v=DMARC1; p=none;;; adkim=r; aspf=r

MX and SPF Records

Note: When using a CNAME to setup a domain, both the MX and SPF records will be inherited by the CNAME record and should not be overwritten. If your CNAME is not transmitting MX or SPF records correctly, please reach out to your main FocusVision contact.


To setup an MX record, create an additional MX Record on the domain. The MX record value should be It is recommended to set the MX record to a priority of 10 but it can be another value if needed.

Example for







To set up SPF, create a TXT record on your domain with a value of v=spf1 ~all. If an SPF record is already setup for your domain, you should only need to append ~all.

Example for




v=spf1 ~all

From Address and tracking Bounce Backs

If the invisible envelope is not being used, the From address specified in Campaign Manager must be from the domain setup to send emails and be a valid email. For example, if DKIM/DMARC/SPF/MX are setup on the From address would have to be "", even if the survey link is

In order for the system to track bounce backs when not using the invisible envelope, you will need to set up the inbox that your From address is using to forward emails to Otherwise bounce backs will not appear in the Field Report.

Checking Deliverability

Once everything has been setup to send your domain to not use the invisible envelope, it is recommended to check deliverability of your email and domain. This can be achieved by sending to multiple different email service providers like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. You could also use a third party service such as GlockApps.

Checking the Setup

Domain Tools

The easiest way to check the setup of your new CNAME is to use the "Lookup" option within the Decipher Domain Tools toolbox. Simply enter your CNAME, and press Enter to begin the check:

If SURVEY/SPF/MX/DKIM/DMARC are all highlighted green, then your CNAME has been set up properly and is able to send emails. If any of these fields are missing or in red, then you will need to review your setup.

Decipher Domain Tools was designed for internal testing, and is not customizable. Occasionally, the tool may not be able to pick up the DNS settings of your CNAME. In those cases, you can use a third party DNS lookup tool like MX Toolbox.

Verifying DKIM and SPF requires additional steps, which are outlined below.

Alternative Checking

DKIM Checking

For DKIM, your selector should be main2016 when checking. If you are using MX Toolbox’s DKIM Record Lookup Tool, the domain name would be your CNAME, and the selector would be main2016:

SPF Checking

SPF should be checked with the SPF Policy Tester Page. To check your SPF, enter one of the following FocusVision IP addresses under "IP Address":


Next, enter invite@cname_domain (example: under the sender address. If your SPF is configured correctly, a green "pass" displays at the end of the text:

If there are problems with the SPF configuration, a blue block may display at the end of the text instead:

In this case, your SPF has been configured incorrectly and your setup will need to be reviewed.


To check your MX and DMARC, simply enter your domain name in the MXtoolbox. The MX lookup can be found here and the DMARC lookup can be found here.

Enabling the CNAME

After verifying your CNAME configuration, send the CNAME to your main FocusVision contact or support team to add it to your company page.

Once your CNAME has been added to your company, you can use it for masking survey URLs. To mask a survey URL for a project, add the specific CNAME to the CNAME field in the "Field Settings" window and click "Save":

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