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Subdomain vs. Separate Domain: The Best Choice?
Subdomain vs. Separate Domain: The Best Choice?

You're wondering what is the best option to protect your primary domain reputation? We wrote down the pros and cons for you.

Updated over a week ago

When conducting outreach email campaigns, especially if there's a chance they could be seen as promotional or potentially trigger spam filters, it's critical to consider the impact on your domain's reputation. Domain reputation is one of the factors used by email services to decide if an email should be delivered to the inbox, the spam folder, or blocked entirely.

Considering your goal of preserving the deliverability and reputation of your primary domain, let's discuss the pros and cons of using a subdomain vs. a new domain for outreach email campaigns:


πŸ‘ Pros:

  • Cost-effective: You don’t need to purchase a new domain.

  • Branding consistency: A subdomain retains some connection to the main domain, which might lend a touch of authority or recognition to your outreach.

πŸ‘Ž Cons:

  • Risk to domain reputation: Even though a subdomain is somewhat treated separately from the main domain, it's not entirely isolated. There's still a link between the subdomain and the main domain. If the subdomain gets a bad reputation, it could, to some extent, affect the main domain's deliverability.

  • Less flexibility: If you decide to change providers or start a new campaign, you might feel constrained if using a subdomain because of its association with the main domain.

New separated domain:

πŸ‘ Pros:

  • Isolation: The main benefit is the isolation of risks. If your outreach domain gets blacklisted or receives a poor reputation, it won't directly impact your primary domain.

  • Flexibility: You can quickly pivot, rebrand, or adjust strategies without affecting your primary brand.

πŸ‘Ž Cons:

  • Additional costs: Purchasing a new domain comes with costs, and if you want a specific premium domain, it could be expensive.

  • Lack of brand recognition: If the new domain name is not related to your primary domain, recipients might not recognize the connection to your main brand, which could impact open rates or trust levels.

  • Setup effort: Setting up a new domain for email requires DNS configuration, ensuring it has a good sending reputation, and perhaps setting up new email infrastructure or services.

Our recommendation:

Given that you want to preserve the reputation of your primary domain, purchasing a new domain for email outreach might be the safer bet. This way, you're insulating your primary domain from any potential negative repercussions.

However, it's essential to practice good email outreach habits regardless of which method you choose:

  1. Maintain a clean email list: Regularly clean and update your list to remove bounced addresses, unengaged subscribers, or anyone who has opted out.

  2. Avoid spammy content: Ensure your content is valuable, relevant, and not misleading. Avoid using spam trigger words.

  3. Include a clear unsubscribe option: Always give recipients an easy way to opt out of your emails.

  4. Authenticate your emails: Use technologies like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC to verify your email's integrity and improve deliverability.

πŸ’‘ Remember, even if you use a separate domain, spammy practices can still result in your emails being undelivered or flagged. Ensure you're always focusing on best practices and delivering valuable content to your recipients.

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