What is a CNAME?

A Canonical Name (CNAME) is a type of Domain Name System (DNS) record which maps one domain name to another. There are two parts to setting up a CNAME: the Name and the Value

  • Name: Is also commonly known as alias, subdomain, or host
    • Examples:,
  • Value: This is the destination that the alias “points to”
    • Examples: 
      • For Legacy configurations set up in Akamai:
      • For New configurations set up in CloudFront:
  • Connecting the two together:
    • The name is pointed to the value


What is the benefit of using a CNAME?

Mailbox Providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, etc. inspect the number of 3rd party links and use this as a part of their spam score. A secure CNAME will lower the chances of your newsletters from being sent to a subscriber’s spam folder or promotions tab.


What is a spam score?

Most email and security companies have software that rates how likely an incoming email is spam. This rating is known as a spam score and this will impact email deliverability.


What are some restrictions with setting up a CNAME?

  • A CNAME record must always point to another domain, never directly to an IP address.
  • A CNAME record cannot co-exist with another record for the same name. It’s not possible to have both a CNAME and TXT record for
  • A CNAME can point to another CNAME, although this configuration is generally not recommended for performance reasons.
  • The publisher must own the domain that is being used for the CNAME.


Where does LiveIntent get CNAME records from?

LiveIntent issues CNAMEs from Amazon Web Services (AWS). There are a few legacy names using Akamai - if you would like to update to use AWS, please reach out to your account team.


What is a Domain Name System?

A DNS translates human-readable domains (eg: into machine-readable IP addresses.


What is the difference between the CNAME Record and the Validation Record?

  • The CNAME Record points to a Cloudfront function on AWS which handles web traffic
  • The Validation Record is the SSL secure certification which auto-renews every 395 days in AWS.


What is a Secure CNAME vs. a Non-Secure CNAME?

  • A Secure CNAME guarantees the use of a secure connection and is best practice for ad rendering. It uses a https protocol.
    • Ex: 
  • A Non-Secure CNAME allows the potential of nefarious actors intercepting traffic between the web browser and the website, and can cause ad rendering issues. It uses a http protocol.
    • Ex:


How do I set up a Secure CNAME?

Please review the Setting up your CNAME Knowledge Base article, and reach out to your LiveIntent Account Team.


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