The primary benefit of using a branded subdomain with JangoMail is that we can handle reply management for you. Let’s say you send using multiple FROM addresses, but you want all replies to go to one central reply-to address. That’s what the branded subdomain setup does for you.
Note: a branded subdomain is not the same thing as a custom tracking domain.
Also, you can still send using your own subdomain. If you do not specify a REPLY-TO address in the message/campaign, then replies will go (as normal) to the FROM address you used for the message/campaign. In this case, just go through the normal setup steps for the SPF record, domain key, and custom tracking domain. You do not need to do anything with your subdomain’s MX record.
The setup steps
Technically, the only requirement on your end is to create a subdomain under your top-level domain and add/edit the MX record to use mail.jangomail.com. This is based on the assumption that no other sending from that subdomain will be used on your end. You are only using this subdomain to send email via JangoMail/JangoSMTP. You can use your own MX record here as well, but it is better from both of our perspectives to keep your regular email sending separate from our sending (in this case, the sending here is the reply forwarding) for you.
We also strongly recommend that you use and SPF record and a domain key for your subdomain. When using an SPF record and a domain key for a subdomain, those need to be created at the subdomain level. For example, if you sending using a FROM address domain of acme.com and news.acme.com, you would need an SPF record/domain key at the top level domain of acme.dom, and an SPF record/domain key at the “news” subdomain level.
With respect to a custom tracking domain, that only needs to be set at the top level domain. You do not need one at the subdomain level.
Once you have the MX record, SPF record, domain key, and custom tracking domain in place, contact Support and we’ll do the necessary on our end. In your account Settings, go to Reply Management > Reply Handling and enter the address you want replies forwarded to. If you start testing replies before you’ve let us know, your replies are going to bounce with a “we do not relay error.”
Once Support informs you that the setup is complete on our end, send some test messages using your subdomain FROM address and reply to those messages. The replies should be sent to the address you have entered in your account Settings.