SPF Record – how to configure your domain to increase your deliverability

How you configure your domain has a strong influence on the deliverability of messages sent as part of your email marketing campaigns. This is a result of the security measures used by email service providers that protect inboxes from spam. This guide will show you how to configure your domain so that it works in a manner consistent with the regulations followed by anti-spam measures, thus increasing the deliverability of your email marketing campaigns.

SPF Record

The SPF Record is used to authenticate the return path from which you send your messages. The return path can be different from the address that appears in the "sender" field in your emails. By checking it, email servers can determine whether or not messages that claim to come from a particular domain were in fact sent by an authorized server.

What role does the SPF Record play when sending messages in FreshMail?

Here’s an example to better illustrate the function of the SPF Record when you send an email marketing campaign.

Let’s say that the domain that you use for your email address is mybusiness.com. When you create an SPF Record, it identifies messages sent from your domain and authenticates their origin. When a server from an email service provider gets a message sent from mybusiness.com, it can check the SPF record to verify that it is from you.

When using FreshMail to send your campaigns, you can enter a TXT record from FreshMail into your domain to authenticate all messages that you send. This may, however, affect the deliverability of your messages, particularly to Outlook addresses.

How to configure your domain to send messages through FreshMail

Step 1

First of all, you need to set the address you will use to send emails. This is the address that will appear in the "From email" field in campaigns that you send with FreshMail.

If the address is, say, sales@mybusiness.com, you should set the TXT record from FreshMail in the mybusiness.com domain. If, however, you use a subdomain like sales@euro.mybusiness.com, then you need to set the TXT record from FreshMail in the subdomain euro.mybusiness.com.

Step 2

Your messages may not get to your recipients in these two situations:

  1. If your domain doesn’t have an SPF Record, making it impossible to verify that messages were sent from an authorized server.
  2. If a message is sent from a server other than the one you have authorized by entering an SPF.

In the first case, we strongly recommend that you don’t place only FreshMail’s TXT record in your domain. This can cause your normal, day to day internal communication to not be delivered. An exception can be when you use a dedicated domain only for using email marketing campaigns in FreshMail.

Meanwhile, if you don’t have any SPF in your domain or subdomain and you want to authorize FreshMail’s servers, it’s enough to place this TXT record in your domain:

v=spf1 include:_spf.freshmail.pl -all

In the second case, you first have to check which SPF’s already exist in your domain or subdomain. For example, it could appear like this:

v=spf1 ip4:192.30.252.0/22 include:_spf.google.com include:esp.github.com include:_spf.createsend.com include:mail.zendesk.com ~all

To authorize FreshMail’s servers, you need to add this to the existing phrase:

include:_spf.freshmail.pl

After this modification, it will look like this:

v=spf1 ip4:192.30.252.0/22 include:_spf.google.com include:_spf.freshmail.pl include:esp.github.com include:_spf.createsend.com include:mail.zendesk.com ~all

How to add an SPF Record in a panel in your domain

There is no universally applicable answer to this question in the case of different domains. FreshMail is not able to provide an answer and we recommend that you contact the customer service of your domain provider.

How can you be sure that your SPF Record is correct?

In UNIX or Mac OS systems, you can use a bash command - dig:

dig _spf.freshmail.pl TXT

You can also use other internet tools like:

SPF Record Testing Tools

SPF Records

Why did SPF cause my mail to be rejected?

Remember that FreshMail's customer success team are standing by to answer any questions you might have.