Fixing mail delivery issues – Part 2: What are spf records?

Fixing mail delivery issues – Part 2: What are spf records?

Buckle up boys and girls. Today we are going to learn about spf records, and then next post we are going to help you set one up.

First, what is spf? In a basic sense, spf is a list of servers who are allowed to send mail as your domain. SPF is a record added to your DNS (Added as a TXT type record).

Ok great, that sounds easy enough, let’s do it, you say. Well hold on a minute, let’s not shoot first and ask questions later here. We have some legwork to do.

We first have to get a list of our email servers. Well sure, but what about your website, does that send mail? Do you use shopify? Mailchimp or another mass mailing service?

Ahh yeah, now you see. You almost broke the newsletter. Good thing we waited.

Ok, so you got a nice list of everything sending mail as your server? Good. Don’t worry if you aren’t 100% sure, we’ll take care of that problem when we get to DMARC.

A few things to note. Most things like mailchimp, shopify etc.. will publish a how-to for setting up mail authentication. They’ll tell you what you need to add to your spf record (but you will have to know how to combine everything together). We’ll do that part next and get an actual SPF record set up in part 3.

Now, if you want a really long explanation of spf records, they are defined in the following RFC’s:

RFC 7208: (Updated) https://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc7208.txt

RFC 4408: (Old) https://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc4408.txt

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