Instant Email Verification: Check Your Sender Policy Framework Records with Ease

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 What is SPF?

SPF, or Sender Policy Framework, is a type of email authentication that defines which mail servers, or applications, are allowed to send from your domain. In other words, SPF enables domain owners to designate authorized mail servers to send emails on behalf of the domain.

Think of your domain as a new car. Before you hit the road, you need to have a valid insurance policy that covers every driver.

SPF compared to Insurance

Each time you have an additional driver, you need to update your insurance policy to include them.

 

Sender Policy Framework works the same way as your insurance. Every tool that sends emails from your domain MUST be included within your SPF record.

Be sure to update your SPF record every time you use a new tool to send emails.

TXT and SPF Record Examples

If your domain is company.com and you use G suite to send emails, then your SPF record would look like this:

If your domain is company.com and you use G suite and SendGrid to send emails, then your SPF record would look like this:

How does SPF work?

SPF is a DNS TXT record that is published within the DNS settings of your domain hosting provider such as GoDaddy or HostGator.

Every time you send an email, you need to get through your recipient’s spam filters and firewalls. You can think of this as going through a police checkpoint.

The police will first check your DNS record settings to see if you have a valid SPF record (or insurance). If you do, then they check if you are authorized to be driving the vehicle on behalf of your domain.

If the email application you’re using is listed within your SPF record, then your email is properly authenticated. This will improve your overall deliverability.

SPF explained in 5 steps:

  1. You send an email FROM [email protected] using G suite TO [email protected].
  2. Company.com’s mail server will check the DNS records at mailgenius.com for a VALID SPF Record.
  3. If an SPF record EXISTS then Company.com will check to see if G suite (Google’s mail servers) is included in the Mailgenius.com SPF record.
  4. If Google is included in the MailGenius SPF record then SPF will PASS and the email is properly authenticated.
  5. If G suite is NOT included in the MailGenius.com SPF record or an SPF record is NOT published then SPF will FAIL and the email is not properly authenticated.

Why are SPF Records Important?

Approximately, 293 billion emails are sent every day. Mail servers are responsible for separating real emails from spam.

A valid SPF record will improve your deliverability while helping to prevent spammers from using your domain.

This is essential for maintaining a positive domain reputation and reducing the likelihood of your email going to the spam folder.

How does SPF affect email deliverability?

There are hundreds of factors that go into reaching the inbox. SPF is only one of them.

Every mailbox has different rules. Some may allow your emails to get delivered without SPF while others may reject your message.

Mail Server Rejection due to NO SPF Record:

Having an SPF record does not guarantee you will reach the inbox, but it will increase the probability of your email being delivered to your recipient.

Create an SPF record in 6 Steps

Setting up your SPF doesn’t have to be rocket science, but it can mean the difference between your email reaching the INBOX or being sent to SPAM.

What does the MailGenius testing tool cover with regards to SPF?

  • Too many lookups
  • No SPF record published
  • SPF Fail – Server IP not listed within SPF record

MailGenius Features

Here are a few features of our SPF tester tool.

SPF Lookup:

  • Quick Access: With just a simple domain input, our SPF Checker Tool swiftly fetches your SPF record, saving you time and hassle.
  • Detailed Display: View your SPF record in a well-structured, readable format. Understand at a glance the domain and IP address authorized to send emails on your behalf, helping you ensure that only legitimate sources are listed.

SPF Validation:

  • Syntax Verification: Our tool meticulously checks the syntax of your SPF record to ensure it adheres to the standard format, reducing the chances of email delivery issues.
  • Multiple Record Detection: It’s crucial to have a singular SPF record for effective email authentication. Our tool identifies instances of multiple SPF records which could lead to verification issues, helping you maintain a clean and effective SPF setup.

Detailed Analysis:

  • Comprehensive Insights: Delve deeper into the intricacies of your SPF record with a thorough analysis. Our tool scrutinizes every aspect of your SPF setup, providing a clear picture of its current state.
  • Issue Identification and Recommendations: Detect common issues such as syntax errors, multiple SPF records, or overly permissive settings. Receive actionable suggestions to rectify these issues, helping you optimize your SPF record for better email deliverability.

Real-Time Results:

  • Instant Feedback: No waiting around – get immediate feedback on your SPF record’s status as soon as the check is run. This real-time analysis ensures you can act swiftly to rectify any issues.
  • Impact Understanding: Understand the impact of your current SPF setup on your email deliverability. Our tool provides insights into how your SPF record affects your email authentication and overall email sending reputation.

Report Generation:

  • Detailed Reporting: Obtain a detailed, easy-to-understand report on your SPF record analysis. This report provides a breakdown of all checked parameters, identified issues, and suggested improvements.
  • Actionable Insights: Use the insights and recommendations provided in the report to make necessary adjustments for optimized email deliverability. This actionable data empowers you to improve your email authentication setup effectively.

User-Friendly Interface:

  • Ease of Use: Our SPF Checker Tool is designed with a user-friendly interface that requires no technical expertise. Its intuitive design ensures a smooth user experience.
  • Step-by-Step Guidance: From starting the SPF check to understanding the results and downloading the report, our tool provides step-by-step guidance throughout the process, making it easy for you to optimize your SPF record for better email deliverability.

Caveats, things to watch out for

  • SPF does not offer any reporting options like DMARC which makes it harder to manage.
  • SPF uses the “envelope from” to determine the sending domain, not the “From” header which is shown in most clients as the actual sender of the message.
  • SPF records have a limit of 10 lookups. You can avoid this lookup limit by using a SPF Flattening tool such as https://www.autospf.com which will convert your SPF record into IP addresses and help you manage it.
  • If your SPF record ends in ?all, it is equivalent to not having an SPF record published at all. We suggest updating your SPF record to use ~all instead.
  • Be careful when copying and pasting your SPF record into your DNS settings. We suggest pasting it onto a Google Doc “without formatting” first. Then, copy it into your DNS settings to avoid potential formatting issues.

How To Use MailGenius’s SPF Record Checker

Here are steps you can use to try MailGenius’s SPF record checker.

Enter Your Domain:

  • Simple Entry: Begin by inputting your domain name in the provided field. Our tool is designed to accept domains in a straightforward manner, ensuring a hassle-free start to your SPF checking process.

Run the Check:

  • One-Click Analysis: With a simple click on the “Check SPF Record” button, initiate a comprehensive analysis of your SPF record. Our tool immediately gets to work, scanning your domain’s DNS records for the SPF entry.

Review the Results:

  • Intuitive Results Display: The results are presented in an easy-to-understand format, allowing you to quickly grasp your SPF record’s status and any potential issues that may exist.
  • In-depth Understanding: Browse through the results to gain a deeper understanding of your SPF record configuration. Each section of the result provides insights into different aspects of your SPF setup, helping you comprehend the effectiveness of your current email authentication protocol setup.

Download the Report:

  • Detailed Report Generation: Opt to download the detailed report which encapsulates all the analysis performed on your SPF record. This report is structured to provide a thorough review, making it a valuable resource for your email deliverability optimization efforts.
  • Actionable Insights: The report not only highlights the issues but also provides actionable recommendations, aiding you in formulating an effective action plan to rectify the identified problems.

Make Necessary Adjustments:

  • Guided Adjustments: Utilize the suggestions provided to correct any issues and optimize your SPF record check. Our tool’s recommendations are designed to guide you through the necessary adjustments, ensuring a streamlined process to enhance your email deliverability.

Retest as Needed:

  • Continuous Improvement: After making the necessary adjustments, re-run the SPF Checker to ensure all issues are resolved and your SPF record is optimized. Our tool facilitates continuous improvement, allowing you to regularly check and maintain a robust SPF setup, thereby contributing to improved email deliverability.

MailGenius Tips and Tricks

  • Update your SPF record every time you add or remove a tool that sends emails from your domain.
  • Remove any tools or applications that you are no longer using from your SPF record.
  • You can only have ONE valid SPF record. Having TWO records will cause SPF to FAIL.
  • Delete any TXT records that aren’t in use such as Google TXT verification records. We suggest using CNAME’s for validation instead.
  • If you’re stuck between using -all and ~all at the end of your SPF record, we suggest picking ~all.
  • When you forward an email, SPF will break. This occurs because the ‘forwarder’ becomes the new ‘sender’ of the message and may Fail SPF.

Additional Resources

  1. Explaining SPF – Postmark
  2. What is SPF & DKIM? – Woodpecker
  3. How to Explain SPF in Plain English – Return Path
  4. What SPF records should you publish – Word to the Wise
  5. Get Your Questions Answered by Real Email Experts – LearnEmail.com

A few of our Testimonials

"I'd recommend MailGenius to everyone. Amazingly knowledgeable about email deliverability. I got a sneak peak at their new tool, and it's absolutely fantastic."
Perrin Carrell
Perrin Carrell
Founder at ranq.io
"We were really struggling with our email deliverability (Gmail & Outlook) and didn’t know where to turn. Luckily, we found MailGenius! They created a plan for us and provided us with the steps needed to ensure our emails were hitting inboxes. We still meet regularly and they are always incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. We would recommend MailGenius to anyone having difficulty with email deliverability."
"My experience with MailGenius was amazing - beyond 5 stars. The service is great and I have seen returns immediately. Within one consulting session, we went over so much that I made my money back tenfold."
Josh Michaels
Director Of Marketing at True Blue Life insurance
"MailGenius was fantastic in helping our company resolve many issues we encountered with email deliverability. They did a deep dive into our account running many tests and helped implement the most up to date best practices to ensure our emails could now be delivered to our customers. They work with a fantastic array of tools to help get the job done and assisted in setting up automation for our SPF records, highly recommended!"
"I'm glad I found MailGenius. They were super helpful and honest about exactly what I need to do and how to go about it, step-by-step. I was able to get clarification and feedback from him on my approach and took a bunch of notes. They also shared other resources and I experienced several "aha!" moments during the call with Jesse - a real genius when it comes to email. Thank you, MailGenius!"
Tim Parkin
President at Parkin Consulting
"Since working with MailGenius we've continued to see stable inboxing, which is great. Thank you again for all of your help and guidance - we would recommend MailGenius to any company experiencing email deliverability issues." EMAIL SPAM CHECKER