How to set up an SPF record

App/system: Email
Learn: How to set up an SPF record so your emails aren’t treated as spam
Skill level: Moderate
Read time: 2 minutes

Finding your emails going to someone’s spam folder and you don’t know why?

Well, over the last couple of years we have found more email providers putting stricter controls on spam filters, including looking for what is called an “SPF record”. If your emails are going to spam then this is the number one likely reason.

What is an SPF record?

SPF records might sound technical but really it is just a public record telling people what services you use for email (e.g. 365, Google, Mailchimp etc). We see so many companies missing this simple record and it causes them hours of headaches.

How to tell if you have an SPF record

The easiest way to see if you have an SPF record is to go to: https://www.whatsmydns.net/

Enter your domain name in the first box, select TXT from the second box and press search:

Once done you will see a list of results for different locations. You should see a record like this:

v=spf1 include:spf.protection.outlook.com include:servers.mcsv.net -all

If you don’t see anything which says “v=spf1” then you likely don’t have an SPF record. Read on to find out how you set one up.

How to setup an SPF record

This quick 10-minute fix needs to be made to your DNS records.

DNS is basically a fancy phone book that lists where to send your emails to and where your website is hosted.

For most people your DNS will be stored wherever you host your website or wherever you renew your domain name. Most of the time the company that hosts or manages your website / domain name should be able to set up the SPF record for you.

An SPF record is simply a bit of text (TXT) attached to your domain which is made up of 3 parts:


1. The first part is:

v=spf1

This tells you that this is an SPF record.


2. The second part is a list of all the different services that you use for email. You need to list all the ones you use. These are a few common ones below:

Email serviceText to include in SPF record
Microsoft 365include:spf.protection.outlook.com
Mailchimpinclude:servers.mcsv.net
Salesforceinclude:_spf.salesforce.com
Google Workspaceinclude:_spf.google.com

Most hosting providers will have information on their website to tell you what text you need to add to your SPF record. If you use more than one service, then you just list them all in the text record.


3. The third part of the spf record is

-all

This tells the system to fail emails sent from other locations.


So, putting these three parts together, the SPF record for Microsoft 365 and Mailchimp would read:

v=spf1 include:spf.protection.outlook.com include:servers.mcsv.net -all

What if I need some help?

If you need some assistance setting up your record then our technicians are available to assist you. Please give us a call at 01732 600 170.

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