The SPF Record Puzzle – Why/How/What?

In my previous update, I illustrated how you can use the Infusionsoft interface to set up your DKIM. It is used to ensure that the servers are permitting your emails to be associated to you.
There is one more important element which needs attention. That is the SPF record in your DNS server.

What is SPF??

SPF stands for “Sender Policy Framework” It is an email validation protocol designed to detect and block email spoofing. It does so by providing a mechanism to allow receiving mail exchangers to verify that incoming mail from a domain comes from an IP Address authorized by that domain’s administrators.
This is configured in your websites DNS.

Do you really need SPF if you have setup your DKIM?

Many experts in the field of Email Marketing do not stress on having a properly formatted SPF record, I differ. IT DOES matter to have it correctly set up. With the increasingly laws that are making the email firewall more stringent, its a good practice to ensure your SPF record is set up properly in your DNS server.

How does SPF work?

Similar to the DKIM, the receiving server extracts the domain’s SPF record, and then checks if the source email server IP is approved to send emails for that domain.
The receiving servers verify SPF by checking a specific TXT DNS entry in your domain, which includes a list of approved IP addresses. This is one of the key aspects of SPF.

Why do we need SPF?

SPF records prevent sender address forgery. This is done by protecting the envelope sender address. This allows the domain administrator to specify which mail server are allowed to send mail from their domain.
This anti-spam approach however requires that you have a properly formatted SPF record and the receiving server has the ability to check if the message complies with this record.
An example SPF record could look like

v=spf1 -all

It needs to be a TXT entry and the TTL should normally be 14400 for Infusionsoft.
In the Name column, you should put the domain that the email server to register for.
Once done, you can check the validity of the record by checking it against tools like

Next Step?

Ensure your DKIM is in place and your SPF record is also created and put in your DNS server.

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