Set Up Sender Policy Framework (SPF) Records to Authorize Your Emails

Article author
Jayson Verdibello
  • Updated

Overview

A Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record authorizes your emails with a mail server and confirms that you're the one sending e-mail from your domain. It does this by listing a range of IP addresses that are authorized to send on your behalf. A receiving email domain will likely detect anything outside of that range as a spoofed email or SPAM.

Refer to the steps below to verify and edit your domain's SPF records.

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Check Your SPF Record Settings

Usually, your domain's SPF records are set by your IT department or domain/mail administrator. You can also check these records yourself with a tool like MX Toolbox.

Within MX Toolbox, enter your domain name in the SPF Record Lookup bar and click the button next to it. If your email address is tom@jerry.com, the domain name is jerry.com.

Jerry Search

This domain doesn't have an SPF record so the tool displays "No SPF Record found" under Result.

No record

Conversely, if your domain does have an SPF record, it displays it under Result.

Has record

Your SPF record settings are now verified. Follow the steps below to fix the record (if necessary) or to confirm the settings with your IT department or domain/mail administrator.

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Add or Update Your SPF Record

If you followed the steps above and found an SPF record, there's no need to add or update it. If the tool did not find a record, your email's DNS provider provides the criteria to fix it. Popular providers include Google Workspace or Office 365. If you use these providers, you can refer to these links to confirm the settings and add or update your SPF records accordingly. Your domain administrator should be familiar with the process.‚Äč

 

 
Do the Numbers Add Up?

If you're the IT or domain administrator for your organization, verify that you have the correct list of IP addresses; it's easy to switch a few numbers around accidentally. Email servers could continue to mark your emails as SPAM if you misconfigure your SPF record.

 

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Fix Other Possible SPAM Issues

Correct SPF records are only one part of making sure your emails are delivered. You should set up DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) policies to further validate your organization's domain and prevent e-mail bounces.

Read the Avoid SPAM filters article for more information about other potential SPAM concerns and best practices.

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