Why are my email messages not getting delivered?


Unless you’re an IT professional, you might not understand the ins and outs of email delivery. As your business continues to grow, it’s important to ensure your messages are delivered as planned to the intended inboxes. For companies that rely on email to expand their brand, knowing the intricacies of delivery is beneficial. MxToolbox is happy to shed some light on an often-overlooked aspect of electronic communication deliverability: functioning SPF and DKIM.

Often Overlooked: Importance of SPF and DKIM

For many organizations email delivery DNS records like SPF, DKIM, & DMARC operate behind the scenes, quietly ensuring that email gets delivered. In many cases these records are set by an IT team that does not talk to the marketing or accounting or sales team. At the first evidence of email delivery issues, many will blame delivery issues on email getting marked as spam or some unknown force in the universe. Under the covers however, many hidden email delivery issues are due to issues with SPF & DKIM.

For your email delivery rates to be as high as possible, correctly implementing Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is crucial. The SPF protocol is an email authentication method that gives the email recipient's email server a list of IP Addresses that are approved by the sender. If the email is not coming from one of those IP's in the list, then the recipient may quarantine or reject the email. DKIM is the other email authentication protocol, and the more complex of the two, as it relies on cryptographically verifying a public and private key.

If you accidentally misconfigure your SPF and/or DKIM protocols, your messages will unknowingly be quarantined or outright rejected before ever reaching the inbox. This, of course, is something your business wants to avoid.

Incomplete/erroneous records, new senders missing from the list of approved IP addresses, and recipient mailservers being unable to authenticate your DKIM Signature are just a few of the issues that could derail your email delivery efforts if the SPF/DKIM mechanisms aren’t correctly applied. Identifying and resolving these issues equates to a simplified workload for inboxes to recognize your emails are legitimate and they come from a trusted domain.

Identifying SPF & DKIM Issues

So how do you go about the root of these problems or even knowing that they might exist? The answer, you need to create a DMARC record. With this record you will have access detailed information on SPF & DKIM errors seen by inboxes like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, etc. This data is extremely valuable in the hunt for identifying and resolving SPF & DKIM delivery problems, as the reports come from nearly every email server in the world, giving you a summary of how your email performs. The in addition to the reporting of SPF & DKIM errors, the reports also highlight forwarded email volumes and potential fraudsters, impersonating you domain with phishing campaigns.

Once you've created a DMARC record you will need to be able to read and aggregate the reports to make sense of the SPF & DKIM errors. We offer the below services to help with this process:

Email Delivery Center

You rely on email for business communication, so you need to know when email delivery problems are occurring. Delivery Center gives you the insight into your email program from where your email is coming from to which inboxes are receiving it to alerting you to SPF, DKIM, and other delivery problems.

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Email Delivery Managed Services

MxToolbox is your expert on email deliverability. Our team has over two decades of email experience and is here to help improve your email deliverability. Whether it is needing help setting up DKIM, or help troubleshooting SPF/DKIM delivery errors, or getting your DMARC record to reject 100% our technicians are able to help.

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DMARC is the key to improving Email Deliverability!

Email is the key to your customer communication strategy. But, what is your email reputation?

Setting up and managing your DMARC configuration is the key to getting insight into your email delivery. MxToolbox is the key to understanding DMARC.

MxToolbox Delivery Center gives you:

  • Who is sending phishing email purporting to be from your domain
  • What is the reputation of your domains and delegated IPs
  • Where other senders are and What their reputations are
  • How your SPF, DKIM and DMARC setup is performing
  • What on-going maintenance you need to maintain and improve your email deliverability

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