How to Create or Modify a SPF Record


Setting up Sender Policy Framework (SPF) for your domain is both simple and necessary to prevent email delivery issues from occurring. Beyond the basic requirement of having a valid SPF record for ALL of your sending domains (and subdomains) implementing SPF is a vital step in achieving DMARC compliance.


SPF Set Up

Essentially, you set up an SPF record to reflect any IP addresses that will be sending email on your domain’s behalf. If your business has an SPF DNS record, it is publicly accessible. When an email is sent claiming to be from your domain, the recipient server checks your SPF record to see if the sender is authorized to send on your behalf. If yes, the email receiver recognizes the message is from you or a trusted third party and will choose to accept it based on your email reputation. If no, the email recipient can choose to examine the message more, quarantine it, or outright reject it. Hence, SPF is a powerful tool in the continuing fight against problematic email fraud (e.g., spoofing, phishing, spam).

To initiate SPF for your domain via your DNS hosting provider, follow these general guidelines:

  • Access your account
  • At Domains drop-down menu, select your domain name (click “Show All” if your domain is not displayed)
  • Under the DNS & Zone Files menu, click “Edit DNS Zone File”
  • Click “+ Add Row” to create a new record
  • Set the type to TXT and enter your SPF record in the right column (substitute your server’s IP address where needed)

v=spf1 a mx -all

  • Click “Save” to incorporate changes

*Note: Instructions to implement SPF might differ for your specific DNS hosting provider.

Be aware that an SPF record is required for each domain that your company sends email from. In doing so, your messages are safeguarded by whichever domain(s) you have authorized to originate outbound correspondence. Moreover, SPF records need to include all the IPs and third-party email providers that you send messages from. Again, covering your bases ensures that your emails and your customers receive the best protection from malicious activity.

SPF Next Steps

If your business has yet to implement SPF, MxToolbox advises you to do so now. In fact, everyone should use SPF, especially companies that utilize any third-party email services to send correspondence. Since many companies now actively check SPF records when processing email, a failure to have an SPF record might mean that your messages, particularly bulk email, will be denied. To assist you with SPF implementation, MxToolbox offers the helpful SPF Record Generator. Designed to help you generate an SPF record or modify your current SPF record, this tool also verifies that the modified record has the correct syntax.

Because SPF is a key component to email security and reducing fraud, setting up an SPF record to ensure the delivery of your outbound messages is essential. Our expert team provides premier SPF insight and optimization not found anywhere else. To help improve your company’s email delivery and be well on your way to DMARC compliance, utilize MxToolbox’s knowledge and experience./p>