Hostname returned a missing or invalid TXT record
Having a proper Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record increases the chances people will get emails you send. Without one, your email has a greater chance of being marked as Spam. Receiving this warning means you either don’t have a SPF record or it is invalid.
Note: Using TXT records to contain SPF information was designed as a transitional mechanism as some servers and clients did not support the new SPF record type. It is best practice to publish your SPF record via DNS as both a SPF record and and TXT record. When you do this, they MUST match exactly in accordance with RFC 4408 section 3.1.1.
Publishing an SPF record in your “example.com” DNS records tells the world which server IP addresses are authorized to send emails from “@example.com” email addresses. If you host your company email in cloud, your hosting provider should be able to provide you with instructions on how to publish your SPF record.
It get a little more complicated when you have multiple vendors handling your mail. For example, you may have your email hosted with one provider (e.g. Google Apps or Hosted Exchange, etc.) and also send marketing newsletters from another provider (e.g. Awebber, StreamSend, SendGrid, etc.). In this case you will need to merge the information from both providers.
Here’s an example. Cloud providers will typically provide an “include” for you to simply add to your record. In this case, you are telling the world to only accept mail from Google Apps (gmail) or your email marketing company.
v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com include:acmeemailmarketing.com ~all
Note: The ~all at the end is called a soft fail. It means that recipients may accept mail from another server, but it should be viewed with suspicion. If you change it to -all, you are directing the recipient to reject mail from any server other than these. The soft fail approach is safer and recommended.
If you host your own mail servers, you may need to specify the IP addresses of your mail servers in CIDR notation along with other providers. That would look like this:
v=spf1 a ip4:220.127.116.11/28 include:acmeemailmarketing.com ~all
You can use our tool HERE to test the validity of your SPF records.
SPF is the cornerstone of your email delivery strategy.
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