What is an SPF Record?
An SPF record is part of the DNS (Domain Name Server) entries for your domain. Think of DNS as a publicly accessible record for the internet. The SPF record enables you to publicly state that BlueFolder is an authorized sender of email for your domain. It is a single line of text that declares which SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol) servers, other than your own, are allowed to send email as if it originated from your domain.
When an email server receives a message, it usually performs an SPF check to verify that the email came from who it says it did. If there isn't a valid SPF record identifying the IP address, which sent the email as a sender, some receivers might consider that email spam or a phishing attempt, and flag it as untrustworthy or not display it to your customers at all.
Do I Need An SPF Record?
BlueFolder email is sent by our email servers on behalf of your domain. If we are sending email from your email address (domain), we are in essence spoofing the 'from' address for your domain. By adding an SPF record to your DNS, you can set BlueFolder mail servers as a trusted source of email originating from your domain.
You can set up an SPF (Sender Policy Framework) record to verify that BlueFolder can send outgoing email on behalf of your email server. This is optional, but recommended if you’ve set up forwarding to an external email address.
For example, if you receive email from your customers at firstname.lastname@example.org and set up an automatic redirection to forward all email received there to your BlueFolder account, you can authorize BlueFolder to send out notifications as if it originated from your own email address (for example: email@example.com). That way you can preserve your branding throughout the entire process.
Setting up an SPF record
Ideally, this is a task you'd get help with or have your domain administrator take care of for you.
Setting up an SPF record is different for different systems. Your DNS records are managed alongside your email domain. How you add an SPF record to your DNS configuration depends on how and by who your domain is being hosted.
If you have already set up an SPF record for another purpose, you can simply add a reference to BlueFolder to it.
To create or edit an SPF record to reference BlueFolder, edit your domain’s DNS settings to add a TXT record. (These steps will vary depending on your hosting service.) BlueFolder recommends using the following SPF record:
v=spf1 include:app-mail.bluefolder.com ~all
If you already have an existing SPF record, you can add BlueFolder to your existing SPF record:
v=spf1 include:otherdomain.com include:app-mail.bluefolder.com ~all
Note: If you’re curious, you can read more about SPF records at OpenSPF
Please note that the last part of the record on mail originating from servers that have no definition in the record is up to you to decide. Valid options are ~all (Soft Fail), -all (Hard Fail) and ?all (Neutral) - You can set this up as you prefer as it does not impact BlueFolder’s email deliverability as long as the app-mail.bluefolder.com is included. This part of the record specifies how to handle mail from servers that are not defined in the record.
Nowadays almost all email providers check for SPF record’s to determine if mail originated from a designated sender that has been specified for the domain.
If this has been set up correctly mail server’s will determine the BlueFolder email servers as a permitted sender, and you should be able to see this in the source of your emails:
Received-SPF: pass (google.com: domain of firstname.lastname@example.org designates 184.108.40.206 as permitted sender) client-ip=220.127.116.11