SPF Record Frequently Asked Questions
What is the first thing to check if I am experiencing bouncebacks or my emails are being sent to my recipients' spam folders?
A misconfigured SPF record, or not having one at all, and lack of DKIM/DMARC activation in the GrowthZone database, is the number one cause of the majority of our support requests relating to communications through the GrowthZone database.
The very first thing you should check if you are experiencing any kind of issue sending communications through the GrowthZone database is the SPF record for your domain.
The next thing to check is whether or not DNS has been verified in your database. If verification fails, then you need to work with your IT service provider or our web support team to update the appropriate DNS records for your domain.
My IT service provider added the required SPF record and my email is still failing to reach my recipients. What are the possible reasons why this is happening?
There are a few reasons. Did they add a new record or update the existing SPF record? If they added a new record, then both SPF records will fail. There can only be one SPF record in place in DNS. If there are multiple records then this is a worse situation than having no SPF record configured at all because recipient mail servers are checking the SPF record when filtering your messages and seeing that there is an invalid SPF record so, after running the check, they will deem the message as unacceptable and either filter it to spam or reject it.
To resolve, remove the additional SPF records that are in place in your DNS control panel and combine the necessary rules into the one remaining SPF record.
Another reason could be that there is an additional rule in the SPF record that is producing a "null" lookup. Meaning, something like "include:yourdomain.com" is set in the SPF record, but "yourdomain.com" has no SPF record in place.
To resolve, remove the offending rule. You can check to see if each rule has an SPF record by adding that domain in the resulting field of this lookup and selecting the "SPF Record Lookup" button. If the lookup fails, remove it from your SPF record.
It is also possible that DNS for DKIM/DMARC has not been verified in the GrowthZone database.
My IT service provider added the required SPF and DKIM/DMARC records into DNS for my domain and I am still unable to verify DNS in the GrowthZone database. Why is this happening?
The most common reasons are either DNS has not completely finished propagating the recent DNS updates that were made or the SPF record ends in ~all as opposed to -all. It is a requirement for the SPF record to end in -all to verify DNS in the GrowthZone database. Otherwise, the check will fail.
Emails are failing when I send mail to Gmail.com or Yahoo.com recipients. The error message states that an IP address is not authorized to send mail for my domain. What should I do?
The "include:clientemailspf.growthzoneapp.com" rule is missing from your domain's SPF record. Please see our setup guide to resolve.
Emails are failing when I send mail through the GrowthZone database from my gmail.com, cox.net, sbcglobal.net or yahoo.com account. How do I update the SPF record for my email account's domain?
This is not possible. To update the SPF record for these commercial domains, you would need access to the DNS control panel for these domains and commercial email providers do not allow this kind of access to their customers.
To resolve, subscribe to an email service that allows you to create mailboxes based upon a domain that you own, such as the domain of your existing website, and send mail through GrowthZone using those email addresses. Unfortunately, there is no workaround when sending from commercial domains, so this is an absolute necessity if you wish to have a successful email campaign.
Our IT service provider just updated our SPF record and everything looks to be configured correctly. I just sent a test email and it failed with the same bounceback message. What are we doing wrong?
If your SPF record is compliant, there are no syntax errors, contains all of the necessary records, and the SPF record was changed within the last hour or so, you may need to allow DNS to fully propagate throughout the internet before testing. It can sometimes take up to 48 hours for DNS to propagate to all email servers but typically within a few hours.
To resolve, allow up to 48 hours for DNS to propagate and test again.
How do I activate DKIM/DMARC in GrowthZone?
You or your IT service provider will need to add the appropriate DNS records into the DNS control panel for your domain and verify DNS.
The SPF record for our domain is configured correctly but emails are still failing for our domain. When I check the SPF record lookup tool it displays in red and states that there are "too many lookups". What does this mean and how can I resolve it?
This can be the case when there are multiple rules in the SPF record and either one of the rules has too many lookups, or the combination of all of the rules from different sources amount to too many lookups. The SPF specification requires that there cannot be more than 10 lookups in your record. If there are, the SPF record will fail, and the result will cause communications through your domain to be hindered.
There are a few steps to resolution. One would be to check to see if your domain is still using any of the services that have existing rules implemented into the SPF record. If you do not utilize the service, remove that specific rule then run a lookup on the SPF record to see if the record validates after the change.
Run a check on each of the domains included in the rule, e.g., spf.thedomain.com, and see if it fails on its own. If it does, it should be removed from the SPF record. If all domains are required in the SPF record, then a last resort would be to run a lookup on one or more of the offending domains, gather the IP addresses that are included in the lookup and input them all into the SPF record as ip4:x.x.x.x formatted IP addresses. The "ip4" and "ip6" mechanisms do not count against the limit of 10 since they do not require a DNS Lookup.