By David Holland

September 14, 2016


0 comments

SPF Records…What Are They and Why Should I Care?!!

Okay, so we’ve been told that we need to have an SPF record and that we should update it to include Infusionsoft within it, but if you’re anything like I was, you’re stumped at the first mention of SPF!

SPF and Other Acronyms

An SPF record or ‘Sender Policy Framework’ record is just a text entry stored in the DNS…..clearer now, right?!

Okay, to fully understand what an SPF record is, we first need to understand what the DNS is, as they go hand in hand.

DNS?!

Think of the DNS (Domain Name System) as a directory that holds all of the information needed to communicate with websites, email servers and much more.

The DNS allows us to visit websites using ‘human’ speak rather than in numbers (‘computer’ speak). So if we want to go to a website, we simply type in the address name e.g. www.exela.co.uk – we don’t have to know the ‘computer’ speak address, also known as the IP address (107.170.172.85).

Okay, so now I’ve added another acronym – IP, which is why getting your head around the subject of SPF records can be so tricky!

IP?!

Each website and email server has an IP address or Internet Protocol address – it’s a series of numbers which is unique. Just like our telephone number, an IP address sends us to the right place.

So let’s use the telephone number analogy; nowadays if we want to phone someone we look up their name in our phone address book and press dial….this is a whole lot easier than having to remember their phone number. Imagine If every time we wanted to visit a website we had to remember and then type in a long string of numbers (the IP). I don’t know about you, but for me I doubt I would be using the web as much as I do. The DNS is the thing which lets us to use website names, which, let’s face it, are much easier to remember.

Okay so now we’ve got a bit of an understanding about DNS and what it is, let’s focus back on the reason we’re here… the SPF record.

So we know that an SPF record is just a text entry in the DNS, but what does it do and why is it important for us Infusionsoft Users?

What Does an SPF Record Do?

An SPF record does two main things:

1: it tells the world who you trust to send emails for you

2: it also tells the world what to do when someone you don’t trust sends an email that

looks like it’s come from you (either accept it or throw it away)

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam

Every time an email is received by a mail server (e.g. gmail, Hotmail, outlook), the mail server will track back and check to see if there is an SPF record. It’s trying to decide whether this is a genuine email or whether it’s spam. If the email ‘From’ details aren’t in the SPF record, then this can indicate that it’s spam.

This is important as one of the tricks cybercriminals use is ‘spoofing’, this involves using legitimate email ‘From’ details to make it look as though the email they are sending has come from someone you trust.

Infusionsoft and SPF Records

Okay so now we know what an SPF record is let’s look at why it’s important.

When we send emails from inside Infusionsoft, either in a campaign or via an email broadcast, Infusionsoft acts as a mail server, sending the emails for us but using our email address.

As Infusionsoft users, it’s vital that we have an SPF record telling the world that we trust Infusionsoft to send emails on our behalf otherwise it may get tagged as spam, meaning all that hard work we put into our email copy will be for nothing!

How Do I Set Up My SPF Record to Include Infusionsoft?

I’m not going to go into full details within this blog but what I will say, is that it is easy to make mistakes if you’re not sure what you are doing.

The best advice I can give you is to ask your website developer or the people who host your website (e.g. GoDaddy) to help you.

And here’s a link to the Infusionsoft help page where you can find more information:

http://help.infusionsoft.com/userguides/campaigns-and-broadcasts/email-deliverability-guide/configure-your-spf-records

Hopefully you now feel a little less in the dark about SPF records and at the very least, recognise that you need to have one.

Happy SPF record creating…..or at least getting someone more technical to do it for you!









About the author

Nice bloke with practical ideas. Former Procter & Gamble, Kraft and IBM sales and marketing executive. Became a business owner 20 years ago. Started multiple businesses including EXELA which is the most successful Keap® & Infusionsoft™ reseller in the EMEA region.

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