How to Configure SPF and DKIM for Email Authentication

To authenticate emails, the recipient's server parses the DKIM and SPF records of the sender's domain.

Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) technology is the process of authentication of the sender's domain using a generated digital signature. The method allows the recipient's servers to verify that the message was actually sent from the claimed domain, which improves your email deliverability.

An SPF record defines the list of servers that can send emails on behalf of this domain and process emails that were sent from other servers. By setting up an SPF record, you can reduce the risk of sending spam on behalf of your domain and improve your email deliverability.

In this article, we'll talk about how you can generate records to send emails from SendPulse’s servers to your domain and add it to your domain's DNS settings registrar site.

Generate Your DKIM and SPF Records

Go to the "Email" section > "Service settings" > "Email Authentication" tab. Next to "Domain authentication (SPF and DKIM records)," click Connect.

Enter the domain name, and click Get SPF and DKIM Records.

The domain name must be in the example.com format without the http protocol or the www prefix.

The service will generate the data you’ll need to add your SPF and DKIM DNS records. Copy the name and value of each entry.

If you use multiple sending domains, don't forget to specify the domain you authenticated in the sender address settings.

To pass spam filters, the domain in the "Sending domain” setting must match the sender's address domain.

Add an Entry to the DNS Provider Website

You can check where your domain's DNS settings are located using the MxToolbox tool. Follow the link, and enter your domain. Select "SOA Lookup" or “DNS check” from the drop-down list, and click the button.

If your registrar does not provide default DNS servers, you can activate this service separately, for example, using cPanel.

In our example, we will use cPanel to add an A record to our site's DNS registrar.

Learn more about how to set up TXT records in cPanel’s documentation.

In the domain control panel, select "Zone Editor."

Next to your domain, click Manage.

Click +Add Record.

Adding an SPF Record

To set up an SPF record on the site of your DNS settings provider, you will need to create a TXT record named @ or yourdomain.com with the following value: v=spf1 include:mxsspf.sendpulse.com +a +mx ~all. If you already have an SPF entry, then you need to add the mxsspf.sendpulse.com value to your existing one.

Paste the values ​​in the corresponding fields:

In the "Name" field, paste the @ record name, and your hosting can add the domain name. For example, for cPanel, it will be yourdomain.com.

In the "Type" field, select the "TXT" record type.

In the "Record" field, paste the record value.

If you are sending emails using multiple third-party servers, you need to add the service value to the same entry, and it will look like this: v=spf1 include:mxsspf.sendpulse.com ip4:XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX include: serverdomain.com +a +mx ~all.

Click Save Record.

Once you add the entry, you need to wait for the activation, which may take up to 24 hours, depending on the work of the hosting.

Adding a DKIM Record

To set up a DKIM record on the site of your DNS settings provider, you will need to create a TXT record named sign._domainkey with the following value: v=DKIM1; k=rsa; p=MIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUAA4GNADCBiQKBgQDBOj8hLCE2hCc44Y0i4DSsi8OCBe5dRtC699VpyDmtP9tV+2bJMBNJcX8uoqyGdtMjhNcTXzu4kWSgaLq8LRKwMzb8RxevZcje/3dKDzoPdNDffijRW+uiZupBiV6RvMHIy3/Xk0vEqqULXVZgE29mL77F0Ue1uwIDAQAB.

The article only provides an example value. You can find your own DKIM public key value in your account.

Paste the values ​​in the corresponding fields:

In the "Name" field, paste the sign._domainkey record name, and your hosting can add the domain name. For example, for cPanel, it will be sign._domainkey.yourdomain.com.

In the "Type" field, select the "TXT" record type.

In the "Record" field, paste the record value without quotes.

Click Save Record.

Once you add the entry, you need to wait for the activation, which may take up to 24 hours, depending on the work of the hosting.

Check the Entry Status

You can check the status of your added entry using MxToolbox or Google Admin Toolbox. Follow the link, and paste your full domain name. For MxToolbox, select "SPF Lookup" in the drop-down list. For Google Admin Toolbox, select the "TXT" entry.

You can also check the status of an entry directly in your SendPulse account. Go to the "Email" section > "Service Settings"> "Authentication" tab. Click Check DNS Records.

If you have configured everything correctly and the DNS settings have been updated, you will receive a corresponding message, and the connection status will change from "Awaiting confirmation" to "Connected."

Following the example, the "TXT" record is added to other registrar services.

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