Improve Email Deliverability SPF | EasyDMARC

Improve Email Deliverability SPF

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Exchanging emails is an inevitable part of any modern business. It’s used for marketing, sales, general queries, customer care, internal communications, and more. 

That’s why many business owners know what SPF is and its role in improving email deliverability. While not the primary purpose of this security standard, it’s logical for authenticated messages to have better delivery rates than non-verified emails.

Apart from increasing the email deliverability rate, SPF is also helpful in preventing malicious actors from exploiting your domain name to send fraudulent emails for nefarious purposes. 

SPF, or the Sender Policy Framework, is an email authentication protocol that allows only specific IPs to send emails using a domain name. Any IP address outside the list won’t reach a receiver’s mailbox. 

To create an SPF record, you must first understand how SPF works. With a deeper understanding of this authentication standard, you can improve email deliverability rates, promoting success in your marketing efforts.

By adding an SPF record to your DNS, a recipient server can verify whether the sender’s email address is registered in the SPF record. If so, the email will be reflected in the ‘inbox.’ If not, it’ll be labeled as ‘spam.’ In some cases, a receiver’s mailbox may completely reject such an email under suspicion of it being malicious.

Why Do You Need Sender Policy Framework?

Do you know more than 3.1 billion domain spoofing emails are sent daily? According to Abnormal Intelligence, Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks have increased by 150% yearly, with 89% of large enterprises attacked every week. The firm’s latest findings also report a 48% increase in email attacks over the past six months, 68% of which include phishing links.

These fraudulent activities are only possible due to weak email security. By spoofing your business’s name, hackers can scam victims, destroy your professional reputation, and negatively impact your overall email deliverability rates.

Generating an SPF record is a practical step towards preventing phishing. Once implemented, SPF only allows authorized servers to deliver emails on your domain’s behalf, thus preventing hackers from using your domain name for malicious activities. 

Without SPF, receiving servers don’t trust you as a legitimate sender. Most hackers don’t bother setting up SPF, so doing so is an effective filtering mechanism that improves email deliverability

Adding an SPF record to your DNS reflects your organization’s commitment toward customer protection, email security, and authentication—all factors that positively impact your ‘sender’s reputation.’ SPF ensures that your legitimate messages reach their intended recipients safely and securely. 

If you want to know how to improve the deliverability of emails, understanding the SPF mechanism is vital.

Firstly, you must specify IP addresses and/or third parties allowed to send emails on behalf of your company’s domain. This list of authorized senders is published in your SPF record, allowing email recipient servers to get information about a sender’s legitimacy.

So, when an email is sent purporting to come from your domain or on your company’s behalf, a receiver can retrieve your SPF record and check the sender’s address against your specified list. If something is amiss, it treats the email as spam. This happens when SPF authentication fails. 

If you send cold emails without SPF compliance, it’s highly likely a recipient’s mailbox will block such messages as it doesn’t perceive you as a legitimate sender.

Is there an SPF Alternative?

There’s no alternative that does what the Sender Policy Framework was designed to do. While DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) is a different authentication protocol, it should never be used to replace SPF. 

Rather, DKIM and SPF complement each other, especially with the addition of DMARC or Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance. SPF is a vital first step on the journey to DMARC compliance. Implementing DKIM is another crucial step.

What Does SPF Do For Deliverability?

To improve email deliverability, check your SPF record and make sure it’s correctly configured.

Properly implemented, SPF (along with DKIM and DMARC) allows your mail server to deliver emails that have been verified and authenticated, which means they won’t bounce back or land in the ‘spam’ folder. This tells recipient servers that you’re a trusted sender, increasing your sender reputation and proving your legitimacy.

The biggest benefit is that these protocols prevent bad actors from compromising your account and sending fraudulent emails in your name. 

Together, SPF, DKIM, and DMARC authenticate your emails and prove to ESPs that your approved senders are authorized to send emails on your company’s behalf. Although these email authentication standards work independently, together, their benefits are multiplied as each one addresses a unique part of the email identity chain.

EasyDMARC takes your email-sending sources management to a higher level with the help of our specialized EasySPF tool. You can reach out to us to resolve the “Too many DNS lookups” issue causing “Permerror”. “

Final Thoughts

SPF helps improve email deliverability rates and prevents hackers from compromising your email address or domain to attempt phishing, spoofing, and other cyberattacks. With SPF,  authenticated emails land in the ‘inbox’, while failed ones bounce back or reflect in the ‘spam’ folder.

Adding an SPF record to your DNS strengthens your sender’s reputation, protects your recipients, and improves email deliverability.

Various authors from EasyDMARC teams have contributed to our blog during company's lifetime. This author brings everyone together.


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