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No SPF Record Found: how to fix SPF record issues?

What is an SPF Record? This is a special DNS TXT Record. It lists the IP addresses from which you can send emails on behalf of the domain. How to set up an SPF Record and what happens if there is “No SPF Record Found”?

Why do you need an SPF Record?

After setting up an SPF Record and specifying all your IP-addresses in it, mail providers understand that the received letter was actually sent on behalf of your company’s domain. This prevents the spammer from using your domain for phishing.

About SPF Record syntax

SPF Record is in TXT format. It lists the IP addresses from which you can send emails on behalf of the example.com domain. Other IP addresses will not pass the SPF check.

Also, an SPF Record for one domain can include a link to a Record in another domain. To do this, add the include: modifier to the body of the Record. When reading the sending domain’s SPF Record, a request is made to the domain record specified in the include modifier. 

An example of an SPF TXT Record for the example.com domain with the include modifier:

v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com ~all 

The include: directive includes SPF Record for the domain _spf.google.com, which includes all the Google IP Addresses used for the outgoing mail stream. So, this way Google can add and remove mail servers without you (domain admin) having to change SPF Record whenever Google updates their settings.

How to set up an SPF Record?

First, you need to determine which IP addresses will be sent on behalf of your domain. 

This includes:

  1. Other servers used to send emails on your domain behalf
  2. Third-Party providers used for your various email strategies (Marketing, Transactional, etc)
  3. Your websites use a service that generates automatic emails, for e.g “Contact Us” form

If you do not provide for all options, then communication with subscribers or colleagues may be disrupted.

Next, create an SPF Record according to the protocol syntax, use our free SPF Record generator.

After generating an SPF Record,  register it in the TXT Record of the domain. In fact, you need to add a new TXT Record in your given DNS Provider (GoDaddy, Cloudflare, etc.)

CloudFlare-SPF-Include-Google

After you publish the TXT Record, you can verify the syntax of your SPF Record simply using our free SPF Lookup tool.

What happens if there is “No SPF Record Found”?

An SPF record is a requirement for most email providers. If the record is not found, then the mailing list will most likely end up in the “Spam” folder. The same will happen if the SPF Record exists, but the IP address from which the message is sent is not present in the allowed list.

Example of ‘No SPF Record Found’

No-SPF-Record-Found

Therefore, be sure to configure the correct SPF Record.

What happens if  SPF Record is missing?

So what happens if there is “No SPF Record Found”? If you fail SPF authentication, most ISPs will give you a poor reputation score and route your email to the spam or junk folder — some may even just block the email entirely.

With the help of EasyDMARC, you can observe and analyze your outgoing email stream, check both SPF & DKIM Authentication results, and work towards the implementation of both (SPF & DKIM) Records.

Also, check our article to get a comprehensive understanding of DMARC Reports.

Adding SPF Authentication

There isn’t one ultimate rule for adding the correct SPF Record. It highly relies on your own infrastructure, and what services you use for your various email strategies.

First, implement DMARC and start collecting detailed DMARC reports into your EasyDMARC dashboard. DMARC Reports will help you gain insight into your email infrastructure and with our ‘Email Vendor Identification’ feature, point to the sources that need proper SPF and DKIM authentication.

Google-Include-SPF-Identification

Moreover, you can also check our various articles for the SPF and DKIM implementation steps for various ESPs and Third-Party providers:

Enabling SPF and DKIM in cPanel

SPF and DKIM Setup Guide for Google Workspace (Formerly G Suite)

Microsoft 365 SPF and DKIM Configuration

Salesforce SPF & DKIM Authentication

How to Set Up SPF and DKIM for SendGrid

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