We ramped up our weekly newsletter (be sure to sign up!) and I noticed that our open and click-through rates are quite low. Chances are that many of those emails aren’t making it to the inbox at all. One key item was that we had a SPF record – a DNS text record – that didn’t indicate that our new email service provider was one of our senders. Internet service providers use this record to validate that your domain is authorizing to send email from that that sender.
Since our domain utilizes Google Apps, we had Google set up already. But we needed to add a second domain. Some folks make the mistake of adding an additional record. That’s not how it works, you actually have to have all of the authorized senders in a single SPF record. Here’s how our SPF record is now updated with both Google Apps and Mailchimp.
v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com include:servers.mcsv.net ~all
It’s imperative that all the domains that are sending email on your behalf are listed within your SPF record, or else your email may not be making the inbox. If you don’t know whether or not your email service provider is listed on your SPF record, do an SPF lookup via MxToolbox:
Keep in mind that, after you change your TXT record with the SPF information, it will take a few hours for domain servers to propagate the changes.