Simply click on a chapter below to jump to any section.

Chapter 1

What is SPF?

What is SPF

SPF, short for Sender Policy Framework, is an email authentication method that helps senders combat malicious sender tactics like spoofing, phishing, and spamming. SPF allows senders to define which email servers are allowed to send email from their domain. It should be used with DKIM and a DMARC policy to help protect your email.

Learn More about SPF

SPF is an important part of the Authentication topic. It plays a key role in your ability to establish a strong DMARC policy.

Chapter 2

SPF and Deliverability

Does Implementing SPF Improve My Sender Reputation?

When a domain administrator sets up an SPF policy, they are defining which IP addresses are allowed to send email from their domain. When mailbox providers see the mail has come from a designated IP address, they are more likely to trust the mail and send it to the recipient’s inbox. If you do not use any type of authentication, mailbox providers are less likely to trust the mail being sent from your domain and will likely forward it directly to the recipient’s junk or spam folder. As a legitimate marketing or transactional email sender, it is very important to apply both DKIM and SPF authentication and set up a DMARC policy. This will give you the best chance of hitting the inbox and protection from malicious email tactics.

Why You Should Use SPF

SPF (along with DKIM and a DMARC policy) is an essential email authentication standard that should be used by any businesses or brands that send marketing and transactional email to their stakeholders. Not only does using SPF email authentication improve the likelihood of landing in the recipient’s inbox, it helps protect your brand from malicious email tactics like phishing and spoofing.

spf checklist

Chapter 3

SPF Records: At a Glance

What is an SPF Record?

As part of setting up an SPF policy for your domain, the domain administrator needs to publish the policy that will define which servers are allowed to send emails from that domain. This policy that the domain admin publishes in the DNS is known as the SPF record.

See Example SPF Record

How Do SPF Records Work?

The SPF record published in the DNS is the foundation to a successful SPF policy. The receiving server checks the domain of the return path value located in the email header. The receiving server is looking to see if the sending server IP address has pre-defined permission to send email from that domain as defined in the SPF records.

See More About SPF Records

What Does an SPF Record Do?

A TXT DNS entry provides a list of IPs that are allowed to send email from your domain. These entries are set up by your system administrator in your DNS. If the recipient server verifies the email is from a permissible IP, it will pass SPF authentication.

See More About SPF Records

Looking to Learn More About Setting Up SPF and DKIM in Your DNS? Check Out Our Help Center!

Chapter 4

Email Authentication: SPF Vs. DKIM Vs. DMARC

dkim vs spf vs dmarc

dkim vs spf vs dmarc

What Sets SocketLabs Apart!

We monitor changes in ISP authentication practices and make ongoing adjustments to our protocols so clients always have the latest authentication methods at their disposal. All of this expertise is applied “behind the scenes” so clients just send their email, and then simply watch it hit the inbox.

Authentication is only part of the many steps we take to ensure top deliverability for your emails.
Contact us today or signup for a free account to try it out for yourself. You’ll be sending authenticated email in minutes!

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