SPF Records - The Key to Email Marketing Success
By Neil Anuskiewicz
August 24, 2008 — Are you managing email promotional campaigns without an SPF (Sender Policy Framework) record in place? If so, you could be losing thousands of emails to spam and bulk mail filters, diminishing your results and hurting your bottom line. But SPF is an easy, one-time fix that can give your message a potential VIP pass into your customers' inbox.
SPF helps anyone dramatically improve email deliverability. It's a basic Domain Name Service (DNS) record associated with your domain name. Your SPF record tells Internet Service Providers like aol, gmail or a specific company domain name, responsible for delivering your email messages to customers that you're really who you say you are. It's much like credit card authentication prior to purchase. You would not accept a credit card without first running it through your merchant system for approval or decline. So why would you ask your customers to blindly trust all email arriving in their inbox -- especially when identity theft and phishing threats abound.
While it sounds technical, SPF set-up is extremely easy. Plus, it's free - and you only have to create your record once. You can either use a Wizard, like that available at OpenSPF, to walk through each step, or you can create a record manually with your domain name registrar or hosting provider. Your email administrator or web host can also help you. Be sure to provide the sending IP address of your Email Service Provider.
Remember, avoid common mistakes webmasters make when sending emails.
•Use your domain name as the "From" address. For example, if you send email from firstname.lastname@example.org, remember to publish your SPF record from yourcompanyname.com.
•Don't use free providers as the "From" address. If you send email using a free email provider like gmail or yahoo, you cannot set-up an SPF record.
Domain name ownership is inexpensive and provides one of the easiest ways to express your professionalism and improve deliverability.
Free and effective, SPF helps anyone improve their email campaign deliverability and their bottom line.
Your email delivery rates were lower than normal because of the actions of someone else. This problem was caused by factors completely out of your control.