SPF Record

An SPF record helps to authenticate your email message when you send using another provider. If you include jangomail.com in your SPF record, it says JangoMail is authorized to send email on your behalf (this is only for your campaigns and transactional messages that you send through us).

If you own a domain, you will have some control panel type of interface where you can edit your DNS records. A “zone editor” is also used to reference the administrative interface.

The steps below use GoDaddy as the hosting provider. If not using GoDaddy, the exact steps to get your domain’s DNS editor or control panel will no doubt differ, but overall, you have some means of making or editing entries in your DNS settings. A control panel/interface named cPanel is commonly used, so if you’re not sure where to start and you see cPanel, that will be your entry point into editing your DNS settings. From there, you would look for something like a zone editor.

Note: There are a few providers who use their own custom editor interface, so if you can’t figure out where to go, contact Support and we’ll help you with the edits. And not to complicate matters, but there are some providers who don’t allow you to add a TXT record, and if you find that’s the case, you’ll have to contact support at your provider (or put us in touch with your point of contact).

The image below is from a cPanel layout (HostMonster, as an example, uses this).

When everything is finished (including adding an SPF record), the entries should look like this (the basic information shown, not necessarily this exact layout):

Final TXT

For GoDaddy – Logon to your account, go to Visit My Account, go to Domains, expand the section as needed to find your domain, and click the Launch button. Or, click Launch and then click the link for your domain of interest.

GoDaddy_LaunchDomain_FAQs

On the Domain Details page, select the DNS Zone File tab.

Zone file edit

You can click the “Use Classic DNS Manager” link if you want. Otherwise, to add a new record, click on Add Record:

Add record

In the popup window, select TXT record.

Add TXT record

In the popup window that appears next, enter @ for the Host, and type in (no quotation marks) the text as shown below for the value:

v=spf1 a mx include:jangomail.com -all

Adding SPF

Note: If you are sending “regular” email through your domain, include the “a” and “mx” values.

If your control panel shows a button for a “quick add” type of operation for an SPF record and you can’t figure what all of the options are, no problem. Go ahead and create the record, then come back and edit it to make it look like the example above.

Click Save Changes in the red action bar that appears back out on the main page:

Save work

You will see a popup message about the setting taking anywhere from an hour to 48 hours, but the results can usually be seen right away in various online testing tools/websites (e.g., network-tools.com).

What if you already have an SPF record? No problem, just edit the existing TXT record.

Edit SPF

In the existing record, before the ending “-all” part, edit the record and add:

include:jangomail.com

The final result would be:

v=spf1 (whatever was originally before “-all”) include:jangomail.com -all

Using what GoDaddy already provided (they included secureserver.net and a ptr entry), here is the modified record:

Edited SPF

Click Finish, and click Save Changes as shown earlier.

Additional information

1. Some providers use an alternate form of SPF, where the entry for this is called a “type SPF” record. The “type SPF” is an alternate approach (actually, it *was* an alternate approach, but its use is now discontinued – see paragraph 3.1 here), but the most common route is to simply use a TXT record for SPF purposes. If you already have a TXT record for SPF, don’t create a second one. Only one is allowed for your domain. Another reference is to “spf2,” but that is not in use either.

2. Is it ~all or -all (~ and – are the most common implementations)? The recommendation at OpenSPF is to use -all over ~all, ?all, and +all.

You can test your record here. Enter your domain name and click the Get SPF Record button.

You can see what you have (if anything) by going to this site (network-tools.com), select the DNS Records radio button, enter your domain name, then click Go.

You can see an example based on jangodemo here.

Are you sending using our API?
If you are using our API (api.jangomail.com) to send messages – and you have an SPF record that includes jangomail.com – then in the Options parameter of the method you’re using, add this option:

UseSystemMAILFROM=False

For example, if you wanted to use open tracking and click tracking, and your SPF includes jangomail.com, then your Options parameter would be:

UseSystemMAILFROM=False,OpenTrack=True,ClickTrack=True

If you are using the user interface, the UseSystemMAILFROM setting is automatically set to False.

What happens if you don’t use an SPF record?

One example that happens with gmail, when sending using a gmail address as your FROM address, is that gmail is highly likely to put your message into the recipient’s spam folder. See this article at Google about what is shown to a recipient.

Another example is when you send using you @ your_domain_name.com and sending to gmail. Without an SPF record, the recipient is shown a “via” tag, which immediately tells the recipient you weren’t the real sender (and the impact this has on your branding).

Overall, you do not want your recipients to see the “This message may not have been sent by…” warning. Other email inbox providers (hotmail, yahoo, etc.) will show different things, but it is the same impression for your recipient: your message is likely to be sent to the junk/spam folder, and there is an indication someone else sent the message (as in, not you).

What if I have too many lookups?

See here.