Set up DKIM and SPF

This article explains how to properly configure DKIM and SPF for your domain, what will improve your deliverability.

In this section

Why set up DKIM and SPF?
Access DKIM / SPF configuration

Why set up DKIM and SPF?

If you set up DKIM and SPF, we can prove the identity of the sender of your campaigns. These are authentication protocols that allow email recipients to discern whether an email has been sent legitimately or not, favoring deliverability if they are properly configured. Both protocols are the "de facto" standard for email servers and are used by the vast majority of email providers.

The reasons for using these protocols are more than enough:

  1. You will improve the open rate of your campaigns, as the email won't go to the spam folder automatically.
  2. You will protect your recipients from possible virtual scammers who want to use your domain name to carry out phishing.ç

Major mail servers such as Gmail, Outlook, or Yahoo pay special attention to whether the sender's identity has been previously verified when deciding whether to send a message to the inbox or spam folder. If these anti-spam filters are not configured, your shipping could end up in the spam folder.

What is DKIM

DKIM is an email authentication protocol that links a sender server with each sent email. Once configured, the message is cryptographically signed with the domain name so that the sender's identity is verified. This way, it is guaranteed that the message has not been tampered with during its transmission. Gumbamail takes care of the internal details of the process automatically.

What is SPF

SPF is another authentication protocol that allows a domain to designate the servers that can legitimately send emails on its behalf. It basically consists of a DNS record that lists the servers to which that domain allows to send emails on behalf of the domain.

What is DMARC

DMARC is a protocol that unifies the previous two. Before DMARC, email providers could decide for themselves what to do with emails that did not comply with the previous protocols. DMARC allows you to specify a directive on what to do with them (send to the spam folder, reject them, etc.). For the DMARC protocol to work as expected, you just have to properly configure DKIM and SPF.

Access DKIM / SPF configuration

First of all, click on the domain row to access the domain settings. Remember that, prior to the DKIM/SPF setup, your domain ownership should have been verified.

Go to the ANTISPAM tab, where all the information required is displayed and the actions required are explained. You will see a colored status label, indicating if the configuration of each protocol has been already verified or not.

Set up DKIM / SPF

You will have to access the DNS records of your hosting provider, that is, the configuration of the provider where you have purchased your domain. These are the actions required:

  • For DKIM: To add a CNAME record to your hosting provider. The final value must be the one indicated by the extension.
  • For SPF: To add a TXT record to your DNS configuration, with the value provided by the extension.

Once this is done, click on their corresponding VERIFY buttons, so that we can check if the record exists and is correct. In case that the verification fails, in the status field, you can obtain more information about what is wrong. In addition, you can check the list of records found during the verification. Remember that changes can take even more than 48 hours to spread.

  • For DKIM: When adding the new record, be aware that some providers add the domain name automatically, so check if you have to add the part that includes your domain or not.
  • For SPF: If you already have registered a record of this type (v=spf1...), you should not add a new record. You only have to add to this one the "include" part.