Email not getting through to Gmail addresses?

Gmail now requires email senders to be authenticated by an SPF record, or risk being marked as spam. Here’s how to make sure your mail gets through.

After Google introduced a new policy last November, more and more of our customers have had their emails marked as spam, or even completely rejected, by Gmail. Here’s Google’s explanation of what’s happening:

Starting November 2022, new senders who send email to personal Gmail accounts must set up either SPF or DKIM. Google performs random checks on new sender messages to personal Gmail accounts to verify they’re authenticated. Messages without at least one of these authentication methods will be rejected or marked as spam. 

It’s obviously no good when you can’t get in touch with your customers, or when messages go missing. Luckily the solution is fairly straightforward, and you can get the fix in place today.

SPF records

If you start searching for a solution to this problem, there’s a good chance that you’ll find a bunch of information about sunscreen. Such are the dangers of speaking in acronyms. But rather than sun protection factors, we’re talking about sender policy frameworks.

SPFs - sender policy frameworks - are DNS TXT records that specify which servers send email on behalf of your domain. There are two reasons that your emails would come from our servers:

  • We are your email host, and/or

  • We host your website and it sends emails, for example when customers submit new orders or fill out your contact form.

Either way, if you send email from me@example.com, your domain’s SPF record needs to tell Gmail (and every other email service) that it’s legitimate for example.com emails to come from Online Designs servers.

How to setup an SPF record

If your domain is with us, we can make this change for you.

If your domain isn’t registered with us: You’ll need to update your DNS records wherever you manage your domain. It might be time to consider transferring your domain to Online Designs, so you can manage hosting and domains all in the same place.

Once your SPF record is updated the systems that receive your emails, Gmail included, will know that messages coming from our servers are authentic. This will end your days as a suspected spammer and see you end up in more inboxes, where you belong.