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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 SiteHost servers.
The text to add is:
v=spf1 a mx include:_spf.sitehost.co.nz ~all
See Email FAQs in our Knowledgebase for a more thorough look at the DNS record you need to create.
Where to update your DNS records
If you manage your domain through the SiteHost Control Panel: Login to your SiteHost account and open DNS Zones from the left-hand menu. For more about updating records in this screen, see DNS Records in our Knowledgebase.
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 SiteHost, 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 SiteHost servers are authentic. This will end your days as a suspected spammer and see you end up in more inboxes, where you belong.