Setting Up SPF and DKIM Security So Customers Receive Your Emails

February 6, 2017, Taylor Odgers

In order to protect users, email providers continue to increase security in their email filters, meaning your company’s emails needs extra levels of security (SPF and DKIM) to pass these filters and make it to your customers’ inboxes. By default, Checkfront sends emails from our own domain, bookings.checkfront.com, which has been carefully verified and secured by our team. However, many clients choose to use their own domain when sending email, to further their brand, which means they need the added security.

If you are sending Checkfront email from your own domain, you are required to set up something called SPF and DKIM records. Setting up your SPF and DKIM records ensure the recipients of your emails that it really is coming from you and not an imposter, and makes it easy for recipients to tell if anyone does try to impersonate you. Without the extra levels of security, your emails have a greater chance of getting sent to the spam folder or not reaching the recipient at all.

Secure your emails with SPF and DKIM

Checkfront requires these two levels of security on the emails your company sends out because, without it, email providers (such as your customer’s Gmail account or Yahoo! account) look at the email suspiciously and make the decision based on their individual protocols on whether it’s safe to deliver or not, which can greatly hurt your delivery and open rates.

Beyond not having your emails delivered to your customer’s inbox, it also has a bad PR effect as your company’s email looks untrustworthy.

Email accounts come set up with filters regarding senders, domains, IP addresses, and keywords to look for the emails it receives. Emails from suspicious senders won’t be allowed through the spam filter.

SPF and DKIM are DNS TXT records that verify the origin and contents of the email are approved by you, to prevent email spoofing, phishing, and impersonation.  When a recipient receives your email, their email provider automatically pokes your domain provider for authenticity and authorization.

The SPF record tells the email provider that the email has to originate from a specified server address or it won’t get through the filter. The DKIM key tells the email provider that the email has to have a matching cryptographic signature in order to get through its filter.

You can get your SPF and DKIM records by managing your email add-ons in your Checkfront account. The values can then be copied and put into your DNS records (through your domain provider). This verifies that you own the domain and that you have approved Checkfront to send emails on your behalf.

Manage -> Add-ons -> Email -> Add-on Setup

See Supporting Document

If you’re not super familiar with terms like DNS, SPF, and DKIM, your domain provider will have supporting documents on How To Add TXT Records that will explain where the values need to be entered in the backend. If you have trouble understand the supporting documents, contact your domain provider’s support.

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