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Setup SPF, DKIM, DMRAC and BIMI for better Email Delivery

email spf test
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How do you know your email is not going to spam?

Or, flagged as an unverified sender like below.

I was setting up OpsNews, and during my email test, I realized the above warning when I sent an email from my Geekflare domain to OpsNews.

That doesn’t look good. Imagine getting flagged your business email like that. It’s a trust issue.

How do you ensure your sending email domain is correctly set up for better email delivery and avoid going to spam?

Check the email authentication method.

First thing first, check your domain on Google Admin Toolbox. Alternatively, you can use this tool to test as well.

I did below, and you can see it’s not good.

No wonder Zoho Mail flagged my email.

How did the test go?

If you got a warning for SPF, DKIM, and DMARC like me, then you got to fix them soon!

What is SPF, DKIM, DMARC, BIMI?

Let’s understand what it does.

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) – is very important, and it MUST be fixed. It is an email authentication method that helps to verify the message is being sent from an authorized server. Setting up SPF helps to prevent spoofing, spam, and improve message deliverability.

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) – it adds a signature that gets verified by the receiving server to ensure the messages are not forged or changed during transit.

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) – it tells the receiving server to checks SPF and DKIM to verify the emails are coming from the authorized servers. You need to define an enforcement policy where you can instruct what action to take when an authentication check fails. You can guess, DMARC is only effective when SPF and DKIM are correctly setups. I would suggest checking this for further reading.

BIMI (Brand indication message identification) – is a new standard to show your logo on every email so recipients can recognize and trust your brand. BIMI is a new initiative to mitigate the risk when a domain is compromised and sent email is impersonated.

How to setup SPF, DKIM, DMARC?

Configuring them is done on the domain level. All of them can be added as a TXT record.

The first thing you need to find out is the value you need to setup. And the value differs from the email hosting provider.

For SPF, you can contact an email provider to find out the SPF records you need to use or refer to this list.

For DKIM, most likely, you need to generate the DKIM selector from the email hosting admin area.

For DMARC, check if your provider support DMARC, define the policy how you want to handle the authentication, and configure them accordingly.

If you are not sure, then alternatively, check with your email support.

How to setup BIMI?

BIMI requires DMARC to set up properly. So, first, you got to ensure that is done, and to add BIMI, you just need to add a TXT record as below.

  • Go to the domain registrar control panel
  • Add a new TXT record with name as default._bimi with below value
v=BIMI1; l=https://yourdomain.com/pathoflogo.svg; a=;
  • Replace the logo path with yours. Remember to use your logo in SVG format.

If you are using Cloudflare then you should have added the entry like below.

Once implemented, you can use this tool to check the BIMI record. This is how Geekflare BIMI looks like.

That looks cool. Isn’t it?

Conclusion

Your email is essential for your business communication. Don’t let it land to spam or someone spoof that. There are SMTP tools you may want to explore to diagnose email security issues.

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