Better email performance with SPF

Over the past few weeks we’ve detected an uptick of issues for users sending email to Gmail mailboxes. Increasingly, non SPF backed email accounts are being tagged as spam by Gmail, and ending up in recipients spam folders. As of this we’re advising users to add SPF records to their accounts if they haven’t already done so.

What is SPF for email?

Sender Framework Policy (SPF) is a system to increase trust between mail service providers. An SPF record is a type of DNS record, and you can add it to your hosting account with with one single click in our control panel.

As only the domain name owner has access to a domain’s DNS records, the SPF record helps mail providers identify the authenticity of a sending mail server and eliminate spoofed email and spam. When you use SPF on your domain and email, the chances of your mail ending up in someone’s spam folder is massively reduced.

Is SPF enabled on my domain name?

If you have a hosting account that was created after July 1st 2017, then yes, your email should be SPF protected. We started to auto create this DNS record for users in late June 2017. If you have a hosting account created prior to that, it’s possible you might not have SPF enabled. To be 100% certain, enter your domain name in the following box and we will quickly tell you if you have SPF enabled:

How do I enable SPF on my domain name?

It take a single click and 24 hours to upgrade your domain and email addresses. First of all login to your control panel at:

Once logged in select “Manage Websites”, click on your your domain name and then select “DNS”. You should see a list of tabs that includes “SPF records”. Click the SPF Records tab and you should see the “Add SPF Records” button. If you click this we will automatically add SPF DNS records to your hosting account. It will then take roughly 24 hours to propagate around the web. Check back here after a day or two and enter your domain name in the tester above, you should see all is ok.

If you get stuck, check out our KB article ‘How to add SPF records’.

Please note: if you host your domain’s email with another provider like Google, or use custom MX records you should speak to your email provider regarding SPF.

Do I need to enable DKIM too?

Yes, we strongly recommend enabling DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) in conjunction with SPF to give your sent mail the best chance of success. For details on DKIM, check out our blog post ‘DKIM email signing for Mercury hosted email’ as well as our KB article ‘How to activate DKIM signing’.