Don’t you just hate it when you sent a bunch of emails to a class or an individual student just to find out that the email when into spam. Why are emails sent from your organisation, to your students be marked as spam you ask? And how can we prevent it from happening in the future? Let’s take a look out how we can prevent emails going into the spam folder for good.
It all starts from the way you have setup your domain (eg www.myorganisation.edu.au) and exactly where you are sending your emails from. If you don’t setup your domain settings correctly or your emails are being sent from another server which is not from your domain, your important emails could end up in your students spam folder.
Watch the video below to get an overview of email authentication
Administrators should set up email authentication to protect their organisation’s email. Authentication helps prevent messages from your organisation from being marked as spam. It also prevents spammers from impersonating your domain or organisation by pretending to send the email from your domain and potentially redirect a student to a url which can cause harm to them and your organisation.
If spammers send forged messages using your organisation’s name or domain, people who get these messages might report them as spam. This means legitimate messages from your organisation might also be marked as spam. Over time, your organisation’s internet reputation can be negatively affected.
SPF is a standard email authentication method. SPF helps protect your domain against spoofing, and helps prevent your outgoing messages from being marked as spam by receiving servers. SPF specifies the mail servers that are allowed to send email for your domain. Receiving mail servers use SPF to verify that incoming messages that appear to come from your domain were sent by servers authorised by you.
Without SPF, messages sent from your organisation or domain are more likely to be marked as spam by receiving mail servers.
To setup SPF records let’s do the following
1. Check if you have SPF records already setup. Go to this website and enter your domain in the search box.
2. If you do not have SPF records, you will need to login to your domain host and add a TXT record. All edu.au domains are registered with domainname.edu.au so you should login here. If your domain is registered elsewhere, you will need to login there to add your SPF records. Some popular domain name registrars are GoDaddy and Crazy Domains. To search information on your domain to find out where it’s registered, search your domain in a WHOIS database.
The other basic details needed for all SPF records are
We recommend you always set up a DKIM key for your domain, following the steps in this article.
|DKIM key bit length
2048—If your domain provider supports 2048-bit keys, select this option. Longer keys are more secure than shorter keys. If you previously used a 1024-bit key, you can switch to a 2048-bit key if your domain provider supports them. Read more about domain keys and TXT record limits.
1024—If your domain host doesn’t support 2048-bit keys, select this option.
The default selector prefix is google. We recommend you use the default.
If your domain already uses a DKIM key with the prefix google, enter a different prefix in this field. Read more about DKIM selectors.
|DNS Host name (TXT record name)—This text is the name for the DKIM TXT record you’ll add to your domain provider’s DNS records. Enter this name in the Host field.
|TXT record value—This text is the DKIM key. You’ll add this to your DKIM TXT record. Enter the key in the TXT Value field.
Login to your domain provider for the next steps
Log into your domain provider and add the DKIM information you got in Step 1.
Keep these tips in mind:
For help with your domain sign-in information, settings, or TXT records, contact your domain provider. For example, if Google Domains is your domain provider, get help here. Google doesn’t provide technical support for third-party domain providers.
Go back to your Admin console for the next step.
If the message header doesn’t include a line about DKIM, messages sent from your domain aren’t signed with DKIM:
Publish the copied CNAME records to your DNS service provider.
On your DNS provider’s website, add CNAME records for DKIM that you want to enable. Make sure that the fields are set to the following values for each:
Record Type: CNAME (Alias)
• Host: Paste the values you copy from DKIM page.
• Points to address: Copy the value from DKIM page.
• TTL: 3600 (or your provider default)
If you see CNAME record doesn’t exist error, it might be due to:
If you wish to disable DKIM, toggle back to disable mode
You define DMARC functionality by entering a DMARC record in your domain’s DNS settings.
After preparing the text of your DMARC record, add or update the DNS TXT record at your domain provider. To update a DNS TXT record, enter the line of text that defines your DMARC policy record in the management console for your domain provider.
Every time you change your DMARC policy and update your record, you must update the DNS TXT record at your domain provider
Check if you already have a DMARC record setup here
Do these steps in the management console for your domain host, not in the Admin console
Important: Some domain hosts automatically add the domain name after _dmarc. After you add the TXT record, you can verify the DMARC TXT record name to make sure it’s formatted correctly.
v=DMARC1; p=none; rua=mailto:dmarc-reports@YOURDOMAIN
The field names might be different for your provider. DNS TXT record field names can vary slightly from provider to provider. The domain used here is an example domain. Replace YOURDOMAIN with your own domain eg rteo.com.au
Some domain hosts automatically add your domain name to the end of the TXT record name, entered in step 4a of Add or update your record. This can cause the DMARC TXT record name to be incorrectly formatted.
For example, if you enter _dmarc.YOURDOMAIN and your domain host automatically adds your domain name, the TXT record name will be incorrectly formatted as _dmarc.YOURDOMAIN.YOURDOMAIN.
If you keep the default settings in aXcelerate for outgoing mail settings, you will be using aXcelerate’s mail servers instead of your own custom mail server which is where the authentication settings for email have been applied.
To ensure your emails sent from aXcelerate send through your email servers, please follow this guide from aXcelerate’s support centre