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Asking for help - How to set up SPF records for email marketing domain

 

 

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marc at elnucli

Nov 22, 2010, 4:58 AM

Post #1 of 3 (2758 views)
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Asking for help - How to set up SPF records for email marketing domain

Hi everybody,

First of all, please excuse me for me disturbing you. I'd like to ask for
some help in setting up SPF records for a configuration.

The fact is that we are a small web agency working for small and
medium-sized businesses. One of our services is the installation and setup
of email marketing software. Our customers use opt-in lists, and we are
pretty sure they are sending mail to people who have subscribed to these
lists only, which are not very large (10.000 is the maximum).

In the process of setting things up properly, I've been studying the SPF
record, and its implications.

I'd like to submit you my conclusions and get your comments, for I'm a
newbie and not quite confident on my results.

The situation is the following:

- Our customer's domain is: aerobicyfitness.com
- They send mail from this domain, which is hosted in a machine not
controlled by us
- Actually, there's no SPF record, but there'll be no problem in setting
it
- The e-mail marketing software is hosted in the domain:
aerobicyfitness.espainucli.com
- Mails from this software will have a "from:
newsletter [at] aerobicyfitness" header
- This is domain (espainucli.com) is own by us. This machine's ip4 is
212.36.77.75
- bounces will be processed at bounces [at] aerbicyfitness

With this in mind, my proposal would be to set this 2 SPF records:

- SPF for aerobicyfitness.com: "v=spf1 a mx ip4:212.36.77.75 ~all"
- SPF for espainucli.com: "v=spf1 a mx -all"

My doubts are:

- Is this configuration correct? (we expect that the messages sent from
the email marketing software receive a "pass", as well as any other emails
coming from aerobicyfitness.com)
- Will this setup avoid a suspicion of forged header?
- Should we use ip4 or include mechanism in the SPF record for
aerobicyfitness.com?
- Do we have to use a ptr mechanism? How exactly?
- Is it correct to use a bounce address under the domain of our customer,
or would it be better to use a bounce [at] aerobicyfitness
address?
- Any other comment? How can I improve the usage of SPF record? We are
commited to authentication and honest email marketing, and want to avoid any
possibility of being marked as spammer, and we also hate unsolicited
commercial email...

Any comments from you will be highly appreciated. I can provide any further
detail if you require, I'm honest and transparent about that issue

Yours,
________________________________________________________________________________

Marc Olivé i Valls | marc [at] elnucli | www.elnucli.com

El Nucli és al Facebook
<http://www.facebook.com/pages/Manresa-Spain/El-Nucli/128809810270> | A
vegades fem tweets! <http://twitter.com/elnucli>

El Nucli 9-08, S.L. | Avinguda de les Bases de Manresa 52-58 1er 3a | 08242
• Manresa
tel: 937.013.260 | fax: 937.013.011

(Abans d'imprimir aquest correu penseu en el vostre compromís amb el medi
ambient)



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davidmarcus at alum

Nov 22, 2010, 7:16 AM

Post #2 of 3 (2597 views)
Permalink
Re: Asking for help - How to set up SPF records for email marketing domain [In reply to]

SPF isn't concerned with what the From address is. It is only concerned with the envelope sender address (usually called return-path in the headers) and the HELO name (which will be in a Received header). So, you need to figure out what those are in your case.

David

Hi everybody,

First of all, please excuse me for me disturbing you. I'd like to ask for some help in setting up SPF records for a configuration.

The fact is that we are a small web agency working for small and medium-sized businesses. One of our services is the installation and setup of email marketing software. Our customers use opt-in lists, and we are pretty sure they are sending mail to people who have subscribed to these lists only, which are not very large (10.000 is the maximum).

In the process of setting things up properly, I've been studying the SPF record, and its implications.

I'd like to submit you my conclusions and get your comments, for I'm a newbie and not quite confident on my results.

The situation is the following:
With this in mind, my proposal would be to set this 2 SPF records: My doubts are:
  • Is this configuration correct? (we expect that the messages sent from the email marketing software receive a "pass", as well as any other emails coming from http://aerobicyfitness.com/"]aerobicyfitness.com)
  • Will this setup avoid a suspicion of forged header?
  • Should we use ip4 or include mechanism in the SPF record for http://aerobicyfitness.com/"]aerobicyfitness.com?
  • Do we have to use a ptr mechanism? How exactly?
  • Is it correct to use a bounce address under the domain of our customer, or would it be better to use a bounce [at] aerobicyfitness address?
  • Any other comment? How can I improve the usage of SPF record? We are commited to authentication and honest email marketing, and want to avoid any possibility of being marked as spammer, and we also hate unsolicited commercial email...
Any comments from you will be highly appreciated. I can provide any further detail if you require, I'm honest and transparent about that issue

Yours,
________________________________________________________________________________
Marc Olivé i Valls | marc [at] elnucli | http://www.elnucli.com/"]www.elnucli.com

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Manresa-Spain/El-Nucli/128809810270"] El Nucli és al Facebook | http://twitter.com/elnucli"]A vegades fem tweets!

El Nucli 9-08, S.L. | Avinguda de les Bases de Manresa 52-58 1er 3a | 08242 • Manresa
tel: 937.013.260 | fax: 937.013.011

(Abans d'imprimir aquest correu penseu en el vostre compromís amb el medi ambient)

Sender Policy Framework: http://www.openspf.org"]http://www.openspf.org
Modify Your Subscription: http://www.listbox.com/member/"] http://www.listbox.com/member/
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Sender Policy Framework: http://www.openspf.org"]http://www.openspf.org
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aculver at uwo

Nov 22, 2010, 7:43 AM

Post #3 of 3 (2599 views)
Permalink
Re: Asking for help - How to set up SPF records for email marketing domain [In reply to]

David Marcus wrote:
> SPF isn't concerned with what the From address is. It is only concerned
> with the envelope sender address (usually called return-path in the
> headers) and the HELO name (which will be in a Received header). So, you
> need to figure out what those are in your case.

I assume he's given that to us when he said where bounces will be handled:

>> * bounces will be processed at bounces [at] aerbicyfitness
>> <mailto:bounces [at] aerbicyfitness>

SPF looks at this:

>> * This is domain (espainucli.com <http://espainucli.com/>) is own
>> by us. This machine's ip4 is 212.36.77.75
>> * bounces will be processed at bounces [at] aerbicyfitness
>> <mailto:bounces [at] aerbicyfitness>

Sending IP = 212.36.77.75
SMTP MAIL FROM = bounces [at] aerbicyfitness

>> With this in mind, my proposal would be to set this 2 SPF records:
>>
>> * SPF for aerobicyfitness.com <http://aerobicyfitness.com/>:
>> "v=spf1 a mx ip4:212.36.77.75 ~all"
>> * SPF for espainucli.com <http://espainucli.com/>: "v=spf1 a mx -all"

aerobicyfitness.com IN TXT "v=spf1 ip4:212.36.77.75 ~all"

The a and mx mechanics aren't needed if just the IP covers your sending
mail servers.

What address does this machine use in its HELO command? Add the same MX
record on that domain as well.

>> My doubts are:
>>
>> * Is this configuration correct? (we expect that the messages sent
>> from the email marketing software receive a "pass", as well as
>> any other emails coming from aerobicyfitness.com
>> <http://aerobicyfitness.com/>)

This is correct for mail from 212.36.77.75. Do any other hosts send mail
for aerobicyfitness.com? You'll want to include them as well.

>> * Will this setup avoid a suspicion of forged header?

This is completely up to the receiving servers as to how they
filter/mark mail from your domain. SPF won't give you a free pass
through their filters.

You'll also want to make sure your sending from an IP that resolves to a
name and that name resolves back to the same IP. Similarly for the HELO
address.

>> * Should we use ip4 or include mechanism in the SPF record for
>> aerobicyfitness.com <http://aerobicyfitness.com/>?

Use ip4. The include mechanic is for including another existing SPF
record from another domain into your own.

>> * Do we have to use a ptr mechanism? How exactly?

Avoid ptr if at all possible. It causes many DNS lookups. Nothing you've
described here would require it.

>> * Is it correct to use a bounce address under the domain of our
>> customer, or would it be better to use a
>> bounce [at] aerobicyfitness
>> <mailto:bounce [at] aerobicyfitness> address?

Either is acceptable. The bounce address is what SPF looks at, so if you
used an @aerobicyfitness.espainucli.com address in the SMTP MAIL FROM,
then you would have to create an SPF record for
aerobicyfitness.espainucli.com. It would be the same as above.

Andrew


>> * Any other comment? How can I improve the usage of SPF record? We
>> are commited to authentication and honest email marketing, and
>> want to avoid any possibility of being marked as spammer, and we
>> also hate unsolicited commercial email...
>>
>> Any comments from you will be highly appreciated. I can provide any
>> further detail if you require, I'm honest and transparent about that issue
>>
>> Yours,
>> ________________________________________________________________________________
>>
>> Marc Olivé i Valls | marc [at] elnucli <mailto:marc [at] elnucli> |
>> www.elnucli.com <http://www.elnucli.com/>
>>
>> El Nucli és al Facebook
>> <http://www.facebook.com/pages/Manresa-Spain/El-Nucli/128809810270>| A
>> vegades fem tweets! <http://twitter.com/elnucli>
>>
>> El Nucli 9-08, S.L. | Avinguda de les Bases de Manresa 52-58 1er 3a |
>> 08242 • Manresa
>> tel: 937.013.260 | fax: 937.013.011
>>
>> (Abans d'imprimir aquest correu penseu en el vostre compromís amb el
>> medi ambient)
>>
>> Sender Policy Framework: http://www.openspf.org
>> Modify Your Subscription: http://www.listbox.com/member/
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>> Unsubscribe Now
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