Your record does not contain an include referencing our SPF

This message is displayed when your sending domain already has a valid SPF record but it does not include a reference to our SPF.  Please add the following term to your SPF record

somewhere between v=spf1 and the default mechanism ("all" preceded by some modifier) 

This hostname has multiple SPF TXT records

This message is displayed when multiple TXT records beginning with v=spf1 exist on your sending domain.  For example:

$ dig TXT  60  IN  TXT  "v=spf1 ~all"  60  IN  TXT  "v=spf1 ~all"

The SPF specification requires that each distinct hostname have only one TXT record beginning with v=spf1.  The correct SPF record setup for the domain in the above example would be to combine the two SPFs into a single record:

$ dig TXT  60  IN  TXT  "v=spf1 ~all"

You have put your SPF record on @ instead of the subdomain

This message is displayed when attempting to configure a sending domain which is a sub-domain but the SPF TXT record has been placed incorrectly.  If you see this message it means that you did not put the correct value into the "hostname" field when creating the TXT record at your DNS provider -- the field was left empty or on its default value, and so the TXT record is not properly associated with the sending domain hostname you identified on our side. 

For example, if the sending domain you've added to your Outbound SMTP account is then when creating the TXT record at your DNS provider you will need to enter the "hostname" as one of:

  • mail

depending on the requirements of the DNS provider's UI.  

For instance, this is how it would be properly configured if you are using DigitalOcean's DNS:

No SPF TXT record was found on this hostname

This message is displayed when our DNS query did not find any TXT records beginning with v=spf1 exist on your sending domain.  Please ensure that the record has been added via your DNS provider, and adequate time has been given to allow the DNS system to propagate the record change. 

  • If you've just created a brand new record the propagation time should be quick (<5 minutes)
  • If you've updated an existing TXT record to add our include the propagation time may be as high as the TTL defined on the record

Use an external tool like MXToolbox's SPF tool to check that your TXT record has been added and is visible through the DNS system. 

Your record incorrectly uses "a" to reference our SPF record

This message is displayed when your SPF record looks something like this:

$ dig TXT  60  IN  TXT  "v=spf1 ~all"

If you reference in your SPF you will not get the correct set of IPs, and your mail deliverability will be inconsistent.  The solution is to use the include mechanism instead of the a mechanism

$ dig TXT  60  IN  TXT  "v=spf1 ~all"

We do not permit use of the +all or ?all mechanisms

This message is displayed when your SPF record contains +all or ?all.  These mechanisms equate to having no SPF record at all, and so circumvents the entire purpose of SPF (by authorizing the entire internet to send via your domain).  You must use one of the accepted default mechanisms: Fail (-all) or SoftFail (~all). 

Care must be taken when using -all in your SPF

This message is an informational notice, not an error.  Seeing this message alone when running SPF verification will not impede that verification or cause sending from the domain to be blocked. 

This message is displayed when your SPF record contains -all.  It is not an error, and -all is the most desirable default mechanism when securing your mail infrastructure, as it only allows the IPs explicitly declared in your SPF record to send from your domain.  The reason we display this warning is:  if you do legitimate sending from providers whose IPs are not explicitly included in your SPF record that mail will most likely be rejected at it's destination and lost.  Prior to switching your SPF to -all you should ensure that your SPF record includes every provider you legitimately use to send mail.