Configuring Email Authentication to Avoid Email Bounce Backs or Delivery Issues

Beginning February 1st, Google and Yahoo inboxes will be implementing stricter requirements for what type of mail they accept. Sender authentication MUST contain SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records. Please follow the steps below to ensure you have valid SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records.

You may sometimes receive bounce backs from emails that you send through MC Trade, or a member may let you know that the emails you sent from MC Trade are going to their spam or junk mail folder. This is usually due to an easily-resolved configuration issue on your domain. Ensuring that you have valid authentication in place will help the recipients' email server identify your MC Trade emails as legitimate.

SPF Authentication

Update the SPF record on your DNS.

An SPF record is used to tell a receiving mail server that the email being sent out by the MC Trade relay server is authorized to be sent on behalf of the email domain you own.

Your domain should have a valid SPF record that includes the MC Trade email servers as shown below to help prevent bounce backs from the MC Trade communicator.

An example of an SPF record if you use Microsoft Outlook Online as your email provider would be the following TXT record, using "@" as your hostname:

v=spf1 -all

This is strictly an example. Your exact SPF record details will depend on your email provider, and your IT provider can assist in ensuring that the correct information is included. Regardless of your specific details, the following MUST be included in order to validate emails you send through MC Trade:

DKIM Authentication

Add DKIM authentication for your domain for the MC Trade communicator.

DKIM is an additional form of authentication increasingly required by stricter email filtering practices, and we recommend that your email domain be authenticated for emails specifically sent through MC Trade.

This requires some DNS records be added to your domain which our support team can assist with. For frequently asked questions about DKIM and how to add it, please see this article: Custom Domain Authentication for DKIM.

DMARC Authentication

Add DMARC authentication for your domain for the MC Trade communicator.

You must have a DMARC policy such as:

v=DMARC1; p=none

...or stricter. The text above would be added as a basic TXT record. Please consult your IT department to determine the best DMARC configuration for your needs and use the text above as a starting point.

Further Troubleshooting

If you continue to experience bounce backs and spam filtering after you’ve put your SPF, DKIM, and DMARC entries in place:

  1. Your first check should be to see if your SPF record entry is valid. You can test your domain using an online validation tool such as this one:
  2. Bounce notification emails typically include a short message detailing the reason that the receiving server rejected the message. This may include the email address not being valid, or other policies on the receiving server that are causing your messages to be filtered out.

While you can't control these behaviors on your recipients' servers, your recipients can ask their IT or email admins to safelist your organization's emails if they want to receive them. So we encourage you to contact the clients whose domains are bouncing those emails back and see if they can safelist communications from your domain.

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