March 5th, 2012, 11:18 AM
I have set up an website for a client on a server which contains a form that when submitted sends out an activation email to the user.
The site is hosted remotely and separate to the DNS/Domain info - and resolves to the hosting space via the A record. The client has a hosted microsoft exchange which the MX points at - and is mentioned in an included SPF record.
We are having issues on the verification emails reaching their intended recipients.The main problem is this: - even with an authenticated email set on the website some ISPs are still rejecting the email (the content is very un-spammy) The main culprit rejecting the mail is Hotmail!!!
My next thought is to add to the SPF record (this is the existing "v=spf1 include: outlook.com ~all") I've looked at the guides online and I'm unsure of the result - if I wanted to add the mailserver of the webhosting in the SPF how and where in the SPF record is it added.
March 5th, 2012, 01:14 PM
SPF is designed to try and prevent people from spoofing email from your domain. You simply put in the SPF record, who/what is valid to send email on your behalf.
If you don't have an SPF record currently, it probably wont fix your issue creating one. Just make sure you are using valid helo (ehlo), from address and return path are real and formatted properly and make sure your reverse lookup on the sending IP is good. You may also want to check your sending IP against some blacklist tests (mxtoolbox has one).
Again, SPF prevents people from spoofing your emails, wont stop you from being held as spam. Also make sure it's formatted right and has ALL the correct info or you will essentially be denying your own emails. You may want to see if you can get a copy of the headers from one of the hotmail accounts you sent to as that may show what hotmail tests the message was failing to be marked as junk.
March 6th, 2012, 12:06 AM
Re: Hotmail spam
All the big Email Service Providers are experimenting with something called DMARC. As CaptPikel has said, your HELO/EHLO should match the domain name used in the MAIL FROM:, and the forward lookup on that domain name should match the IP address used. A few email providers go a step further and check that the reverse lookup on the IP address used matches the HELO/EHLO.
DMARC introduces a new concept of address alignment. Normally, the envelope MAIL FROM: should match the body From:, but for forwarded email this may not be the case. For further info see:
The spec uses both SPF and DKIM, and provides for a feedback mechanism to let you know what the problem is.