Vital Perks Of SendGrid SPF Record and SendGrid DKIM Record

Vital Perks Of SendGrid SPF Record and SendGrid DKIM Record

Dariia Leshchenko
Dec 14, 2021
Reading duration
7 min

The era of technological breakthroughs that we live in has given various businesses a range of opportunities and advantages that usually result in revenue growth and reputation spikes. However, along with the numerous benefits, there are drawbacks, too. Some of those are so powerful that they can ruin one's reputation and demolish the whole enterprise in a matter of seconds.

The marketing sphere may be one of the most sensitive fields to the downsides that a wrongly sent email can trigger. The fact is that so-called phishers can easily impersonate your company and break all the trust of your customer base that you've been working on for months, years or even decades. Yet, there is always a way out to keep in mind. This time, Folderly presents a detailed review on how to work with SendGrid DMARC records and why they matter. Read on to find more on what the fancy abbreviation stands for!

SendGrid DMARC – basic definition

The notion of DMARC stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance. Surely, if you are new to the sphere, the defined abbreviation means little to you. So, when put simply, DMARC is a type of protocol responsible for email authenticity. The given records tell the email provider service that the emails sent from the chosen address are authentic and should enter the Primary inbox instead of the Spam folder.

Once you decide to set SendGrid DMARC up, you will discover that there are two main helpers that the protocol includes – SPF and DKIM. These two deserve your undivided attention if you are willing to ensure the safety and security of your marketing emails.

What is a SendGrid SPF record?

What is SPF in general and how to create SPF record? The abbreviation stands for Sender Policy Framework. The main task of the given record is to ensure that chosen servers have the right to send emails from a specific domain. Due to the data that the protocol carries, Internet service providers can determine if the emails sent from a particular domain are valid or scams.

With SendGrid SPF record in the act, your recipients will be positive that the messages they receive come from you, not from any other unreliable party. At the same time, with such a potent SPF record generator at hand, any brand can be confident that no one is trying to steal their clientele.

How does an SPF record work?

An SPF record looks like a line of text, no more, no less. Yet, once the SMTP SendGrid server gets it, it will know exactly which hosts can send their emails from the domain and which are forbidden or classified as scam. Beware of working on multiple SPF records, since these are doomed to make things worse instead of improving your chances of successful and profitable outreach.

Is SPF SendGrid truly important?

In case you still treat the notion of SendGrid SPF record lightly and doubt whether to invest in the service, you need to realize the following. Skilled phishers detect senders that don't put SPF to use and then use them for their fraudulent schemes. If your domain is protected by a reliable SPF, you will be less susceptible to those attacks. Thus, your email will be twice as secure with SPF SendGrid.

What is SendGrid DKIM?

SendGrid SPF record isn't the only component of the protected emailing process. The notion of DKIM comes as useful when successful email delivery is mentioned. SendGrid DKIM stands for DomainKeys Identified Mail. The complex idea means that it is a type of authentication required to rule out the issue of email spoofing. Some sources explain the matter by entitling DKIM to the role of the domain owner. As such, the system handles DNS records. So, once you enable DKIM, the server in use will give it a private key. Once the domain owner adds a DKIM record check, it's represented as a TXT record. The TXT record carries another public key that most ISPs can decode to prove that the sender is a verified and reliable source.

How does DKIM SendGrid work?

To bring the matter closer to you, the DKIM workflow should be explained in detail. Assuming that you add DKIM to the email sending process, the latter will look the following way:

➡️ With a correct DKIM record provided, the server will entitle the email with a private key.
➡️ Once the message gets to the server, the server will receive the DKIM record, deriving it from the DNS records.
➡️ The next thing that the server does would be using the public key that the DKIM is also packed with. The action is required to verify the email's signature.
➡️ If the server confirms the message's authenticity and ensures that the email hasn't been changed or messed around in the process, the server passes it on to carry on with its destination.
➡️ Should SendGrid DKIM check fail – the server will deem the email as illegitimate and potentially harmful.

How vital is the role of DKIM records?

Surely, the role of the DKIM record is essential enough for companies craving better email deliverability to want to implement it. However, you need to realize that the tool has nothing to do with the message's contents or the way a potential receiver will treat it upon receiving. Instead, the primary role of the record is to help establish the sender identity. So, you get the drill, don't you?

Undeniable SendGrid SPF DKIM perks

Once you know how to set up SendGrid along with all its records, you may be still reluctant to commit to the service. So, you should be aware of the advantages that the process will bring to your email deliverability and email marketing routines. There are two leading benefits that SPF DKIM SendGrid setups will definitely give you. They are the following:

  1. Your emails will be pre-programmed to reach the users' inboxes with SendGrid SPF DKIM.
  2. Once you figure out how to remove the "Via SendGrid" label, all the messages will enter clients' inboxes as though they've been sent from you directly. This is your ultimate chance to boost customers' interaction and engagement with the shared content. To put it simply, that is where open rates come in, powered with SendGrid SPF DKIM.

Now, before we move on with the detailed setups for either SPF or DKIM, you need to know what the "via SendGrid" stands for and how to get rid of it. The simplest explanation would be to state that an email marked by SendGrid means that it is sent from the given service, not on your brand's or company's behalf. To effectively deal with the matter and remove the unwanted tag, all you need to do is to pre-set SPF DKIM SendGrid records, some people call the process – domain authentication.

An authenticated domain grants you the opportunity to manage automated or manual security. If you pick the former option, SendGrid will handle all the records on your behalf. So, little user involvement is necessary, which is a grand idea assuming that you have little experience in the sphere. With automated management, you won't have to worry about any changes done to the account. Should an alteration occur, SendGrid will update the DNS settings along with the DKIM signature automatically.

However, if you turn automated security OFF, you will have to mess with all the settings on your own, and the practice is not always the most challenge-free of all. So now, when you know how to set up SendGrid automated security, it's time to dwell on SendGrid DKIM setup along with the same procedure aimed at successful SPF record setup.

DKIM setup process

Despite DKIM being such a complex and important record, setting it up with SendGrid will take you a few minutes. Here's how the whole process should look like:

  1. Use your credentials to log into your SendGrid account.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Navigate from Setting to Sender Authentication and then to Authenticate Your Domain feature.
  4. After you pick the preferred DNS host, press the Next button.
  5. Provide the domain you are willing to authenticate. Under the Advanced settings spoiler check the 'Use automated security' option, and SendGrid will automate DKIM setup for you. and proceed.
  6. This is the step where SendGrid automatically creates two CNAME DKIM records for you.
  7. Publish given DKIM records in the DNS provider settings.
  8. Email domain authentication for SendGrid is completed.

SPF setup process

There are two ways to work with SPF that SendGrid offers. You can either create a new record or update an existing one.

Those of you who don't have an existing record should publish the following SPF on your domain: v=spf1 -all

In case you have a created SPF, you should add before the terminating mechanism.

Final words

The use of DKIM and SPF records is growing in popularity at the moment. As you can see from the guide, either SPF SendGrid or DKIM records can help your email deliverability improve. Besides, if you choose Folderly for SendGrid, you can expect the results to be as much as triple. Don't waste your time trying to solve complex matters on your own – let the professionals do it!

Dariia Leshchenko
Dariia Leshchenko
Head of Customer Success
Dariia is the Head of Customer Success at Folderly, bringing over 3+ years of successful client management. Her dedicated approach to every customer proves that no issue is impossible to fix. Dariia advocates for the synergy of new-level email analysis technology and a human approach to improving email performance.

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