Cold email course

  • 1.4 Warming up: set up SPF and DKIM
  • SPF and DKIM are security mechanisms that protect against unauthorized use. They prevent phishers and spammers from sending emails on your behalf.

    To set up SPF on your server, the first thing is to check your current SPF record.

    You can do it with a tool like MxToolbox, Google Apps Toolbox, or Woodpecker for that matter: go to SETTINGS > EMAIL ACCOUNTS > DELIVERABILITY.

    The next step will differ depending on your domain host. But in a nutshell, what you have to do is to paste a properly structured line of text in the right place in the DNS.

    You need to include in the SPF record all applications that are sending on your behalf, and are using their own SMTP. So if you’re using e.g. Mailchimp to send newsletters or HelpScout to manage your support emails, like we do, be sure to include them in your SPF.

    You don’t need to include Woodpecker in your SPF record because Woodpecker uses your own SMTP to send emails.

    OK, let’s talk about DKIM.

    DKIM encrypts and decrypts an additional signature that’s in the header of your message. And just like SPF, it’s a record that has to be put in the right place. To do this, you need a private and public key.

    The private key is unique to your domain and available only to you. It’s the one that encrypts your signature.

    The public key is the one you need to add to your DNS records, so the receiver’s server can retrieve it and decrypt your signature.

    The first step to set up your DKIM record is to generate the public key. To do so, you need to log in to your email provider’s admin console. The next steps will differ depending on your email provider.

    When you’ve generated the public key - which is going to be a txt record - paste it in the right place into your DNS records.

    The last step is to turn on DKIM signing, and this, again, will depend on your email provider.

    You might also want to consider setting up DMARC. It’s not as crucial as the other two records, but it’s an additional safety measure. You can read how to do it in our blog post. It’s linked in the Resources.

  • 2 min

    Check how to set up two email security mechanisms that ensure your domain remains safe and your emails are delivered to prospects’ inboxes.