When you're sending contracts, invoices, and other important messages to your clients via email, it's important to ensure those emails are being delivered and not going into a spam folder. Setting up DKIM and SPF records in your domain's DNS can help!


In this article


What are DKIM and SPF records?

Internet spammers will sometimes send emails through a domain that does not belong to them in order to fool the recipient. DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) are security protocols that help authenticate outgoing emails.

Setting up DKIM and SPF records in your domain helps your email provider recognize emails that you send through Dubsado as legitimate. This in turn will help your clients' email providers verify that emails you sent through Dubsado should be allowed through.

These records can also help protect you against spammers abusing your domain for sending emails. All in all, it's a good thing to have set up if you're using an email with a custom domain!

👋 Here's a tip... DKIM and SPF work to authenticate emails in slightly different ways. We recommend setting up both if you have a custom domain email for best results!


Set up DKIM

In order to set up DKIM, you'll need to access your DNS settings with your domain host. If you already set up a custom CNAME to white label your Dubsado URL, this process will be familiar!

👋 Here's a tip... you only need to set up DKIM if you connected a custom domain email (like hello@yourdomain.com) to Dubsado using SMTP. If you connected your email using Google or Microsoft, you will not see this option in your Dubsado email settings.

⚠️ Heads up! Dubsado cannot provide exact instructions on how to set up a DKIM record with your specific domain host. If you need assistance, we recommend reaching out to your domain host

Step 1: Generate a key in Dubsado

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  1. In Dubsado, go to Settings >> Emails.

  2. Under Email Deliverability, expand DomainKeys Identified Mail.

  3. Select a key size. Check with your domain host to see which size is supported. 2048-bit keys are the most secure.

  4. Click Generate.

⚠️ Heads up! Keep this tab of Dubsado open so that you can access the generated key in the next step.

Step 2: Create a TXT record in your DNS

  1. Log in to your domain host and locate your DNS settings. These settings are usually in the cPanel or an advanced settings area, but you may need to review help articles or contact your host for assistance.

  2. Add a new DNS record.

  3. For the type, select TXT.

  4. In the Name field, paste in the TXT record name from Dubsado.

  5. In the Data or Value field, paste in the TXT record value from Dubsado.

  6. Save your changes.

Step 3: Verify your DKIM record in Dubsado

  1. Below where you copied the TXT record name and value, click Verify.

  2. If you receive an error message, you may need to wait up to 48 hours for your new record to propagate before trying to verify the record again.

👋 Here's a tip... it's best practice to rotate your DKIM keys every 6 months. Click the rotate icon next to the record in Dubsado when you are ready to do this. You will need to update the record in your DNS with the new key information and re-verify after rotating keys.


Set up SPF

In order to set up SPF, you'll need:

⚠️ Heads up! Dubsado cannot provide the SPF record for your specific email host or exact instructions on how to set up a SPF record with your specific domain host. If you need assistance, we recommend reaching out to your domain host.

Step 1: Check your SPF record status in Dubsado

Dubsado will check your SPF record status automatically!

  1. Go to Settings >> Emails.

  2. Under Email Deliverability, expand Sender Policy Framework (SPF).

  3. Review the status.

Step 2: Create or modify your SPF record

If you see the green success message, "You're all set! No verification needed," there is no need to take further action.

If you see the yellow warning message, "We could not find an SPF record on your domain," then reach out to your email host and domain host for assistance with creating a new SPF record.

If you see any red error message, reach out to your email host and domain host for assistance with fixing your existing SPF record. Some error messages provide additional details which you can share with your email host and domain host for better assistance.

Once you have made the necessary updates, click Verify. If the changes have not taken effect yet, you may see a message that says to wait 48 hours before trying to verify your SPF record again.


FAQ

I set these records up and my emails to clients are still going to spam.

Spam filters are changing all the time and it can be tough to keep up. Check out our article on email deliverability for additional tips on keeping your emails out of spam folders.

What's the difference between my email host and my domain host?

When you have a custom domain for your website (like yourdomain.com), that domain is hosted somewhere. It might be with a separate service or the same place you built your website.

Your email host might be the same as your domain host, but it might also be different. For example, your domain might be hosted by Cloudflare, while your email is hosted through Google Workspace.

Your email host will provide the SPF record value that you need to add to the DNS records with your domain host. If you need help, start by reaching out to the support for your domain host.

If I change domain hosts, do I need to update my DKIM and SPF records?

Yes. If you move your domain to a new host, you will need to repeat the setup process.

How can I rotate my DKIM keys?

It's a good security practice to rotate your DKIM keys every 6 months or so. To do this:

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  1. In Dubsado, go to Settings >> Emails.

  2. Under Email Deliverability, expand DomainKeys Identified Mail.

  3. Click the rotate icon on your generated key.

  4. Follow the same process to create a new TXT record in your DNS with the new key that appears.

  5. Verify the key in Dubsado.

  6. Once the new key is verified, delete the TXT record with the old DKIM key in your DNS.

I don't feel comfortable making these changes in my domain. Can you help me?

Dubsado cannot provide support for editing your DNS records. But your domain host may be able to help!

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