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How to setup MX, SPF, DKIM, DMARC & Forwarding ⏩
How to setup MX, SPF, DKIM, DMARC & Forwarding ⏩

Guide on setting up the DNS records you have to set up for each domain: MX, SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.

Ollie avatar
Written by Ollie
Updated over a week ago

If you're using your own domain for your email, you need to set up all the following records for your email account to function well.

  • MX records: MX records direct emails to you; without them, no emails will arrive.

  • SPF record: SPF record specifies authorized domains to send emails.

  • DKIM record: DKIM adds a signature to emails, making them easier to trace and preventing spoofing.

  • DMARC record: DMARC authenticates emails, letting the world know they were sent from a legitimate source.


Set up MX records

Setting up the MX record is critical - you should refer to your email provider's official guide for the latest information.

  • To set up your MX Record in your Google Workspace, click here

  • To set up your MX Record in Microsoft Office 365, click here

You can check if the MX is set up properly using this tool, or click Test domain setup in your Instantly Email Accounts dashboard.


Set up SPF

  • To set up your SPF record in Google Workspace, click here

  • To set up your SPF record in Microsoft Office 365, click here

You can check if your SPF is set up properly using this tool, or click Test domain setup in your Instantly Email Accounts dashboard.


Set up DKIM

  • To set up your DKIM record in Google Workspace, click here

  • To set up your DKIM record in Microsoft Office 365, click here

You can check if your DKIM is set up properly using this tool, or click Test domain setup in your Instantly dashboard.

Make sure to use your service provider-recommended DKIM Selector:

  • Google/Gsuite - "google"

  • Office 365 - "Microsoft"

  • Other service providers - "default"


Set up DMARC

  • Follow this guide to set up DMARC in Google Workspace

  • Choose to use a third-party DMARC provider from Postmark

You can check if your DMARC is set up properly using this tool or click Test domain setup in your Instantly dashboard.

Note: Please configure DKIM and SPF before configuring DMARC.

DKIM and SPF should be authenticating messages for at least 48 hours before turning on DMARC.

More about the value parts:

​v=DMARC1 tells the Internet that this is the DMARC record.

p= specifies what you want to do with your emails. p=none is what we recommend and it tells the recipient mail servers to do nothing with emails. Once you are comfortable with the report-only policy, you can scale it to the p=quarantine which tells the recipient mail servers to quarantine or move the messages to the spam folder if they fail spam checks. After that, you can change it to p=reject which tells the email servers to reject any email that fails the checks.

rua=mailto:[email protected] is very important, and you will replace the address with your email to receive the reports generated about your domains (on fraudulent emails that are being received across the internet, sent by your domain).

ri=86400 allows you to specify the aggregate report interval in seconds. The minimum and the default value is 86400 seconds which equates to 24 hours. This means every 24 hours you will receive a DMARC Aggregate report.

aspf=s is an optional tag. You can use this tag to specify if you want to set your SPF policy to strict or relaxed. Your SPF policy basically makes sure all emails sent using your domain are authorized to send.

​adkim=s strict or relaxed DKIM policy.

fo=1 is an optional tag. It allows you to tell email service providers that you want email samples if the emails failed. The 1 value generates reports if any of your authentication mechanisms fail. SPF OR DKIM.


How to set up forwarding?

Setting up the forwarding is optional (forwarding the new domains to your main domain). This can be done in the settings of your domain provider.

  • For GoDaddy domain, you may follow this guide

  • For Google domain, you may follow this guide


How to set up DNS records for Godaddy domains?

If Godaddy is your domain provider, here are some specific guides:


FAQ

Q: Do the DNS records impact deliverability? πŸ€”

A: DNS records impact deliverability. Without an MX record, you won't even be able to receive replies. As for the other 3, they do impact your account's performance.

Q: How do I test DNS records?

A: To test your records before connecting accounts, you can use some of the third-party tools, such as Easydmarc.com, MXToolbox for MX records, DMARCian, etc.

Simply type your domain in one of these tools, and it will show you if everything is set up correctly.

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