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Problems with Mail Server Configuration (SPF, DKIM, and DMARC Policies)

When setting up an email account in Conducttr, you may receive a message saying that "your email server is not properly set up to allow Conducttr to send emails from addresses at [yourdomain.com]".

Some email domains, such as Yahoo.com, strictly forbid 3rd party servers, like ours, from sending email on their behalf (e.g. from @yahoo.com addresses). To our knowledge, Yahoo is so far the only major email provider with such a strict policy. Gmail will start following the same policy starting June 1, 2016. Some corporate email domains do the same. In most other cases, the email service/domain (e.g. hotmail.com, live.com, mail.ru) might not forbid us from sending email on its behalf but also doesn't explicitly allow us to - it has a neutral policy, which is generally not a problem.

In any case, if you are using a custom domain name owned by you or your organization, this is something you can easily address by following the instructions below. The instructions are technical in nature, so if you are not the system administrator, then please contact your system administrator, web host, or email provider for assistance.

The message about improperly configured email servers means that the DNS records for your domain name do not authorize Conducttr's servers to send email on your domain's behalf. More specifically, this typically refers to SPF or DKIM policies that result in "Fail" when validated against "spf.conducttr.com".

Configuring a Valid SPF Record

Your domain may use either an actual "SPF" record or a TXT record - that usually does not make a difference, but it is recommended to use both if possible, with the same values. The SPF policy needs to allow emails to be sent following the SPF policy at "spf.conducttr.com". It is recommended to add a specific policy to say "include:spf.conducttr.com" - this will minimize the chances of outgoing email landing in your recipients' Spam. At a minimum, you should not forbid Conducttr from sending emails. To test for this, use an SPF policy tester like the one here: http://vamsoft.com/support/tools/spf-policy-tester (not affiliated with Conducttr). You can determine an IP address by simply pinging mail-out1.conducttr.net - that is usually sufficient. For a more precise IP, check the email headers from an email sent by Conducttr on behalf of the email address involved. The email address is the character's external address (the one at your domain). You can also check the same email headers to see if they already provide the SPF results.

Make sure your SPF policy does not exceed 10 mechanisms for querying DNS. For details, see http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4408#section-10.1.

Configuring a Valid DKIM Record

We recommend that you create a DKIM record on your domain, which would allow Conducttr to send signed emails on your domain's behalf. To do this, you can create a TXT record on your domain with the name "mandrill._domainkey.yourdomain.com" (replace yourdomain.com with your actual domain) and the following value:

v=DKIM1; k=rsa; p=MIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUAA4GNADCBiQKBgQCrLHiExVd55zd/IQ/J/mRwSRMAocV/hMB3jXwaHH36d9NaVynQFYV8NaWi69c1veUtRzGt7yAioXqLj7Z4TeEUoOLgrKsn8YnckGs9i3B3tVFB+Ch/4mPhXWiNfNdynHWBcPcbJ8kjEQ2U8y78dHZj1YeRXXVvWob2OaKynO8/lQIDAQAB;

Configuring a Valid DMARC Record

If you plan to use a DMARC record on your domain or already do so, please be very careful about all of these settings. Processing of DMARC records (by the receiving email servers) is not always reliable and may result in accidentally bounced messages.

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