Why Is This Important?

Spammers stink--you don't want to be one of them! Your email recipients need to be sure that emails claiming to have come from you actually came from you. If you send email from an email address that uses your org's domain name, you need to configure your domain using Sender Policy Framework (SPF). SPF allows your email provider and Bloomerang to send mail on your behalf. Otherwise, your emails will probably get marked as spam and will not be delivered to your constituents.

For background info, read Set Up for Bloomerang Email.

Note: If you use a personal email address for your org email, you can stop here.  A personal email address uses one of the major email providers as its domain name, such as @gmail, @yahoo, @comcast, @aol, @hotmail, and more. SPF authentication is already handled for you by those providers.

Tip: If you have a free Bloomerang account, follow these steps after you've upgraded to send emails from Bloomerang.

Why Me?

We wish we could set this up for you. We really do. We know it’s much harder than most Bloomerang tasks. But these settings ensure the security of your email. If we could change the settings for you, so could Mr. Hacker. Only you can prove who you are.

Tip: Changing your domain's settings is a technical task. Ask your webmaster or domain name provider if you need help.

Terms to Know

  • Email service provider: A company that provides an email service. This could be different from the program you use to check your email. Your email service provider is wherever you go to set up a new email account.
  • Domain name provider: A company that reserves Internet domain names. You buy the rights to use a domain name from it.
  • Domain name: The domain name is the "MyWebsite" part of www.MyWebsite.com.

Step 1: Send an email

Send an email from your usual email tool (not from Bloomerang) to a test site to check that you’re not getting listed as spam. Preferably, use an email account from your organization's domain, not a personal email address.

  1. Go to https://www.mail-tester.com/.
  2. Copy the email address on the screen (see Figure 1).

    Figure 1: Mail-tester.com

  3. Paste the email address from mail-tester.com into the To field, then send the email.
  4. Go back to the mail-tester.com page and click Then Check Your Score.
  5. In the results, look for a section about sender email addresses. If it has a red number like Figure 2, expand the section.

    Figure 2: Check if the sender email address is OK.

  6. Look at the Sender ID section. Copy the suggested SPF record to use in Step 3 (see Figure 3).

    Figure 3: Mail-tester.com suggests an SPF record

Step 2: Who’s my domain name provider?

You need to know who your domain name provider is to edit the SPF record. Of course, you’ll need login info, too. If you already know all this stuff, feel free to move on to Step 3.

  1. Go to https://mxtoolbox.com/DNSLookup.aspx.
  2. Type in your domain name.
  3. Click DNS Lookup.
  4. Your DNS hosting provider is listed on the page. Make a note of it; you’ll use it in Step 3.

    Figure 4: A DNS hosting provider

Step 3: SPF Record

Set up your SPF record with a special include statement to allow Sendgrid, our mass email provider, to send mass email on your behalf and to use the BCC to Bloomerang feature.

The following instructions are a generic outline. Get specific instructions for your domain name provider at Mail-tester.com.

  1. Log into your domain name provider account, which you found in Step 2.
  2. Open the DNS manager.
  3. Open the TXT record, or add one if needed.
  4. Edit the existing SPF record (only create one if there is no SPF record). Add these pieces:
    • include:sendgrid.net
    • Sender ID value from mail-tester.com, if Step 1 showed you needed it
  5. The final SPF record should look like v=spf1 [Sender ID value] include:sendgrid.net ~all

    Figure 5: Example SPF record

    Note: Your SPF record may contain other include: statements. This is OK.

  6. Save the record.
  7. Wait 24 hours before you move to Step 4. These changes need time to spread across the Internet.

Step 4: Test

Before you send your next important email blast, check that your emails will be delivered:

  1. Go to https://www.mail-tester.com. Copy the email address.
  2. Open an email template in Bloomerang. Click Send Test to open the Send Test Email pane.
  3. Paste the email address from Mail-tester.com in one of the fields and click Send.
  4. Go back to https://www.mail-tester.com and click Then Check Your Score.

Also check that BCC to Bloomerang will work:

  1. Go to https://www.mail-tester.com. Copy the email address.
  2. Send an email from your usual email tool (not from Bloomerang) to the email address from Mail-tester.com. Then check the Mail-Tester.com results.
    • Success: In the authentication section, the SPF settings pass.
  3. Forward an email from a constituent using BCC to Bloomerang. See Upload Non-Bloomerang Emails to Constituentsfor more details.
    • Success: The email interaction is added to the constituent’s timeline. 

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