Important announcement for those using free email addresses

If you use a free email address like gmail or yahoo or similar for your business, then you could be missing lots of order notifications, or web form notifications, and your customers might be missing their order confirmations, or password reminders 

For example, if your primary contact email address is mybusiness@gmail.com or mybusiness@yahoo.com, or similar, then you need to act fast to solve this problem. Otherwise, alot of email may not get delivered, and the situation will only worsen as more mail providers tighten their settings. 

Your primary email address needs to be something like sales@mybusiness.nz or similar. The primary contact address should preferably be the same domain name that we host for you. It is best if it is a domain name that is either registered with us, or a domain name for which we manage the DNS.

If you use a third party domain registrar, or DNS provider, then you will need to ensure that your SPF records support our domains. 

Why is this happening? 

The free email providers want to reduce the amount of spam on the internet. Most of the spam is from free email addresses. Previously free email providers allowed you to send email from any SMTP server, this could be your ISP, or web hosting servers, or mailchimp servers, or from any hacked server, or from any hacked home PC.

If the free email providers limit their users to only sending email from their own servers, then they can ensure that the sender is authenticated using a username/password before sending an email. It will help reduce spam considerably, so that all mail servers in the world can reject emails from free email providers if that email did not originate from the free email providers designated email servers. 

So no longer can web hosting providers, and bulk mail providers, let you use your free email address to send email. You must now ensure your primary email address is a valid email address on a domain name that you control, and preferably has all the correct technical SPF settings. 

What do i do? 

  • If your domain is registered with us, you only need to ensure you are using your domain email address as your primary email address on your contact us page.
  • If your domain has DNS managed by us, you only need to ensure you are using your domain email address as your primary email address on your contact us page.
  • If your domain has DNS managed elsewhere, then please send this blog to your domain/DNS provider, and ask them to fix your SPF records to support our servers sending email on your behalf. 

Instructions for DNS Providers

You may craft your SPF records however you like, but we include some examples for our 2 primary email servers. 

An example of our SPF records, that support our servers sending email: 

v=spf1 a mx mx:cms-tool.net ip4:54.153.213.135/32 ip4:54.252.244.177/32 ?all

An example of an SPF record for a domain name using Google Web Apps, and allowing our servers to send email on your behalf. 

v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com ip4:54.153.213.135/32 ip4:54.252.244.177/32 ~all

Support Fees Applicable

If you require support to understand this issue further, or technical support to help you make SPF changes at your third party DNS provider, then our standard hourly rates would apply. eg $50 for 30 minutes. 

Other Notes

It's unlikely our mail server IP addresses will change in future, however mail may be rerouted from time to time. We will notifiy all customers should we permanently add a new IP address or relocation existing IP addresses. 

We cannot guarantee delivery of all email, but make a best effort to achieve delivery.

We will manage the SPF records of all domains we manage automatically, via our preconfigured DNS templates. Management of SPF for domains we don't have direct control over, will incur support fees, as the time investment is prohibitive. 

Learn More

Learn more about the DMARC updates here: https://dmarc.org/

Posted: Tuesday 5 April 2016

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