Operate allows you to maintain your branding at all times in your communications with your Members. To ensure this, Operate allows emails to appear to have been sent by the email addresses of you and your staff. See here for more details about the different ways emails from around the system are sent.
In order to ensure that emails sent in this way arrive in the recipient's inbox successfully and that your branding is maintained, you should set up an SPF record to verify that Operate is allowed to send outgoing mail on behalf of your email server.
What is an SPF record?
An SPF record is a single line of text that declares which SMTP servers, other than your own, are allowed to send email as if it originated from your domain.
This is accomplished by adding a DNS (Domain Name Servers) text record. (Think of DNS as a publicly accessible record for the internet.) This record enables you to state publicly that Operate is an authorized sender for your email domain.
When an email client receives a message, it usually performs an SPF check to verify that the email came from who it says it did. If there isn't a valid SPF record identifying the IP address which sent the email as a sender, some receivers might consider that email spam or a phishing attempt, and flag it as untrustworthy or not display it to your customers at all.
What will happen if I don't set up an SPF record?
Firstly, it is possible that emails sent from Operate will be identified as spam, and will be sent to the junk folder of the recipient.
Additionally, in some cases the recipient will see an indication that the email has been sent from a third party. Your customers may see something like this:
If an SPF record has been set up, the 'via' statement is not visible.
Setting up an SPF record
Ideally, this is a task you'd get help with or have your domain administrator take care of, if you can.
Setting up an SPF record is different for different systems. Your DNS records are managed alongside your email domain. How you add an SPF record to your DNS configuration depends on how and by who your domain is being hosted.
Note: As an example, here are the instructions provided by GoDaddy.com: Managing DNS for your domain names.
If you have already set up an SPF record for another purpose, you can simply add a reference to Operate to it.
To create or edit an SPF record to reference Operate
Edit your domain's DNS settings to add a TXT record. (These steps will vary depending on your hosting service.)
Operate recommends using the following SPF record:
v=spf1 ip4:184.108.40.206 ip4:220.127.116.11 ?all
Note: If you're curious, you can read more about SPF records at www.openspf.org.