Improve your Email Deliverability – The How-to Guide on SPF and DKIM

Did you know that you can have a great email delivery rate but still have deliverability issues?


The reason is that these two metrics are different. Your email delivery rate is the percentage of your emails that are received by your subscribers but delivery doesn’t guarantee that the email won’t end up in a spam folder.  That’s where email deliverability comes in. Deliverability is about making sure your beautifully crafted email actually lands in the inbox of your recipient.

If you think you may have email deliverability issues, it may be to do with SPF and DKIM. These two acronyms relate to email deliverability. So let’s start by explaining the jargon. 

What is SPF?

The Sender Policy Framework is a security mechanism designed to prevent spammers from sending emails from your domain. 

Creating an SPF record within your domain’s DNS (Domain Name Service) specifies which email servers are permitted to send emails on behalf of your domain.  It does this in the following ways:

  1. An SPF record prevents spammers from sending emails that look like they come from you.
  2. Improving your email deliverability. Some email recipients strictly require an SPF record and will mark emails as spam if they don’t have one, or worse, the email can bounce.

What is DKIM?

DKIM stands for Domain Keys Identified Mail. It is an additional way to prove to recipients that your email is safe by allowing their server to check it’s really you! DKIM is based on the use of keys:

  • A private key – this is unique to you and is used to create an encrypted signature in your email header.
  • A publish key – this is added to your DNS records so that your recipient’s server can use it to decrypt your signature.

What do you need to do – Adding records to your domain 

Because the steps will vary depending on your domain host there is not one set of text to copy and paste. BOMA will generate records for your DNS and take you through the steps to set it up. 

Before you fill out the form, make sure you are familiar with the following terms:

Internet Protocol (IP) address: These are a unique set of numbers assigned to servers, computers and devices on the internet.

Domain Name System (DNS) – Domain names were created to make IP addresses more human-friendly. Computers use IP addresses to identify each other whereas humans use domain names.

Whoever has access to your DNS management account (usually, but not always the organisation that you register your domain with) will need to add records. We can guide you through the steps required or work with your IT team.

Use the following steps to set up your SPF/ DKIM

  1. Send the domain name you want to send emails from to e.g. if you are sending emails from, your domain name is ‘’.
  2. BOMA will generate and send DKIM and standard SPF records for this domain.
  3. BOMA will send technical support steps so you can set up the records on your domain.
  4. When complete, reply to the support ticket to notify BOMA.
  5. BOMA will test and confirm.
  6. BOMA notifies you that the process is complete or sends any changes required.