Resolving an invalid SPF record syntax error

How to resolve an invalid SPF record syntax error with your custom domain

Updated over a week ago

Receiving an error when using HoneyBook's domain tester tool indicates that there is an issue with your integrated email's DKIM or SPF configuration, which can significantly impact email deliverability for your custom domain. If you received an invalid SPF record syntax error, we'll walk through the steps you can take to fix the issue below.

What this error means

What you'll need to fix it

Where you'll fix it

๐Ÿ’ก While your SPF record is defined, there is an error with the syntax which can cause SPF to be read incorrectly.

โœ… Information from your domain provider*

โžก๏ธ Your domain provider's management console*

๐Ÿ“š Tip

*Not sure who your domain provider is?

2. Enter your domain name and click Lookup.

  • Tip: If your email address is [email protected], your domain name should be entered as:

3. Scroll down to the Registrar Information section. Your provider will be listed as the Name.

  • Note: If there is a Reseller Information section, your provider will be listed there, not under Registrar.

How to resolve the error

1. First, log in to the management console for your domain provider.

2. Locate the page where you update DNS TXT records for your domain.

3. Adjust the SPF record to resolve the error(s). Some common causes of this error are:

Multiple SPF records added

Each domain can have only a single SPF entry. If you have multiple SPF entries for a single domain, consolidate the SPF records by adding the SPF values of all others tools into just one record and deleting the others.

  • Example: If your current SPF record is: v=spf1 ~all, and you also need to add Google's SPF, the updated record should be entered as: v=spf1 ~all

SPF record is incorrectly constructed

The record must include:

  • At the start, v=spf1

  • At the end, ?all, -all, or ~all

For example, for Gmail users, the full SPF value should be entered exactly as follows: v=spf1 ~all

While the exact process varies by provider, here are resources to update SPF for some of the most common providers:

๐Ÿ“š Tip

You can verify and validate the SPF record for your domain using this tool.

4. Once you've updated the record, remember to save your changes.

๐Ÿ“ฃ Note

While HoneyBook is able to check this record for you and notify you of the error, updating an SPF record is done outside of HoneyBook and directly in your domain provider's Domain Name System (DNS) settings. HoneyBook is not able to complete this process for you.

If you need further assistance, please contact your domain provider's support team.

Next steps

Verify your changes

Once you've made the appropriate changes in your domain provider's DNS settings, you're all setโ€”nothing needs to be done in HoneyBook.

It can take up to 48 hours for DNS changes to take effect. Afterwards, you can always run the deliverability test again to make sure any errors are fixed.

If you send more than 5,000 emails per day

If you send more than 5,000 emails per day, Google and Yahoo's email spam filter updates (taking effect February 2024) impact you directly. Once you've verified your DKIM and SPF configuration, you will also need to define DMARC.

๐Ÿ“š Tip

You can check your DMARC settings using this tool.

Still have questions? Feel free to send us a message by clicking the Question Mark icon on any HoneyBook page. Our team is always happy to help!

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