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3dcart Emails Failing to Comcast, et al - SPF Help?

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  • 3dcart Emails Failing to Comcast, et al - SPF Help?

    Hi,

    Over the years we've been with 3dcart, there have been times when bunches of our transactional emails to customers (order confirm, order shipping, etc) have failed (mailer daemons) fail. It has always happened such that a number of messages fail around the same time which gets our attention. The majority of the fails are always with a particular ISP - like Comcast (as it is this week), or AOL, etc.

    In the past, we've provided copies of the message source to 3dcart support and they would identify what blacklist our (shared) server ended up on for some reason, they would follow the ISP instructions for getting off the blacklist or whatever, and in a couple of days our mail would start flowing and reaching customers again.

    Over the past few months, Support has grabbed onto the concept of SPF (or lack thereof) as being the be-all end-all reason for our emails failing. I'm wondering what the experience of others has been.

    In fact we do NOT have an SPF configured at our registrar. Admittedly, I've been avoiding it because of our somewhat complicated email situation. Also, I'm not an email server admin and do not have the knowledge to write an SPF from scratch that for sure won't mess up our emailing because:

    1. Our domain is registered at Godaddy
    2. Our email services & MX are at Godaddy
    3. 3dcartstores sends out email on our behalf*
    4. We send email out ourselves
    5. We use gmail to send and receive some of our email
    6. We use a 3rd party email marketing service provider who sends out email on our behalf*
    7. We use a 3rd party help desk (Zendesk) which sends out email on our behalf*
    8. We use a 3rd party shipping messaging system which sends out email on our behalf*
    9. I'm sure I'm missing some other service(s) that send out email on our behalf*

    *means the email is sent FROM these other services as if it was sent from us, with our return email address, etc.

    So, I've read a ton about writing SPF but I figure that one missed comma or asterisk and whole swaths of our email world will come to a halt.

    3dcart support HAS sent a sample SPF for us to use, but, and rightfully so, the only thing it covers is the emails THEY send. Using an SPF written like that would effectively make all the other email we send from our domain look like spam to ISPs.

    Is anyone else dealing with this? Anyone know for sure how to write a fool-proof SPF?

    Help?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!

  • #2
    Try this spf validator
    SPF Query Tool

    You can validate other web sites to see how they have spf setup.

    We use Mandril and Gmail. we don't use the Smartermail included with 3dcart.
    Here is our SPF
    v=spf1 ip4:xxx.xxx.xxx.xx include:_spf.google.com include:spf.mandrillapp.com ?all
    where xxx.xxx.xxx.xx is the ip address of our site

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply elightbox. I know ours will be more complicated than yours but the terms used for Mandrill were helpful.

      I'm really surprised that we didn't get more replies on this. I'm wondering if other folks just don't have the problem, don't know they have the problem, or know they have the problem but had someone who could fix it for them. (or some 4th option I didn't think of???)

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