Avoid Gmail's more aggressive spam filtering


Google is treating new email senders with suspicion. If your messages have been going into Gmail spam folders, here's a quick fix.

In November, the people in charge of Gmail made a change that treated new email senders with a bit more suspicion than before. Since then we have had more and more customers contact us to ask why their emails are being marked as spam, or even completely rejected, by Gmail. As Google puts it:

Starting November 2022, new senders who send email to personal Gmail accounts must set up either SPF or DKIM. Google performs random checks on new sender messages to personal Gmail accounts to verify they’re authenticated. Messages without at least one of these authentication methods will be rejected or marked as spam.

No-one wants to be treated like a spammer. The good news is that a simple update to your DNS records can solve the problem.

SPF isn't only about the sun

To most people, SPF is all about sunscreen. But to nerds like us it means "sender policy framework". In plain language an SPF record is a piece of text that tells email systems like Gmail which servers your domain sends email from. If you are emailing from me@example.com, an SPF record assures Gmail that it's normal for example.com emails to come from MyHost servers.

It's worth noting here that there's more than one reason why your emails might come from our servers:

  • You have an Email Hosting package with us, or
  • You have a Web Hosting package and you use its email hosting features, and/or
  • We host a website that sends emails on your behalf, for example when customers place an order or fill out your contact form.

In any of these cases, the update to make is the same.

Updating your DNS records

Your DNS records go with your domain (not with your hosting package). All you need to do is enter a new TXT record:

v=spf1 a mx include:_spf.myhost.co.nz ~all

If your domain is registered with MyHost

  1. Login to your account.
  2. Open the Manage DNS Records screen for the appropriate domain (here's how).
  3. Scroll down to Add a new DNS record.
  4. Enter a new record as described in this knowledgebase article.

If your domain is registered somewhere else

You'll need to update your DNS records with your domain provider. Whoever that provider is, you still want to make it a TXT record and use the same value as above.

Or perhaps it's time to transfer your domain to MyHost so you can manage it alongside your hosting, all in one place.

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