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Blog Posts in November 2018

 

Vacation Rental Spam and SPF

How Bookerville Sends Email



Bookerville has no choice but to default to sending out emails with a "From" address of noreply@bookerville.com, because the emails are in fact being sent from the Bookerville email servers. One of the first things spam filters look at is where (what ip address) the email came from, and then they do a reverse DNS lookup to see what domain that ip address belongs to. Of course, for Bookerville it's going to come back as bookerville.com, as it should.

If we place your email address in the "From" address and send it from Bookerville, it has an extremely high chance of getting rejected as spam, because the "From" address must be the domain that the email is sent from.

The Almighty "From" Address



So we instead place "noreply@bookerville.com" as the "From" address, and then place your email address in the "Reply-To" address. For most modern email clients, this will cause replies to be automatically drafted to go to your email address, but sometimes this doesn't happen: we do in fact get some correspondence that clearly is meant for the property manager, and then we have to reply to them and make sure they send it to you.

This also still causes some email systems to flag it as spam because they don't even really like it when the "Reply-To" address is a domain other than the one the email originated from.

Sender Policy Framework (SPF) Records



The real solution is to put your email as the "From" address. But in order to do that, you must grant Bookerville permission to send email on behalf of your domain. This is done with something called Sender Policy Framework (SPF) records. These are simple records that your domain-name provider sets up, and these SPF records are visible to the Internet. Mail servers will look up your SPF records and see that you've granted Bookerville permission to send email on behalf of your domain, and then let your emails through, even though the "From" address isn't the same domain as the one sending the email.

Clear As Mud?



In short: we are asking everyone to please go through the steps to establish SPF records to grant Bookerville permission to send email on behalf of your domain, so that we can reduce rejected email, and also reduce the number of emails we are having to manually re-direct back to you. Everyone wins, including the confused guests!

How Do I Do It?



To setup the proper SPF records to do this, you are going to have to work with your email/website and/or DNS provider, because it's different for all of them. Usually this is the same group, like GoDaddy, Network Solutions, HostGator, Enom, DreamHost, Namecheap, etc. Or you may be using Yahoo, Web.com, WordPress, or other services that combine domain-name, email, and web-hosting all in one package (this is very popular). They will need to work with you to setup your SPF records. Tell them you want to set up SPF records to grant Bookerville permission to send email on behalf of your domain. They should know what to do, but feel free to loop us in wherever we can be helpful.

If you don't have your own domain name, or even if you do but you're not using it for your email address, then it really is time to fix that. It's not at all difficult to set up an email address for your domain name, and you can ask your hosting group for help with that.

If you don't have your own domain, create one. This can be fun, and honestly it will only legitimize your business further and provide you with a more professional image.

Notify Us



Once the proper SPF records have been set up, please contact us so that we can switch your account to start using your own email address as the "From" in all your Bookerville-generated email.

More Material



Here are some other articles which go into some more detail:

Adding SPF records, GoDaddy Help

Sender Policy Framework (SPF) - Wikipedia

Email Spam and SPF Records

Setting up SPF Records With GoDaddy

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