Automatic Domain Sender Checks

When you first verify a Sending Domain, you set up an SPF and DKIM DNS record, which are checked by the system as well as sending an email to an address on that domain. At that point, you have proven that you own the domain and it can be verified.

However, if anyone was to modify the SPF or DKIM records at a later date so that they no longer contain the correct data, when you send emails using that Sending Domain, the receiving email provider will fail the SPF and/or DKIM checks and will either reject the message outright or will mark it as SPAM - this is bad for your deliverability and our sending reputation.

SmartSurvey has enabled a new checking service to verify that SPF and DKIM are still correct for every domain over time, this will run during work hours Monday to Friday. If the service finds a domain where these settings are not correct, it will email the Account Owner with 24 hours notice that the domain will be deactivated unless the domain gets reactivated after the DNS settings are corrected.

Reasons for invalid settings

There are a number of reasons why the settings might no longer be valid

  1. Someone has unknowingly deleted a DNS record or all/part of its value
  2. A domain was previously manually verified by us even though the records were never correct
  3. Someone has added another DNS entry that breaks the mechanism e.g. there should only be 1 SPF DNS entry per domain (which can include other entries if necessary) and adding another is permitted by DNS but invalid for SPF.
  4. The entire domain might not exist any more.

Fixing the invalid domain

If you get an email about this, it is important to involve someone with the technical expertise and system access to update the DNS records and then re-verify it using the Sender Domain page under My Account before the domain is deactivated.

You can Google "DKIM checker" or "SPF checker" to find a number of tools to help you diagnose the problem.

If the domain is deactivated, any systems that you have setup to send from this domain will fallback to using but will otherwise continue to work. The domain will remain under My Account but will be set to deactivated.

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