Emails not sent or go to junk - Setting up DMARC or SPF Record

If you have enabled the email spoofing protection features of DKIM and DMARC on your domain, this may cause emails sent using Arbor to appear in parents' junk folders (Often parents using Gmail or Hotmail services). 

If you aren't using DKIM or DMARC, this article also includes detail of the SPF record you can create to flag Arbor as a valid sender.

We recommend checking your DMARC record before going live on Arbor to minimise any impact on your communications after migration.

Check your DMARC Record

If you aren't sure whether you have setup a DMARC record previously, click here to check your DMARC record. Enter your domain and click MXLookup to run the test.

DMARC checker.png

If the DMARC record is found, you do not need to set this up again.

DMARC found.png


If the DMARC record is not found in the test area on the page linked above, you will need to set this this up using the steps below to ensure your emails do not go you junk folders.

DMARC not found.png


Setting up a new DMARC Record

Setting up DMARC

Step 1 - Add a DMARC policy (including setting up DKIM and SPF records)

The process for doing this differs depending on your DNS provider. For example:

Step 2 - Let us know the email domains you are using

Once you have added the DMARC policy, send the following details to the Arbor Support Team at

  • Your Name
  • Your Email
  • The Name and Email of your IT manager/support - this will be the person we contact with your CNAME records.
  • Your Domain(s) e.g

We will then be able to provide you with DNS records (specific to your domains) for you to addTypically for a trust, there will be a domain for each school, so let us know which domains you want emails to be sent as through Arbor. 

Step 3 - Add DNS records

Once you've sent us the email domains that are in use, we will provide you with a set of CNAME records to add to your provider, that specify Arbor is a valid sender for your specific domains. 

To add a new record:

  1. Go to your domain’s DNS records.
  2. Add a record to your DNS settings, selecting CNAME as the record type.
  3. Use the Host and Value fields we've given to you (these will look similar and to create CNAME records with the first value in the Host field, and the second in the Value field. For example, in AWS Route 53, this looks like the example below
  4. Save your record.



Step 4 - Let us know you're ready to go

Once you have added the records we've provided, let us know so we can verify everything is working. After that, you should be able to safely send emails from Arbor via your domains!

Adding an SPF Record

If you aren't using DKIM or DMARC, you'll just need to add an SPF record to your email policy, to state that Arbor is a valid sender. The SPF record is as follows:

ip4: ip4:

Please note that this example does not include other SPF records that you may need to include for other services, such as Microsoft O365 or Google Workspace. For instance, a complete SPF record for O365 may look something like v=spf1 v=spf1 -all


If you find that our SPF record pushes the number of DNS lookups over 10, we'd recommend adding the following flattened record instead, which includes fewer lookups:

v=spf1 ip4: ip4: ip4: ip4: ip4: ip4: ip4: ip4: ip4: ip4: ip4: ip4:

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