Tips & Tricks - White labeling DNS records for your customers

Many of our customers run large-scale applications on top of Mailgun for their own customers. For example, Vero and Userfox, are email service providers that built their awesome marketing automation apps on top of Mailgun. Their customers probably don't even know they are built on top of Mailgun, and that is fine for us! We want our customers to control the relationship with their own customers, and that means providing lots of ways for them to white label their own solution. Which brings us to today's tip.

White labeling SPF records

SPF stands for Sender Policy Framework. It is a method to prevent sender address spoofing by verifying sender IP addresses. Basically, when a sender adds an SPF text record to their domain (say, example.com), they are authorizing an email service provider, like Mailgun, to send emails from @example.com. Non-authorized IPs will not be permitted to send from @example.com. Without this record in place, receiving ESPs like Gmail and Yahoo are more likely to flag the email as spam.

An SPF for Mailgun record looks like this

"v=spf1 include:mailgun.org ~all"

Notice that the record includes mailgun.org. Some application providers don't want to expose to their own customers that they are using Mailgun via this SPF record. And they don't have to thanks to SPF record chaining.

An example of SPF record chaining

Imagine you've build the world's most awesome CRM system--awesome-crm.com-- and you allow your customers to email their contacts directly through your system. You want them to be able to white label their own emails, so that they use their own domain instead of awesome-crm.com for sending.  Easy. You can just create a custom domain for them in your Mailgun account and provide your own customer an SPF string that includes awesome-crm.com instead of mailgun.org. At the same time, you will set up your own SPF record that points to mailgun.org, it's like a chain.

Assuming your customer owns example.com:

[list type = "check"]

  • TXT record for example.com: "v=spf1 include:awesome-crm.com ~all"
  • TXT record for awesome-crm.com: "v=spf1 include:mailgun.org ~all"

[/list]

The transitive property means that  your customer's SPF record points to Mailgun, even though they think it is only pointing to you.

PROFIT!

Happy emailing,

The Mailgunners

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