Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am getting "softfail error" for the current spf record what should i do?

This is the original mail i got from my domain.

I added the spf record in my dns.

v=spf1 mx mx:smtp.secureserver.net include:smtp.secureserver.net ~all

Unfortunately I entered smtp server name in spf record.

Here I am using my domain only for sending purpose.So, I didn't add any MX records. In the SPF record my domain has to be passed for the span checking. What are the things i need to focus?

Could you please explain? How should i write the SPF record

Delivered-To: nava@gridlex.com
Received: by with SMTP id w13csp108400qcv;
    Fri, 18 May 2012 06:05:02 -0700 (PDT)
Received: by with SMTP id j4mr22611239qad.61.1337346302689;
    Fri, 18 May 2012 06:05:02 -0700 (PDT)
Return-Path: <dr@pharma.com>
Received: from ip-10-111-7-139.ec2.internal (ec2-50-16-79-25.compute-1.amazonaws.com.  [])
    by mx.google.com with ESMTPS id a9si3748068qcu.106.2012.
    (version=TLSv1/SSLv3 cipher=OTHER);
    Fri, 18 May 2012 06:05:02 -0700 (PDT)
    Received-SPF: softfail (google.com: domain of transitioning dr@pharma.com does not designate as permitted sender) client-ip=;
   Authentication-Results: mx.google.com; spf=softfail (google.com: domain of transitioning dr@pharma.com does not designate as permitted sender) smtp.mail=dr@pharma.com
   Received: from ip-10-111-7-139.ec2.internal (localhost [])
by ip-10-111-7-139.ec2.internal (8.14.4/8.14.4/Debian-2ubuntu1) with ESMTP id q4ID4YvM004650
for <nava@gridlex.com>; Fri, 18 May 2012 13:04:34 GMT
   Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
   MIME-Version: 1.0
   Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
   Subject: Hi Nava
   From: dr@pharma.com
   To: nava@gridlex.com
   Date: Fri, 18 May 2012 13:04:34 -0000
   Message-ID: <20120518130434.4647.68243@ip-10-111-7-139.ec2.internal>

   Sample Ignore

Will this work?

  v=spf1 ?include:pharma.com -all      
share|improve this question
Do you run pharma.com? –  ceejayoz May 18 '12 at 14:02
pharmaflare.com –  Navaneethan May 18 '12 at 14:08
Well, v=spf1 ?include:pharma.com -all won't work for that. –  ceejayoz May 18 '12 at 14:08
@ceejayoz sorry, v=spf1 ?include:pharmaflare.com -all only It is recently changed –  Navaneethan May 18 '12 at 14:10
@all sorry for the mis communication.The site we own is "pharmaflare.com" while I am editing the post it was renamed to all unfortunately.I was tried to rename for the header part and i didn't notice.please leave the pharma.com –  Navaneethan May 18 '12 at 14:17

1 Answer 1

up vote 0 down vote accepted

include:pharma.com - means that receiving server should check SPF record for pharma.com first and then return to check.. nothing.

I suggest you add correct MX record and use default SPF: v=spf1 +a +mx ~all

or if you surely don't need mx use this with ip of your server: v=spf1 +a +ip4:IP.AD.DR.ES ~all or v=spf1 +a +a:smtp.yourservername.tld ~all

if you don't need to send e-mail from other servers - replace ~all with -all.

Read a good article on SPF record format.

share|improve this answer
What's with the superfluous plus signs? Also, some servers will hold it against you that your SPF record ends in "~all" (aka, I don't know what I'm doing). –  Chris S May 18 '12 at 14:10
fine. v=spf1 a mx ip4:<my ip> include:pharma.com -all will this be fine? –  Navaneethan May 18 '12 at 14:12
+ can be omitted, but I used to add it. –  DukeLion May 18 '12 at 14:12
why do you need include:pharma.com? this will just add checks from SPF record for pharma.com, which does not exists now. –  DukeLion May 18 '12 at 14:14
@DukeLion yes dude typo mistake "pharmaflare.com" sorry –  Navaneethan May 18 '12 at 14:19

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.