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I send emails on behalf of customer1.net from mailer.mycompany.com. We also manage bouncebacks by setting the return-path on the envelope to setting it to bouncemgmt.mycompany.coom which in this case is the same server.

The SPF record for my customer is:

customer1.net   IN	TXT	"v=spf1 a mx a:mailer.mycompany.com mx:bouncemgmt.mycompany.com ip4:2.3.4.5 ?all"

The header when sending a few emails from our application on behalf of our customer is:

Received-SPF: pass (google.com: domain of return-user=yahoo.com@bouncemgmt.mycompany.com designates 2.3.4.5 as permitted sender) client-ip=2.3.4.5;

And even though it said that it passes, it ends up in the outlook junk folder. Our main concern is that the actual SPF record is configured correctly.

We are using the following Website to configure it: openspf.org

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If there is no A-RR for customer1.net (i.e. dig customer1.net doesn't yield an address), you can safely discard the first "a". If "bouncemgmg.mycompamny.com" doesn't have an explicit MX-RR, remove that one, too. Those are not errors, though, it's just redundant information (same with "a:" and "ipv4:" if they point to the same address). As others pointed out, the culprit is probably Outlook's spam filter, not SPF- –  Stefan Förster Oct 1 '09 at 6:49

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Outlook has it's own spam filter that is unrelated to SPF. To my knowledge it is like a black box and you don't get to see why messages end up in there.

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And don't we just hate trying to explain that to the users. :( –  John Gardeniers Oct 2 '09 at 11:40

The SPF record for my customer is:

customer1.net IN TXT

This is irrelevant. Since the envelope sender is (as you say and as the Received: header confirms) bouncemgmt.mycompany.com, the SPF record of customer1.net will never be considered.

Otherwise, to test SPF, you can send email to SPF testing auto-responders like check-auth@verifier.port25.com.

(But I believe EasyEcho is right. If you use Microsoft Outlook, you get what you deserve.)

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Usually SPF failures are bounced during the SMTP transaction, or in some cases, used to add points to a counter that the filter would use to determine whether to bounce, quarantine, etc. If the message is making it through to the mailbox, then SPF is probably working just fine and Outlook is applying its own content filters against the message to file it away as junk.

Based on your records as posted, I doubt SPF is the issue.

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