Changes to SPF Requirements With Help Scout

Prior to 2024, to send using Help Scout servers from your custom email address, creating an SPF (sender policy framework) record was necessary for email authentication. This is no longer needed; emails sent from Help Scout servers will now pass SPF validation using a variable envelope return path (VERP) address set to our servers.

You should still create the CNAME records for DKIM validation to ensure your emails have the best chance for delivery. Check out Use DKIM to Help With Email Delivery for the details on those records.

If you're not sure what any of this means, you might want to reach out to your IT team or website developers and have them take a look at this article — they will be familiar with these details!

Note: This does not apply to you if you are using the email address directly to send, or if you are using SMTP/OAuth to send from your custom email address. This only applies to Inboxes using a custom address and sending from Help Scout servers. See Outgoing Email Settings for more information on the options.

What This Means For You

You Can Remove the Help Scout SPF Entry

You can safely remove from your SPF record if you added it previously.

For example, if your SPF record is currently set to:

v=spf1 ~all

You can safely remove the Help Scout entry there, which would leave your SPF record as:

v=spf1 ~all

Emails Sent Using Custom Email Addresses From Help Scout Servers Are Not DMARC Aligned

DMARC only requires alignment for one type of authentication, SPF or DKIM. SPF records will authenticate, but they will no longer align for DMARC because we're sending via a Help Scout domain. To achieve DMARC alignment for your domain, you can create the necessary DKIM records (see Use DKIM to Help With Email Delivery for help with those).

You can choose to connect Help Scout to your email provider to send, rather than relying on Help Scout servers, if DMARC alignment for SPF is preferable for your organization.

Check out Outgoing Email Settings: Send via Your Email Provider (Use Custom SMTP) for more information and links to further help.

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