Why add these records?

Google (Gmail) and many other mail providers are sniffing incoming mail for SPF, DMARC and DKIM alignment. If any of these records fail, the usual action is that the edge server refuses the email with an error message (sent to the sender’s mail provider). 

An example message may look like this:-

“550, "5.7.26", " Unauthenticated email from //domain-name// is not accepted due to domain's DMARC policy. Please contact the administrator of //domain-name// domain.”

Note: In this case, the error message quotes the DMARC policy but the DMARC record was fine - it was the DKIM record that was incorrectly formatted, so failed. DMARC is actually linked to DKIM. DMARC suggests what to do with mail when the DKIM or SPF records don't pass authentication and the email is not seen to be legitimate.

Normally all 3 records will be written to the DNS zone but there is one exception. DKIM has two parts (a public/ DNS record, and a private key which cannot be seen via a lookup and is normally installed on the server by the hosting server provider - in our case pOS).

The golden rule with all of these public (DNS) records is that they must be written in the DNS zone where the authoritative nameservers are pointed (e.g. AWS, GoDaddy, etc.) and the DKIM private key must be installed server-side on the server that actually sends the mail.

For SPF and DMARC I prefer to use https://dmarcly.com/tools/

You can generate the record, copy and paste it into the DNS zone and (after propagation, set TTL to 600) check it using the same toolbox: https://dmarcly.com/tools/spf-record-checker


NB - A records used for mail are entirely optional and the record will pass without these

Select “fail” for the Policy section.
Click on Generate and you get this:-

Go into the relevant DNS zone and add this record as a TXT record (no host) with a TTL of 600 (to speed up verification) and the record in the “Value” field. Save. Wait 10 mins. 

Check using the DMARCLY checker (toolbox).


This is very similar to the SPF; you usually will only need to complete the first two fields but if you want this record to work across sub-domains, you’ll need to add that in.

The policy must be set to reject; aggregate email must be provided but does not need to exist. I always use dmarc@{domain}; if your client wants to receive DMARC reports (they’re daily!!!), then use a valid email address.

You can leave all the other options blank unless you know what you’re doing.

Click on generate....


This is the exception to the rule: DKIM has two parts.

Public (DNS) record

Private (server-side) key

Important! The DKIM record must be generated by the mail sender.

What does this mean?

If the mail server/provider is GoDaddy and the NS is fully delegated to Siteglide AWS, the private key will be generated/ supplied/ installed by GoDaddy.

NB: If your site is not fully delegated to Siteglide, the public DNS record must be written externally, where the DNS is controlled.

They should then provide a public (DNS) key which will look like this:-

default._domainkey.domain.com TXT "v=DKIM1; k=rsa; p=ZIIBIjANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQEFAAOCAQ8AMIIBCgKCAQEAw8XLZWiCYnb5Q0rpxWmqDoKDtWWs80KHIiHRqqwSI5aLE7jTr5IZYLDikQKstmZakMagv1bDsVuSehvT5SGt/RmcUfrxP+t7RzqFdcuU1cDPps40KBeUViie3ZMiS3N+1SWtScGVuYmDL40sx2m7v4G0kq2pitCG4XfWOKLB9zvpdRqKbT0vzhAAAD3SarTwjgzY2TA/5XQbjXBIenNeCzoDtMgoY0TqwL024cgwcE+NvyaAAnIbdteqkOIkJ2mjyXrh3s+3ujXE7yOEb/HijDFRoeSpkDWgFdoPNlYjsNayVqC1t0lFSo/nSSUgByOp7wk61Bj2srQqNQIDpowN"

Let’s break this up:-

In the DNS zone a new TXT record needs to be created as follows:-

Host: default._domainkey (do not include the domain as this will get added by Route53.
Value: v=DKIM1; k=rsa; p=ZIIBIjANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQEFAAOCAQ8AMIIBCgKCAQEAw8XLZWiCYnb5Q0rpxWmqDoKDtWWs80KHIiHRqqwSI5aLE7jTr5IZYLDikQKstmZakMagv1bDsVuSehvT5SGt/RmcUfrxP+t7RzqFdcuU1cDPps40KBeUViie3ZMiS3N+1SWtScGVuYmDL40sx2m7v4G0kq2pitCG4XfWOKLB9zvpdRqKbT0vzhAAAD3SarTwjgzY2TA/5XQbjXBIenNeCzoDtMgoY0TqwL024cgwcE+NvyaAAnIbdteqkOIkJ2mjyXrh3s+3ujXE7yOEb/HijDFRoeSpkDWgFdoPNlYjsNayVqC1t0lFSo/nSSUgByOp7wk61Bj2srQqNQIDpowN

Note: Depending on the mail server you or your client uses, the host might be s1._domainkey, s2._domainkey or default._domainkey (it just depends on the server). Here we are using default._ in our example.

NB: PlatformOS/Route53 does not accept/allow double quotes so these need to be stripped as they do not form part of the key.

Save the new DNS record with a TTL of 600. Wait a few minutes and then check back using the DMARCLY tool.

If you get 3 successes, you’re good to go and mail will be delivered without issues.