Email Deliverability

What is a Reverse DNS Record and Why is it Crucial for Email Deliverability?

Post by
Malik Shamsuddin
What is a Reverse DNS Record and Why is it Crucial for Email Deliverability?

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When sending emails, having proper reverse DNS records configured is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure deliverability and avoid the spam folder. But what exactly is a reverse DNS record and why does it matter so much for your emails?

In this beginner's guide, we’ll break it down step-by-step.

What is a Reverse DNS Record?

A reverse DNS record, sometimes called a reverse DNS lookup, essentially works in the opposite direction of a regular DNS record.

A regular DNS record resolves a domain name like example.com to point to an IP address. A reverse DNS works backwards – it resolves an IP address to a domain name.

For example, if the IP address 1.2.3.4 points to example.com in a reverse DNS record, it allows someone to look up the IP 1.2.3.4 and see that it is associated with example.com.

Why Do Reverse DNS Records Matter for Email?

When an email server receives a message, it will validate the sender’s IP address using a reverse DNS lookup. This is done to verify the origin of the email and check for any spoofing or forgery.

If the IP address does not have a proper reverse DNS record, it is far more likely to be flagged as spam or fake by the receiving server. After all, an IP without a reverse record pointing to a valid domain could have come from anywhere.

Additionally, if the IP and domain pair in the reverse record doesn’t match the IP and domain the email claims to be from, that’s another red flag. It signals potential spoofing and untrustworthy behavior.

By having an accurate reverse DNS setup, you demonstrate credible association between your IP and domain. This results in higher inbox placement rates.

How to Set Up a Reverse DNS Record

The process for creating a reverse DNS record will vary depending on your email host or internet service provider (ISP). Generally, you will need to contact your provider and request them to point your IP address to your domain name in their DNS servers.

Here are the key steps:

  1. Identify the IP address(es) you send email from. You may have one static IP or a pool of IPs.
  2. Determine your email domain, like example.com.
  3. Contact your email host or ISP, providing the IP address(es) and domain, and request they create a reverse DNS record pointing the IP(s) to the domain.
  4. Confirm the record is properly configured using an online reverse DNS checking tool.
  5. Continuously monitor your reverse DNS to ensure the record remains correctly configured.

Properly configuring your reverse DNS setup is one of the most vital steps in email deliverability. Take the time to verify your reverse records are accurate so your emails reliably reach the inbox!

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