Why can't I join the auto-warmer group?

In this article:

Why do we need to check the inbox before joining the group?

When an inbox requests to join the auto-warmer group, we will test the inbox to see if the domain's DNS records are configured correctly. We will also check if it can send and receive emails. It ensures that the auto-warmer group will flow smoothly and avoid bounces that can hurt the group member's sender reputation.

How do we check your inbox?

To confirm that the inbox can send emails, we send an auto-warmer request from your inbox to the inbox that we monitor. 
On the other hand, to confirm that an inbox can receive emails, we send an email from the inbox that we monitor to your inbox. 

After a few minutes, the system automatically checks your inbox and our monitor inbox to look for the auto-warmer email requests.

Here's what the auto-warmer email request looks like: 

If we find the auto-warmer email requests, we will then check the SPF and DKIM records of the inbox.
If the SPF and DKIM records pass, we will confirm your inbox and add it to the group.
However, if we can't find the requests in your inbox once we check them, or if the SPF and DKIM fail, the test will fail. We will send an email notification stating the reason for the rejection.

Here are some reasons why an inbox will get rejected and how to solve them:

Error: Inbox can't receive emails

There are several reasons why we can't confirm that the inbox can receive emails.

These are the possible reasons:

  • The inbox has no MX record or it's incorrectly set up.
  • We can't find the auto-warmer email request due to email forwarding or auto-delete filters.
  • The auto-warmer email request that we sent to the inbox bounced 

Reason 1: The inbox has no MX record or it's incorrectly set up

An MX record is used to tell which mail servers accept incoming mail for your domain and where emails sent to your domain should be routed to. Without an MX record, emails won't be delivered to your email address.

To check for the inbox's MX record, search for the domain using this tool.

Here's what it looks like if the domain doesn't have an MX record.

Solution 1: Set up the correct MX record

MX record must be set up on your domain host. However, the records are specific to your email service provider.

For example, if the domain is hosted in GoDaddy but the inbox is Google, the MX record must be set up in GoDaddy. However, the record to use will come from Google.These guides might come in handy in setting up your MX records:

To identify your domain host, check out this article.

If you're unsure how to create MX records or what MX values to use, please contact your email service provider or domain host. 

Reason 2: We can't find the auto-warmer email request forwarding or auto-delete filters

To verify if the inbox can receive emails, we will check the auto-warmer email request that we sent to the inbox. If we can't find it, the test will fail.

Solution 2: Disable email forwarding or auto-delete filters.

If we can't find the auto-warmer email request that we sent to your inbox due to being deleted or moved out of the inbox,  the test will fail. 

So, disable email forwarding or auto-delete filters on your email account. Then try joining the auto-warmer email again.

Reason 3: The auto-warmer email request that we sent to the inbox bounced

If the auto-warmer email that we sent to your inbox bounced, this means that we had problems sending emails to your inbox.

Solution 3: Contact support@quickmail.io to check for the bounce code

To fix this, please contact us so that we can look for the bounce code and see where it's coming from.

Error: Inbox can't send emails

There are several reasons why we can't confirm that the inbox can receive emails.

These are the possible reasons:

  • The inbox is blocked from sending emails by the email provider due to a low sender reputation.
  • We can't send an email from the inbox due to permission issues.

Reason 1: The email that we sent from your inbox to our inbox bounced.

If the email that we sent from your inbox bounced, it's highly like to that further emails from your inbox will bounce. This can hurt the inbox reputation of other members of the group so we automatically reject the inbox from joining the group.

Solution 1: Send the bounce notification related to the auto-warmer email request to support@quickmail.io

Usually, the reason emails bounce is that the sender inbox has DNS issues or the emails are blocked by the email provider. 

The best way to know why an inbox can't send emails is to look for the bounce notification.

To do that, go to the email account and look for emails with the subject line: Request to join the Auto-Warmer group. 

The bounce notification is sent by mailer-daemon@googlemail.com for Google and  postmaster@outlook.com for Outlook.

Here's what a bounce notification looks like in Gmail or Outlook.

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Once you find the bounce notification, send a screenshot to   support@quickmail.io.

Reason 2: We can't send an email from the inbox due to permission issues

 If there's a setting in the inbox that prevents us from having full access to it, we won't be able to send test emails from the inbox. Thus, the auto-warmer test will fail.

Solution 2: Disabled 2-Factor Authentication

If 2-factor authentication is enabled, we will frequently lose access to the inbox. So, it might be worth disabling the 2-factor authentication.

Alternatively, check with your Email Admin or IT guy if they limit app access to the Org.

Reason 3: Temporary Issue with your Email Server

If there's no bounce code related to Auto-Warmer and there's nothing in the email account settings that could prevent us from having full access to the inbox, we might just have experienced an issue with the email server. 

Solution 3: Try joining the Auto-Warmer group again

If this is the case, try joining the Auto-Warmer group again after some time.

If the second attempt to join the auto-warmer group gives the same error, contact support@quickmail.io so that we can verify if an auto-warmer email request was sent from the inbox and look for a solution.

Error: SPF not specified / SPF Softfailed 

This could happen if the SPF record of the inbox has issues. 

An SPF record is a DNS record that helps prevent emails from spoofing. Without the correct SPF setup, it's highly likely that your inbox will experience deliverability issues. 

These are the possible reasons why the SPF record has an issue.

  • The domain doesn't have an SPF record or the syntax on the SPF record is incorrect
  • The SPF record has been deprecated
  • There are multiple SPF records
  • The SPF record allows sending emails only from a specific IP or email system

To check for your inbox' SPF records, search for the domain using this tool.

Reason 1: The domain doesn't have the correct SPF record

The SPF record is essential in preventing spammers from using your domain as a disguise to alter your emails. It goes hand in hand with DMARC and DKIM records. Your emails are highly likely to get blocked by email service providers or land in spam without them. 

Solution 1: Set up SPF, DMARC, and DKIM records correctly

Verify if these records are correctly set up using this tool. Here's what the correct SPF may look like:

It will be highlighted in red and will show the error if there's something wrong with these records. 

If the domain doesn't have an SPF, DMARC, or DKIM, check out these guides on setting them up.

For Custom Inboxes or if you're using custom SMTP:

Refer to your email service's help page. 

For Outlook:

For GSuite:

Note that these records need to be set up on your domain host but should point to your email service provider. Additionally, they must be added as a TXT record. Here's what the SPF and DKIM may look like:

After configuring these records, verify if they already have propagated before sending another request to join the group. It may take up to 72 hours for these records to propagate, so give them some time.

If unsure what values to use, please contact your email service provider or domain host.

To check if the records are correct or have already propagated, you can use this tool and search for the domain.

Reason 2: The SPF record has been deprecated

Certain SPF record types are no longer supported by DNS servers and provisioning systems. To see if your SPF record has been deprecated, you may use this tool.

Solution 2: Change the SPF record to a TXT recordIf the SPF record of the domain has already been deprecated, delete the existing SPF record and create another SPF as a TXT. 

Reason 3: There are multiple SPF records

The domain should not have than one SPF record or else it will fail.

Solution 3: Delete multiple SPF records

To fix this, delete one of the SPF records or combine them.

Here's a helpful article on combining SPF records.

After configuring the SPF record, verify if it already has propagated before sending another request to join the group. It may take up to 72 hours for the SPF record to propagate, so give it some time.

Reason 4: The SPF record allows sending emails only from a specific IP or email system

Some SPF record values allow sending emails only from a specific IP or email system. If the SPF record is not pointing to the correct IP or email server assigned to it, it's highly likely that the inbox will experience deliverability issues.

Solution 4: Check if the SPF states the correct IP address or name server

Check MXtoolbox to see if the SPF record states the IP address or email server the domain is using. If the IP is incorrect, change the IP values in the SPF.

Otherwise, use basic SPF values if possible

  • For Google, the basic SPF value is  v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com ~all
  • For Outlook, the basic SPF value is  v=spf1 include:spf.protection.outlook.com ~all

However, if unsure what values to use, please get in touch with your domain host.

After configuring the SPF record, verify if it already has been propagated before sending another request to join the group. It may take up to 72 hours for the SPF record to propagate, so give it some time.