When I sent out that last newsletter with the free promo codes for The Iron Gate audiobook, I got an unprecedented number of error messages. At the time, I had more than 1450 subscribers and I got more than 180 bounces.
A few of those were the usual stuff: this email address doesn’t exist/please fill out this form to have your email whitelisted/this server doesn’t exist. But most of the bounces–more than 150 of them–were from gmail telling me that I haven’t set up some kind of special new email authentication.
Which has to be written in a kind of code.
What do I know about coding? Nothing.
Does my domain host have a little “set up SPF for this site” box for me to check. No.
Was it something I could just copy and paste? Absolutely not, and nothing about the little codes they required made sense to me.
Luckily, my son is teaching himself to program. He helped out (meaning that he took over while I did dishes) and set up something that erased the big red X error messages that popped up when I ran a check on my mail server. There were exclamation points in a circle though, so I contacted the domain host help desk and asked them to look it over.
They wrote back to say that they’d made some changes to the SPF my son created.
I checked again. A big red X error message appeared again. This one, in fact:
“Domain must have at least one mail server.”
When I sent this screencap to my domain host help desk, they told me it wasn’t their fault. They had done everything correctly, even though it was a change they’d made that triggered this error message. They suggested I read that “help center article,” which of course I’d already tried to do.
Basically, it felt like they had washed their hands of me.
Anyway, I’m expecting another newsletter to go out when The Flood Circle comes out in audio. Will gmail users receive it? Honestly, it’s hard to say that this point. I hope so.