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Step one: Add the Populi SPF record to your domain so emails aren't marked as spam

Email is everywhere in Populi. One of the things Populi is meant to do is let you use your data to communicate more easily with the right people. From mailing lists to course communications to plain ol' Send Email links under profile pictures, it's never difficult to find a way to send people messages. Suffice it to say, you'll be using email in Populi—a lot (starting with step two of this guide, as a matter of fact)

When you send email through Populi, that email is sent by Populi on behalf of your domain. To explain...

  • Say your web domain is www.college.edu and your email address is admin@college.edu.
  • Previously, when sending an email (say, from Outlook or Thunderbird), the recipient's email host examined your message and saw that the email from admin@college.edu was coming from the domain college.edu. Since the email and domain are the same, it lets your message through.
  • Now, when emailing from Populi, your email will actually go through email.populi.co; the recipient will examine your message and will see that an email from email.populi.co is coming from college.edu. But the email and domain are not the same...

What's tricky about this is that this is how email scammers operate—they pretend to send mail from a legitimate address by piggybacking onto a legitimate domain (an email from scammer@spam.ru from the college.edu domain, for example). Most email hosts are savvy to this game, though, and have built up protections to make sure email coming from a particular domain is authorized by that domain. The key to this is the Sender Policy Framework (SPF). SPF is an email validation system that verifies the sender's IP address (your unique internet address). If the IP address checks out, it lets the email through; if it doesn't, the email gets rejected (not to mention other consequences, like blacklisting). 

The point of all this is that to use Populi email successfully, you need to add our SPF record to your domain.

Do this by visiting your domain register (the website where you first acquired your domain name—for example, GoDaddy.com, domain.com, among many others). Log in to your domain manager, and in the space where you can edit your TXT field, add this:

v=spf1 a mx include:email.populi.co ~all

If  you already have an SPF record in that field, you'll need to merge the two. Feel free to contact us with questions and we'll do our best to help you.

Additionally, make sure that your users have a school email address listed on their profiles, whether or not it's marked as primary.

Now that you have our SPF record included on your domain, you're ready to start adding other users...

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