Resources     Blog  

  1. Home
  2. Knowledge Base
  3. Email
  4. MailChannels Outbound Email Filtering

MailChannels Outbound Email Filtering

GreenGeeks uses MailChannels outbound email filtering. This article is intended to answer any questions you may have about MailChannels. If your question isn’t answered here, let us know in the comments.

If your email service is not hosted at GreenGeeks (for example, if your MX records point to Google G Suite or a domain registrar), this information does not apply to your mail.

What is MailChannels?

MailChannels is a third-party email filtering service. GreenGeeks is using the MailChannels outbound email filtering. That means all the email sent from our servers passes through filters. The filters are sophisticated algorithms based on years of machine learning that spot spam-like activity in outgoing email.

If spam-like activity is detected, the filters can hold or block the suspect messages. The ability to prevent spam from being sent is essential for a host like GreenGeeks. Reports of spam coming from our network can cause our email server IP addresses to be blacklisted (blocked from other servers that accept mail).

When blacklisting happens, all mail from the server at that IP address is affected. So your completely legitimate email is blacklisted, along with the spam that may have been sent from the server. That kind of all-or-nothing approach is not a great solution to the problem of spam. But for a long time, it was the only solution available.

The MailChannels filtering helps us block outgoing spam before it can cause our servers to become blacklisted. That improves our email server’s reputations, making blacklisting of servers on our network less likely, which keeps your legitimate email flowing freely.

Updating SPF Records to Work With MailChannels

If your domain uses GreenGeeks DNS, the changes necessary for MailChannels have been done automatically. You don’t need to do any manual configuration.

Your domain uses GreenGeeks DNS if the name servers for the domain point to:

Note that GreenGeeks name servers may also have a prefix, ***, and the DNS records may include name server entries for ***

You can check the name servers for your domain on the web.

If you are not using GreenGeeks name servers

If you are using a third-party DNS service, a Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record must be added to the DNS settings for your domain name for it to work correctly with MailChannels.

Here’s what you want to enter in your DNS:

ggexample.comTXTv=spf1 a mx ?all

Replace with your domain name. Check with your provider for specific DNS configuration instructions.

If there is an existing SPF record at the third party DNS service

If you already have an SPF record, you don’t want to replace it. Instead, add:

to the entry. That must be added before “?all” in the value. For example, if your current SPF record is:

v=spf1 a mx ?all

After adding the MailChannels value, it would look like this:

v=spf1 a mx ?all

Until your SPF record is updated, outgoing email may not be delivered (depending on your existing SPF configuration). When you update your SPF record, it could take up to 48 hours for your updated DNS to propagate across the internet.

Dealing With Spam Bounce-Backs

If you receive a bounce-back message, it means your email was flagged as potential spam by the MailChannels filters.

That means the message meets most of the typical indications of a spam message. Those indications can include the contents of the message body, the subject line, or file attachments.

If you believe that the message is legitimate and has been incorrectly flagged as spam, visit the link in the bounce-back message to mark the bounce-back as a false-positive. The link can be found in the bounce-back message on the line, “Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 550 5.7.1 [CS] Message blocked.”

Click the “Not Spam” button to confirm that the message is legitimate, and it will automatically be routed to MailChannels for review. The review process can take some time to complete, so please be patient while the message is processed.

Was this article helpful?


  1. Ive got no idea what your talking about – im not a geek. Just a regular customer.

  2. Seems to me that this can easily be used to control Free Speech and things/topics that some may consider to be contrary to THEIR belief systems…. quite similar to what is currently going on with the Dems & Repubs, Mainstream FAKE news, blocking messages and sites on FB, Twitter & such due to political & social differences. …Perhaps easily stated SOCIETY CONTROL!!! Can You give gauranteess that such is NOT the case or intent, or coruptability in a FUTURE MOMENT??? Please answer!!!

  3. I am not a techie and I cannot follow the instructions. I just hope that you will do things that will not affect my system. Thanks

  4. I’m paying you guys, you should be doing this for me.

    whatever you did, now I can’t get my email, I can’t log in to my DNS, and I can’t recover my DNS server password because… I can’t get my email.

  5. Why are you guys using the “?all” modifier instead of the “-all” tag? That would definitely help to kill off phishing and spam attempts, since most people either use GreenGeek’s mail servers or other mail servers that would surely be known by them.

  6. Is an SPF record needed if using cloudflare?

  7. dan tynan – if the implementation of MailChannels stopped your email, it’s likely that your DNS – or your email – is hosted somewhere besides GreenGeeks. In which case we can’t make any changes for you. But you can always contact support and they’ll take a look for you.

    l’iv – I can assure you that MailChannels is only interested in stopping spam.

    geoffrey – It isn’t possible to opt-out. If it were, spammers would opt-out and that would defeat the purpose of filtering.

    Emily Gonsalves – You can check and see if Cloudflare is handling your mail:

    If is enabled, disable it.

  8. I have read MailChannels terms of service, and their policy regarding their right to read, retain, and/or pass the metadata and content of emails to a third party is very concerning. Can I opt out of this service ?, and, if not, why is GreenGeeks not concerned about customer privacy in this matter ?

  9. So, I got pointed to this article through an e-mail titled “New Outbound E-mail Filtering (Attention Required)”, which then goes on to say that e-mails hosted at GG don’t require further action after the filters are turned on on the server. Which one is it now? After reading this article it’s still not clear to me what I need to do.

    I’m not an IT specialist and my website and emails are a means to communicate with my (potential) customers. Your services are expensive enough that I should be able to rely that you are doing your job with keeping me online and reachable, instead it seems more and more that you expect me to have a university degree in computer sciences (and likely still spend increasing amounts of hours figuring things out, while I should actually do my own job and help my customers) to be able to use your services.

    The value for the price is definitely not there anymore with GreenGeeks… Time to look around for alternatives.

  10. Will this also work fine on add-on domains? It’s not totally clear, but I’m assuming that also will be taken care of in the update as the domain and add-on domains are all using the greengeeks DNS servers? All have basic SPF records in place in my case.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.