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Why do my FreshBooks emails to my Clients bounce or end up in the junk folder?

This can happen for a variety of reasons, but usually come down to two things:

  • Incorrect email address (for bounces that specify an email does not exist)
  • SPF-related issues if you have a custom email domain (e.g., yourname@yourcompany.com)

Incorrect Emails

If you believe the email address is incorrect, you can update it by doing the following:

  1. Go to the People tab
  2. Click on the edit link
  3. Update the email, then click Save at the bottom
  4. Then re-send the Invoice/Estimate by going to the Invoices/Estimates section, check the box off next to it and click on Send.

SPF Issues

Note: This part is only applicable to those with custom email domains (e.g., yourname@yourcompany.com). If your email is with a known provider (like Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo for example), modifying your SPF record is not needed or required.

SPF, or Sender Policy Framework, is a way to publish a list of what mail servers are allowed to send mail for a domain. Basically, it’s a list of safe email senders that tells your clients’ mail servers if the email coming in matches the list, it’s safe to continue to the inbox.

FreshBooks is impacted by this because we send out emails inside your account on your behalf via maildelivery@freshbooks.com with your reply-to address over it. In many cases, your clients’ mail servers will find it suspicious and check your SPF record to see if FreshBooks is on it.

If FreshBooks is not in your SPF record, the resulting email can bounce, or be diverted to junk for the client to review later.

To ensure smooth sailing of emails sent from FreshBooks, it is important to include FreshBooks in your SPF record.

The below steps will guide you through this (please note if you do not have a custom domain email (e.g., yourname@yourcompany.com), the below is not applicable):

  1. Check your SPF record first if you’re unsure, using this validator here. Put your email or domain name (e.g., companyname.com) then click on Get SPF Record (if any)
  2. If you do not see FreshBooks on it, continue to step 3. If you see FreshBooks on it but it fails validation, continue to step 5
  3. To modify/add an SPF record, go to this link here and click on the domain registry your email is hosted at
  4. Follow the steps to access/reach the SPF record area inside your domain registry
  5. If you do not have a record already created in the SPF record area, add the following: v=spf1 include:_spf.freshbooks.com
  6. If you already have a record created in the SPF record area, amend it to also contain the following: include:_spf.freshbooks.com inside it
  7. If your SPF record fails validation or won’t save, ensure that you have not made an error in your syntax. You can review proper syntax here.

Once your SPF record is updated to include FreshBooks, you can re-send any bounced/failed Invoices/Estimates by going to the Invoices/Estimates section, check the box off next to it and click on Send.

If you have any issues with the steps above, or you’re not sure if this is applicable to you, feel free to reach out to our awesome Support team at support@freshbooks.com or at 1-866-303-6061.