How to Setup Free Catch-all Email for Domain Names

How to Setup Free Catch-all Email for Domain Names

How to Setup Free Catch-all Email for Domain Names

By Michael Cyger, Founder of DomainSherpa & Publisher of DNAcademy

Published: September 18, 2019

You can setup a catch-all email address for any domain name in less than 5 minutes for free. I’ll show you how.

There are many reasons to setup a catch-all email address on your domain names, like discovering misdirected emails to your company or learning about potential buyers of your domain names from other companies with similar domain names. You can setup a catch-all email address for any domain name in less than 5 minutes for free. In this lesson, I’ll show you how.

Update July 21, 2020: Many people are advising that ImprovMX has been experiencing downtime recently. You might benefit from a new service called Email Forwarding.

Hey everyone! Thank you so much for joining me on today’s DNAcademy podcast. My name is Michael Cyger, and I’m here to help you become a more profitable domain name investor and entrepreneur.

A catch-all email address allows emails to be received that are accidentally addressed to an incorrect email address.

For example, people might assume they can email billing@yourdomain.com but you only receive emails at accounting@yourdomain.com. A catch-all email address allows you to direct billing@yourdomain.com to accounting@yourdomain.com.

A catch-all email address also prevents emails from being bounced back to the sender as undeliverable, so people emailing me at mike@dnacademy.com can automatically have their email directed to michael@dnacademy.com without delay.

Most domain name registrars allow catch-all email addresses to be setup, but some registrars charge a fee to do so. In this lesson, I’ll show you how to setup a catch-all email address for free.

While this lesson will make sense in a podcast, you might want to visit dnacademy.com/catch-all-emails when you’re back in front of your computer so you can see the step-by-step screenshots when you go to implement your own catch-all email address.

The service we’re going to use is called ImprovMX. With a free account, you can add up to 10 domains with a maximum of 10 aliases per domain. It comes with email support and a 99% uptime guarantee.

The free version of ImprovMX is perfect for me, but if you want to add up to 100 domains with 100 aliases per domain, priority delivery, priority support and a 99.99% uptime guarantee, then you can sign up for their Premium plan at $9 per month. A very reasonable price, in my opinion.

So let’s get started with the tutorial.

Step #1: Visit ImprovMX at https://improvmx.com

Catch-all Emails at ImprovMX

Step #2: Enter your domain name and email address into the homepage form

In this example, I’m going to use the following scenario: sometimes people inadvertently say DNAAcademy (with an extra “a”) instead of DNAcademy so I want to ensure that any email going to DNAAcademy.com is redirected to michael@DNAcademy.com.

The email address is where you would like to receive any and all email sent to your domain name.

Adding details for your catch-all email at ImprovMX

Step #3: Configure your DNS settings at your registrar to include new MX records

We now need to set up MX records for our domain name.

As ImprovMX describes, “MX records are used to tell mail senders which server handles incoming email for your domain. By setting the records as [described] below you announce to the world that all mail for your domain should be directed to ImprovMX servers.”

Configure DNS settings for your catch-all emails

You’ll also receive an email confirmation for setting up your MX records.

Catch-all email domain name email confirmation

Because my DNAAcademy.com domain name is at the Uniregistry registrar, I sign into my Uniregistry account and click on the domain name in my control panel.

Catch-all Emails Uniregistry Dashboard

Then I click the “NS / DNS Records” tab at the top of the page.

Catch-all Emails Domain Dashboard

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and under the “DNS Records” heading. If there are any MX records, delete them if they’re not being used. Then click the “NEW RECORD” button.

In the “Host (Name)” field input box, enter an @ symbol.

For the “Type” field, change the pull-down from “A” to “MX”.

We’re going to enter the first record directed to by ImprovMX, and enter “10” for the “Preference (Priority)” field and “mx1.improvmx.com” for the “Name (Data)” field. Then click the “ADD” link.

Catch-all Emails MX Record 1

You’ll see a reminder to save changes when you’re done.

Catch-all Emails Confirmation

Click the “NEW RECORD” button again, and let’s add in the second MX record that ImprovMX tells us to in their documentation.

Catch-all Emails MX Record 2

Be sure to click “SAVE CHANGES” at Uniregistry to have the changes saved. Other registrars will have slightly different procedures to update a domain name’s DNS records with MX records.

Now I go back to ImprovMX.com and click the “Continue and set aliases” button.

Catch-all Emails Continue

I’m directed to a new screen that shows three things:

  1. I can upgrade from free to $9 per month for better service,
  2. The ImprovMX system is waiting for my MX records – that were set at Uniregistry – to propagate around the web, and
  3. A catch-all for anything (shown with an asterisk) is set up for @dnaacademy.com that forwards to michael@dnacademy.com and can be tested.

Catch-all Emails Pending Changes

Step #4: Wait for DNS propagation

Wait a few minutes to a few hours (your results may vary) and then click the “CHECK AGAIN” button.

When the MX records are working, you’ll see the “Waiting for DNS propagation” red type change to “Email forwarding active” in green type.

Catch-all Emails DNS Propagation Complete

You will also receive an email verifying email forwarding is active.

Catch-all Emails Forwarding Email Confirmation

Step #5: Test your new catch-all email

Click the “TEST” button on ImprovMX and it will send an email to a random email address at your domain name which should forward to your specified email address.

Catch-all Emails Alias Test

In my case, you can see that ImprovMX sent an email to a random email address “random-ncyj@dnaacademy.com” which was redirected to “michael@dnacademy.com” – I know because I received it.

It’s a simple process, and fast and easy to setup.

Using Efty For-Sale Landing Pages AND an Email Catch-all

Now, let me throw a wrench in the works. You might not be using your registrar’s default DNS settings that easily allow you to set MX records.

For example, you might have Efty for-sale landing pages setup which requires you to change the DNS from the default registrar DNS settings to ns1.eftydns.com and ns2.eftydns.com.

Here’s what you need to do to use an Efty for-sale landing page AND also setup MX records so you can setup a catch-all email address using ImprovMX.com. (You can do something similar at other sites that offer for-sale landing pages.)

Step #6: Change your domain name to default DNS name servers at your registrar

Usually, changing your name servers is as easy as finding your name servers, and then finding the option that says to change them to “Uniregistry DNS,” “default DNS” or similar for your registrar.

Catch-all Emails Default Name Servers

Step #7: Add a redirection for the domain name to your Efty marketplace page.

At Efty, you can use a generic for-sale landing page URL like https://eftymarket.com/{yourdomain.tld} where {yourdomain.tld} is the domain name you have listed on Efty. It looks and works exactly the same except for the URL, but if someone types in {yourdomain.tld} they will be redirected to https://eftymarket.com/{yourdomain.tld}.

Let me walk you through how to set up a domain name redirection.

At Uniregistry, setting up a redirection for a domain name is as easy as signing into your Uniregistry account, selecting the domain name, then scrolling to the bottom of the page, and clicking the link icon.

Catch-all Emails Link Icon

Type in your domain name.

Catch-all Emails Type Domain Name

Then confirm that they will overwrite any name server settings you may have with the registrar’s default name servers.

Make sure to select the first option to include both the URL with and without a “www” at the beginning.

Catch-all Emails Free Forwarding

By doing this, the Uniregistry system will automatically setup your A and CNAME records for you. If you’re at another registrar, you should search their support system for how to set up a domain name or URL redirection. If you can’t find a support article, contact their support team for assistance.

Once your domain name is using the registrar’s default name servers, you can then set the MX records to set up a catch-all email address.

Step #8: Complete Step #3 to configure your DNS settings at your registrar to include new MX records

Follow the instructions in step #3 to setup MX records for ImprovMX.

And you’re done! It’s that easy to receive email at your domain names.

And as a bonus, you might want to send email as well as receiving them. Here’s how to send emails through your domain name using ImprovMX, which is free as well.

Step #9: Send email through your domain name

ImprovMX added a new feature recently that allows you to send emails using Gmail SMTP.

This allows you to send email from your regular Gmail account, but instead of sending from dnacademy@gmail.com, for example, you can send from whatever domain name you have setup in ImprovMX, like sending from michael@dnaacademy.com.

Their documentation is pretty clear, so I’m going to let you do that by following the instructions here: https://improvmx.com/guides/send-emails-using-gmail/

It’s a quick and easy way to look professional for outbound selling or responding to emails that come to your catch-all account.

Thank you so much for making the decision to watch, read or listen to the DNAcademy blog.

If you found benefit from this video or podcast and want a really easy way to show your support, please head over to iTunes and leave us a quick rating and review. If you’re looking for an easy way to get there just go to DNAcademy.com/review, open it up in iTunes, click “Ratings and Reviews” and then click “Write a Review.” I read every review that you leave over there, and it really helps other people to discover the show, so your support is really appreciated.

If you want to learn a structured methodology, master a set of tools, and think more analytically on your journey to becoming a more profitable domain name investor or entrepreneur, consider signing up for DNAcademy.

My name is Michael Cyger and I’m here to help you become a more profitable domain name investor, broker or entrepreneur.

Please subscribe to this podcast and I’ll see you in the next episode.

Comments 8

  1. Good but recently I created my account on improvmx and connect with with Gmail and using smtp service.

    But sending after 150 emails it is showing that your limit is over.

    What I can do?

    1. Post
  2. Thanks for this article!

    Another free alternative might be postale.io. Catch-all is supported and the whole DNS setup thing (MX records etc.) is taken care of for you if you request it.

    1. Post
  3. Hi Michael 🙂 In reference to adding a redirect to my Efty custom SSL sales landing page for the purpose of setting up a catchall email, I assume that it would be best to do a Temporary 302 forward type? Thanks in advance for your assistance!

    1. Post

      Hi Laith,

      Good question. Yes, you can do a 302 (temporary) redirect. A 302 is probably safer than a 301 (permanent) as it won’t affect future use of the domain name.


  4. Hi Michael,
    Your readers may find my service, ForwardMX, useful as well. I recently acquired it, after having been a customer for quite some time.
    As someone who owns 500+ domains, it’s super useful – and I’m glad to give it a new home.

    1. Post

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