UPDATE: As mentioned by Xavi on the comment below, routes are now a premium feature that’s available on Foundation plan and above starting from $35/month.

When you first registered for a domain, the first thing that came to mind is how do you set up your email address account with your own custom domain name.

While Google makes it easy for you to do that with its GSuite, the downside is you have to pay $5/user/month. It doesn’t seem much but it’s still a cost you have to bear, especially when you need more than 1 email address.

I’ve been using my own custom domain in Gmail for years without paying anything, thanks to Mailgun.

Before you could start with this tutorial, you’ll need to get a domain name registered. I always buy my domain name from NameCheap as it’s reliable and you’ll get 1-year FREE WhoisGuard.

Find a domain starting at $0.48

powered by Namecheap

Disclosure: This is an affiliate link. If you choose to buy through my link I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for the support.

The Whois database is accessible to anyone on the internet. What does it mean to you?

It means:

When you register a domain, you are exposing your personal information such as name, address, email and phone number to spammers, marketing firms, and online fraudsters.

WhoisGuard was designed to protect you, the domain owner, so your confidential information is no longer available for public consumption.

In this post, I’m going to show you how you could configure your Mailgun account and connect it to your Gmail.

Keep reading.

Why Custom Domain Email Address?

There are no definite reasons why you have to use a custom email address.

But when you start a blog or a business, using a custom email address makes you look more credible and professional.

Too many times I’ve seen bloggers are using a generic email address.

Imagine you get an email from [email protected] and [email protected]. Which email do you think you’ll more likely to open and respond to?

You’re right.

A professional or branded email address will increase your email open and engagement rate.

You can create different email addresses for specific needs. For example, I created [email protected] for my general contact form. Besides that, I also created [email protected] for my personal email address.

Custom email address makes your business more memorable to your target audience.

It helps to build your brand.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Having a custom domain email address helps to build your brand.” quote=”Having a custom domain email address helps to build your brand.”]

Setting up Mailgun Account

Instead of paying for a Google Apps account, there’s a way to add your domain to Gmail for free.

Here comes Mailgun!

MailgunMailgun is a service that allows you to send, receive and track email automatically. Its free plan allows you to send or receive up to 10,000 emails a month.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Start using Mailgun and use a custom domain email address with your Gmail for free.” quote=”Start using Mailgun and use a custom domain email address with your Gmail for free.”]

Now, you can use your Gmail account with a custom domain email address…

… your domain.

Head down to Mailgun and sign up for an account.

Make sure you sign up with your Gmail or other email accounts you have access to.

Once you’ve verified and activated your account, your dashboard should look something like this.


Mailgun Dashboard

Next, you need to add your domain to Mailgun.

To create a custom domain, you need to update your Free plan to Concept plan — which still lets you sent up 10,000 emails per month for free. Click on the link the the “Getting Started” box to upgrade your account.

Mailgun - Getting Started
Getting Started

Next, simply key in your payment detail.

Mailgun - Upgrade Account
Upgrade Account

You can click on “Domains” link under Sending” to view list of domains on your account. Next “Add New Domain” button to add a new domain.

Mailgun - Domain List
Domain List

Type in your domain name and click “Add Domain” button.

Mailgun - Add New Domain
Add New Domain

By default, Mailgun recommends you to use a subdomain instead of the root domain, for example, “mg.typeeighty.com” instead “typeeighty.com”.

But after checking out their FAQ page, Mailgun recommends you to use the root domain if you’re not using it for any corporate email so I advise using the root domain when adding a new domain.

Update Your Domain Name Server (DNS)

Next, Mailgun will prompt you to verify your domain.

You need to update your DNS Records for sending and receiving emails with Mailgun and for tracking activities such as opens, clicks and unsubscribes.

Go to the DNS provider that you use to manage your domain and add the DNS records provided by Mailgun and wait for the domain to verify successfully.

If you followed my previous post, I am using Google Cloud’s Cloud DNS to manage my domain DNS.

When you’re done with this step, this is how your DNS records should look like more or less.

Google Cloud DNS - TypeEighty

As you can see I added:

  1. MX records that specify how the email should be routed with the SMTP server.
  2. TXT records that are known as SPF and DKIM that’s required for sending and receiving emails with Mailgun.
  3. CName record is optional. You could add this if you want to track opens, clicks and unsubscribes.

Once you have updated your DNS records, go back to the Domains page and click on your domain.

Scroll down to the “Domain Verification & DNS” section and click on it to expand the tab.

Finally, click on the “Check DNS Records Now” and you should see green checks on each of the records indicating that your domain is verified.

Then click on the big “Domain Verification & DNS” header to expand it, and click the “Check DNS Records” Now button.

You should see green checkmarks on the MX and TXT records indicating that setup was successful.

Buying a domain is easy

Setting up SMTP Credentials

Now that your domain has been verified. It’s time to add some email addresses.

Go to your Dashboard, scroll down till you see your domain name and click on “Domain Setting”.

Domain Settings
Domain Settings

Click “SMTP Credentials” and you should see all the credentials you added for the domain. To add new credentials, click on “New SMTP User” button.

Mailgun - SMTP credentials
SMTP credentials

Enter the new login name.

Mailgun - New SMTP credentials
New SMTP credentials

Once created, you’ll see a notification status with the generated password.

Mailgun - SMTP notification
SMTP success notification

Setting up Email Forwarding

This step is one of the important steps you need to do to make sure your Gmail account can receive emails to the custom email addresses your created earlier.

Email forwarding basically will forward emails that the server received to the specified address.

In Mailgun, you do this with Routes.

Click on “Receiving” on the sidebar to view the list of routes and click on the “Create Route” button to create a new route.

Mailgun Routes

If you’re like me, just launched your site and you’re doing everything by yourself.

I would create a route that would catch all emails sent to my custom domain and forward all those emails to my Gmail account.

This means emails sent to [email protected] and [email protected] will be forwarded to my Gmail account.

Let’s create a new route for that.

Mailgun- Catch All Route
Catch All Route

This is the simplest route. Just check the “Forward” checkbox, enter your Gmail address and set Priority to 1.

And you’re all set!

This setup works fine for me right now. But as my team is growing, I might want to assign a different team member to handle different email address or I might set up another email address from another team member.

When that happens, our “Catch All” route won’t work as it should be anymore.

I will need to apply multiple different routes so that emails can be forwarded to its respected recipient.

This is an example of a route that I would implement in the future to accommodate that.

Mailgun - Custom Route
Custom Route

So I might assign a team member or a virtual assistant to handle any inquiries sent to [email protected] or [email protected] for example.

The good thing about Mailgun’s Route is that it’s easy to test the route and check where the email will be forwarded to.


Mailgun - Route Test
Route Test

As you can see, once I added the new route and set it to lower priority, the new route will take effect.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Mailgun makes it easy to receive and forward emails.” quote=”Mailgun makes it easy to receive and forward emails.”]

Domain Name Registration from Namecheap Domain Name Registration from Namecheap

Setting up Custom Email Address on Gmail

Now you can receive emails on a custom domain and Mailgun will forward emails to your Gmail account.

What about sending email from your custom domain?

Let’s add those email address to your Gmail account.

Go to “Accounts and Import” in the Gmail setting. Click on “Add another email address”.

Gmail add email address - TypeEighty

Enter the custom email address you created earlier. Click “Next Step”.

Gmail add email address - TypeEighty

Enter the following settings:
SMTP Server: smtp.mailgun.org
Port: 587
Username: The full email address, e.g [email protected]
Password: Enter the password you used to create the email address in Mailgun

Click “Add Account”.

You’ll need to enter the confirmation code that Google sent to the email address which is forwarded to your Gmail.


You’re done.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Do you know you can add other email address to your Gmail? No more switching emails.” quote=”Do you know you can add other email address to your Gmail? No more switching emails.”]

How to Send Email from Your Custom Domain?

Now that you’ve added a custom domain email address to your Gmail account. How do you send email from the new email address?

First, head down to Gmail web version, http://gmail.com.

Simply compose a new email or reply to any email.

Click on the “Recipient”, you should see the new email addresses.

Send email from custom domain

Final Thoughts

Having a custom email address is important for you and your business.

It helps to build your audience, branding and makes you look more credible.

With service such as Mailgun, you’ve saved at least $5/month for a branded email address.

All you need to do is register for a domain name.

Now you can send email using custom domain right from your Gmail for free up to 10,000 emails a month!

If you found this post useful, do help us share this on social media. Much appreciated! 🙂

And leave a comment below, if you have any question.


I am a front-end developer and I teaches entrepreneurs who want to grow their audience, start an online business, and pursue their dream life. When I spend time away from the computer, I enjoy reading books and having a cup of green tea.

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