Suppose I own the domain example.com and I want to send emails from addresses like [email protected]. However, I don't have any actual mail account or mailbox set up at this domain (nor do I want to).

I've configured a catch-all redirect, so any message to [email protected] is being forwarded to an external address - say, a gmail or hotmail address.

So I do receive email sent to [email protected] (on the external address), and now I would like to be able to send email from addresses like [email protected] or [email protected].

What would be the general approach for this? I guess it also depends on what kind of email client I'm using to send email, such as Thunderbird or Yahoo or Gmail or Outlook. But how or what do I have to configure in my example.com's domain and email settings (if any) to make this work?

My problem is that everything always seems to assume that an incoming and an outgoing address come together and are associated with an actual mailbox or email account.

Important: I want to avoid my outgoing mail being marked as spam. So I don't just want to spoof my domain name or something fishy like that. I own and control this domain and want to set this up correctly.

P.S. My domain is registered and hosted at a hosting provider which comes with an SMTP server.

  • 1
    This is far too broad a question. The possible answers would require a book. Can you narrow down what your thoughts are? Are you willing and able to run your own SMTP e-mail server? Are you more inclined to use a service? Are you tech savvy? What is your experience?
    – closetnoc
    Feb 23, 2017 at 2:30
  • This is off topic here but mail servers will notice you are using the wrong IP address and wrong domain name so they will mark it as spam. It is possible to relay email you send to your mail server which will forward it but how to do that is in a section of documentation.
    – Rob
    Feb 23, 2017 at 2:32
  • closetnoc and rob, I am not sure either of you are correct. To me this is a specific question about how to create an alias from a webmail provider - though it may be off topic, but that is beside the point. It won't be marked as spam if you do it in gmail as you must use an external SMTP server, if it is your own the IP address will match. See my answer
    – Steve
    Feb 23, 2017 at 2:42
  • 1
    There are really too many options available - questions here should be specific in their scope, and be related to operating a website. Steve however has offered one possible solution, to just use Gmail to send your emails with by changing the "Send mail as" as indicated in his answer, and Gmail's documentation here.
    – dan
    Feb 23, 2017 at 4:21

1 Answer 1


Create a forwarder for [email protected] to [email protected]

gmail will only send through an external SMTP server. I create an email account [email protected] on my hosting mail server and then provide those details to gmail.

In gmail go to gear icon > settings > accounts and import > send mail as

Step through the settings. A verification email will be sent to your email address, it will be forwarded to gmail. Grab the code and verify the email address. Don't forget to set your newly verified email address as the default.

You can create multiple email addresses in one gmail account using a single SMTP account using this method. But be sure to forward them to gmail before you do the verification step or you won't receive the code.

  • Reading the instructions I think you are saying I would have to have a real email account, [email protected] live on some other SMTP server. Presumable the domain host that OP says comes with an SMTP server. And then I use that as the target for Gmail to send through? Does that also end up being what Gmail uses as the From: address, or can I then use [email protected] and it is relayed through [email protected]? Additionally, can I send from [email protected] using the same relay?
    – user73967
    Feb 23, 2017 at 5:49
  • @GypsySpellweaver In order of your questions: Yes. Yes - when you add multiple sending addresses, there is no reason you can't use a single SMTP authentication, I do. Yes - the most important part is receiving the verification, so you would have to forward [email protected] to gmail first. I have dozens of email addresses for a number of
    – Steve
    Feb 23, 2017 at 7:38
  • Nice to have an alternative. I've been using Thunderbird to go through my SMTP relay with multiple user/domain combinations. It works, but if my system fries, nice to have an alternative.
    – user73967
    Feb 23, 2017 at 7:49
  • I was concerned that the question was not clear. I could not tell what the OP wanted specifically and there were too many options in answering the question. However, I like your answer very much! Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Feb 23, 2017 at 16:34

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