Setting up email forwarding
It's vital that email from your customers reaches you promptly. Make sure that all mail is forwarded to the email address you monitor most regularly.
- If you bought a domain from Shopify
- Forwarding your mail from your 3rd-party domain provider
- Responding to forwarded email from your custom domain name
- When email hosting isn't included by your 3rd-party provider
In this article:
If you bought a domain from Shopify
When you buy a domain name from Shopify, you can set up an unlimited number of email addresses (for example, email@example.com) for free. All these addresses are forwarded to an email account you already own (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org). This means you don't need to keep checking multiple email accounts for messages about your store.
To set up email forwarding:
From your store Admin, click Settings, then Domains to go to your Domains page.
Click Set up your email.
A new page appears where you can manage your email addresses.
Click Add an email address.
In the New email address field, type in the email address you'd like to create on your custom domain. You don't need to type the @ symbol or anything that follows it.
In the Forwards to... field, type in your full destination email address. This should be the email address you read most often.
Click Add email forward.
You can create as many forwarding email addresses as you like in this way.
Forwarding your mail from your 3rd-party domain provider
Often, 3rd-party domain registrars will include email hosting on the domain. You can set up email forwarding from the domain after you've claimed it in Shopify.
Methods for forwarding mail from 3rd-party domains to your own email address vary, and it's impossible to give specific instructions for every domain provider.
In each case, your goal is to get the mail from your 3rd-party domain redirected to your own email host. You'll probably have to do one of the following:
- Log in to your 3rd-party account admin and use their interface to add your email address or edit your MX records.
- Contact your provider for help with email forwarding. Tell them you need all your mail forwarded to your other (preferred) email address.
Editing your MX records
If you have to edit your MX records, the general procedure is:
1. Log in to the account you have with your domain provider.
2. Find your MX or email forwarding settings, usually accessible through an admin or DNS management area. It will probably be called something like DNS zone, account admin panel, domain management area, or DNS configuration.
3. If your current DNS records are viewable, you'll see your existing MX record or records.
The admin panel might feature drop-downs or editable fields, or you might have to check boxes or edit a table. However you interact with the admin, you need to:
- identify the MX record as the DNS record you're updating
- set the preference if you're adding more than one MX record
- supply the domain of your email host (everything after the @ symbol in your email address) as the destination for the MX record.
4. If you see a TTL field and it's editable, set the TTL to 300 seconds (or the smallest value allowed).
5. Save the MX Record (click Save, Save Zone File, Add Record, or similar.)
Adding a backup email forwarding address with an MX record
If you have a second email address which you use for backup, you can add an MX record for the backup mail server. The procedure is the same, except that you'll need to:
- make sure you give a different email domain as the destination for each MX record
- assign the lowest preference value (usually 0) to the MX record for your preferred email destination. The other(s) will act as a backup if your preferred mail server goes down.
Responding to forwarded email from your custom domain name
You might want your emails to look like you sent them from your custom domain, even though they were forwarded to you at your preferred email address.
The mechanism for doing this depends on the email account provider you'll be using.
If you're forwarding messages to an email account that uses Gmail, read these instructions on how to send email from your domain name.
If you're not using Gmail as an email provider, you'll need to read your email provider's documentation for instructions on how to send email using a different domain.
When email hosting isn't included by your 3rd-party provider
Sometimes, email hosting isn't included when you buy your domain from a 3rd-party provider, or you might just prefer not to use it.
In this situation, you'll need to use an alternative email hosting service. There are many options available, some free of charge, others for a fee. These include:
- Zoho mail
Provides up to 3 free email accounts.
- Google Apps for Business
They can connect the Gmail platform with emails @yourdomain.com. They offer a 30 day free trial and ask $5/month per account after that. Click here to view their getting started guide.
Choosing one of these options means you might have to configure MX records with your domain provider. The email hosting companies will have instructions for you.