How I use a custom domain email address for free - and you can too!

Got a custom domain and want an email address to match, all within a tight budget? Discover how I set up my own email at without spending a dime.

How I use a custom domain email address for free - and you can too!
Photo by Mohamed Nohassi / Unsplash

I recently acquired the domain Immediately after, I wanted to create the perfect email address to go with it: But I had a stringent need - I wasn't prepared to spend any money on this.

Before, I had used Zoho Mail's forever free plan for my former domain, But they've since withdrawn POP access, which was essential for me. It allowed me to integrate with my preferred Outlook mobile client. I found myself stuck with Zoho's webmail interface, which I must confess, was far from my favorite.

Well-known options like Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 broke my bank. As things were starting to look bleak, I stumbled upon a brilliant tool named ImprovMX. It was not only simple to set up but also free of charge, ticking all my boxes.

ImprovMX made the creation of my custom domain email straightforward. I first had to log in with my domain. I selected an email address, utilizing the * alias. This wildcard alias redirected all incoming emails to Thanks to ImprovMX's comprehensive instructions, I configured it with Gmail. This allowed me to send emails as via Gmail's SMTP server. All I had to do was setup an email alias.

There were a few minor hiccups along the way. Emails sometimes took longer to arrive. ImprovMX does offer a priority queue for faster email delivery at a cost. As you may have guessed, I skimped out with the free version. Also, integrating with Outlook was not without its challenges. due to the alias, causing duplicate emails and issues with sending from the alias.

Despite these hurdles, I'm impressed with the service offered by ImprovMX. It allowed me to operate my custom domain email at no cost, a solution I recommend for anyone in a similar position.

I have since migrated to Zoho Mail's lite plan. Although my journey with ImprovMX was insightful, I enjoy experimenting. But, even with the paid plan, setting up aliases with the Outlook app is tricky. I'm forced to checking my custom domain email on the web UI. Can't imagine I didn't read about it before paying for a year. Still, life is all about learning and exploring, right?

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