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How to set up a catch-all for your subdomain using Google Workspace

Set up catch-all for your subdomain in Google workspace

Author: Saurabh Saxena

Introduction

A catch-all email is an email address that collects all the emails sent to your domain (or subdomain) but are sent to non existing email addresses. And for various reasons you may be looking to setup catch-all on one or many of your subdomains. This blog has detailed instructions.

Email marketers often use subdomains for all of their marketing and promotional emails. Subdomains can be configured with any ESP (email service provider) to send email marketing campaigns. For example I may decide to send all of my newsletters from [email protected] using Mailchimp. Hope you noticed that email address is [email protected] and not [email protected].

If you wonder why should marketing or promotional emails be sent from a subdomain these two blogs give very good insights:

Promotional email vs. transactional email: Why it’s important to separate the two

Using Email Subdomains Like A Pro

So I will go ahead and configure my subdomain on Mailchimp and will be ready to start sending email campaigns from [email protected]. But what in case someone replies back to this email? And even to configure the email [email protected] on the ESP, ESP may send a verification email. So we should be able to receive replies to this address.

I can obviously create the email address [email protected] on Google workspace, but in case I need to have several of such email addresses on several subdomains and at the same time I do not expect many replies back then I can set up catch-all on my subdomains using Google workspace instead of creating paid accounts.

Let’s see how to do that.

Step 1: Setup the MX records for the subdomain

First things first – any incoming email to the subdomain newsletters.postboxservices.com should be routed to Google servers. So I will set up my MX records. Instructions to setup MX records are given by Google here.

Only difference is the first column where instead of parent domain you need to give subdomain, MX records will look like this in our example:

Name/Host/AliasTime to Live (TTL*)Record TypePriorityValue/Answer/Destination
newsletters3600MX1ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM
newsletters3600MX5ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM
newsletters3600MX5ALT2.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM
newsletters3600MX10ALT3.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM
newsletters3600MX10ALT4.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM

Step 2: Change the routing and setup catch-all

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console. Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).
  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenGmailand thenDefault routing.
  3. Under Default routing, click Configure
  4. Under “Specify envelope recipients to match” from drop down select “Pattern match” and in Regexp give the subdomain for which you need to setup catch-all. In current case it looks like this:

5. Under “2. If the envelope recipient matches the above, do the following” go to “envelop recipient” click on “Replace recipient” and give the email address which need to receive all emails for the domain newsletters.postboxservices.com

How to setup catch-all in Google Workspace

6. Scroll down and opt for “Bypass spam filter for this message” and “Perform this action only on non-recognized addresses”

Google Route settings for catch-all on subdomain

7. Save the form and you are good to go. Now let’s try to send some email to the subdomain which we have setup.

8. Let’s send an email to [email protected]

9. Wow… I received the email at the expected email address and here is the screenshot:

10. This is just one scenario but you may explore Google workspace routing to implement different use cases.

Author:
Saurabh Saxena is a deliverability consultant at Postbox Consultancy Services. He is a hodophile and gastronome.