Domain Name Email Redirection

So, you've been directed here by myself or someone else who wants you to consider how a Domain Name (DN) might help you with your email situation.

The "situation" we're going to consider is the one where, for what ever reason, you've once again changed your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and that changed your email address. Thus you are, once again, sending out a bulk email to everyone in your Personal Address Book (PAB) asking them to again update their PAB to have your latest email address.

For me, my first ISP was Internet Illinois (joethall@inil.com), then came Excite At Home (joethall@excite.com) then came AT&T Broadband Internet (joethall@attbi.com) and just recently (7/1/2003) came Comcast. Who knows what it will be next week?

I became tired of the bulk email routine each time that I changed my email service provider (ESP) - because I had changed my ISP (or had it changed for me).

So, here's my solution - route all email through a Domain Name !!!

To make this happen you need to do the following (Cliff Notes Summary):

  1. Find an available Domain Name
  2. Buy the name (and keep paying for it each year - ~$30)
  3. Configure the name to forward email sent to it to your current email service provider
  4. Configure your email processor's Reply-to address to be through your Domain Name
  5. Send out (hopefully your last) a bulk email advertising your new (and final) email address

The next time you change your ISP, and thus email service provider, just update your Domain Name Email Forwarding and you are done!

In more detail:

Browse around the internet for sites that sell Domain Names. I get all of mine from http://www.enom.com, but you are welcome to shop around. (I will be describing how this is done using Enom, but the same general procedures should work with a different Domain Name provider). The essential characteristic is that the provider must include "email forwarding" with your domain name.

Most DN provider sites have a place where you can enter a prospective DN to see if it is available. You enter some linkMyDomain.com and let the site figure out if that name is available (it's not, but we will continue to use it as if it were). Just keep entering prospective names until you find one that you like and is also available - then buy it with your credit card!

At Enom when you make this purchase you'll end up giving them an account name and this name doesn't have to have anything to do with your chosen DN - although you can use your DN as your Account Name if you like. The password is obvious and you will use it to "log on to your DN" to set its properties and to change them later if necessary.

Once you've purchased the DN you can log into the site and set its "email forwarding" properties. Most system allow all email addresses sent to the DN to be forwarded to the same ESP - Enom does this with the * designation. This means that what ever legal name precedes your DN will be forwarded. So, in our example for MyDomain.com the email addresses email@MyDomain.com, joe@MyDomain.com, jth@MyDomain.com and even gznorp@MyDomain.com will all be forwarded to the same place. (As a slight diversion, you can direct different addresses to different ESPs if you like.)

On the email forwarding screen opposite the * enter your current ESP - like gznorp@aol.com - and instantly any email to <anything>@MyDomain.com will show up in the email of gznorp@aol.com - it's just that easy.

However, there remain a couple of things to be done.

First, go into your favorite email processing program (Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, etc.) and set the Reply To option to email@MyDomain.com and then send yourself an email and see where the Reply would go to. You want to do this so that when you send an original email to someone and they hit the Reply button on their email processor, the return email comes back through your DN.

Other than setting your email forwarding properties, DO NOT GIVE OUT YOUR REAL EMAIL ADDRESS TO ANYONE !!!

Now you can use your email processor to send out your last "I've changed my email address again" email message. Only this time tell everyone that you are email@MyDomain.com and that they should update their Personal Address Books accordingly.

I hope this helps.

jth