Cloudflare has simplified the process to receive emails for your custom domains with its email routing feature, but how do you send emails from your custom domain for free?
You can’t send emails using Cloudflare yet, but you can send mail as Gmail for your custom domain for free. You will need to configure the feature ‘send mail as’ in your free Gmail account to send emails using your professional domain name.
Well, if you need a dedicated solution including extensive features, you definitely need to find professional solutions such as Google Workspace (use our coupon to save on your plans if you decide to do so) and Microsoft Outlook, among others.
However, if you don’t mind a few limitations and if it’s not a big project, you can perfectly use Gmail’s “Send mail as” feature with your custom domain and Cloudflare email routing.
And if you haven’t yet added all of your domains to Cloudflare yet, I would definitely recommend doing so. Even for domains that you redirect somewhere else (see our Cloudflare domain redirects guide here)!
In this complete web guide, we will look at how you can configure the settings in the best possible way to send emails using Gmail for your custom Cloudflare domain.
Send mail as Gmail Settings for Cloudflare Domain
This guide assumes that you have already configured Cloudflare for your domain name and hence refers to your custom domain as Cloudflare domain.
If you are searching for send mail as Gmail settings feature, I would also assume you have already configured your incoming email settings using the Cloudflare Email Routing feature.
You can see our detailed guide on how to receive emails using the Cloudflare email routing feature for free.
While Cloudflare helps with receiving email part, it doesn’t support the send email as your custom domain part, so we can use Gmail for the sending part to configure those settings for free.
Let’s dive into how you can send emails using Gmail SMTP from a Cloudflare-routed email address.
Essentially, we are using a free Gmail account for an outbound mail server for our custom domain hosted on Cloudflare.
Step 1: Make sure you have 2FA enabled for your Gmail
Before you start with this process, it is important to note that you should have two-factor authentification enabled for your Google account.
Go to 2FA settings for your Google Account to configure the settings. Follow these steps to locate the settings.
- 1: Go to your Google Account Settings by clicking on Manage your Google Account.
- 2: Click on the Security tab on your left.
- 3: Under the heading “Signing in to Google,” 2-Step Verification settings, click on Get started.
Follow the instructions and make sure your 2-step Verification is now turned on before you can proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Create an App Password for Mail
Once you have configured your two-factor authentication settings, create an App password to use for your Gmail settings in the next steps.
Go to the App Passwords settings available under the same section where you configure the 2-step verification.
Select Mail under the ‘select APP‘ option and the Other option under the ‘Select device‘ option (give it any name), and click on Generate for the password to appear.
Copy and save the password; we will need it in the settings later.
Step 3: Go to Settings in your Gmail account
Once you login to your Gmail account, click on the gear icon at the top right corner and select “See all Settings“. You should be redirected to a new page where you will find many tabs on the top.
Step 4: Go to Accounts and the Import tab
Now, go to the “Accounts and Import” tab and scroll down until you find the “Send mail as” section. Click on “Add another email address“.
You can now enter your name and the custom domain email address that you want to send emails from.
Step 5: Select “Send through Gmail SMTP server”
Since we are using our Gmail account as an outbound mail server, enter Gmail’s SMTP email server settings – “smtp.gmail.com”. This will use the settings of your current Gmail account to send emails from your custom domain address.
See the complete settings in the next step if you can’t figure it out from the screenshot above.
Step 6: Enter the Gmail SMTP Settings and verification code
Now you will have to enter the SMTP settings of your Gmail account and select the port as follows.
|Username||enter your Gmail address here (email@example.com)|
|Password||Paste the app-specific password you generated above|
Once you have entered the above details correctly, continue by clicking on the Add Account button.
You will receive a verification code in your Gmail inbox that you need to enter and verify the ownership of your email.
Go to the Inbox of your Gmail email address and enter the verification code here.
And that’s it! You are done setting up the send mail as Gmail feature for your custom domain hosted at Cloudflare.
You can now select your new custom domain email address to send new emails or reply to any emails.
When you are composing a new message, just select the new email address using the drop down icon to select the email you want to use.
As you can see in the screenshot, I am able to select both Gmail and custom domain email addresses to send a new email.
Step 7: Update your SPF TXT Record on Cloudflare
One more important step you need to do in order to ensure the deliverability of your emails is to update your SPF TXT Record on Cloudflare DNS settings for your custom domain.
Head over to the DNS settings for your domain in Cloudflare and find the TXT record that exists already for ‘_spf.mx.cloudflare.net‘
and update it to include ‘_spf.google.com‘
Edit the record and enter the following record;
v=spf1 include:_spf.mx.cloudflare.net include:_spf.google.com ~all
Save the settings, and you are all ready to send emails using your Cloudflare-routed email address.
Basic FAQs of Using Gmail for Cloudflare Domains
Here’re quick answers to some of the basic FAQs related to using Gmail for Cloudflare domains to send emails.
Can I use Gmail to send emails from my domain using Cloudflare?
Yes, you can use Gmail’s “Send through Gmail SMTP server” feature to send emails for Cloudflare-configured domains.
How to ensure deliverability of custom domain emails using Gmail and Cloudflare?
You need to make sure to add the correct SPF DNS record in Cloudflare DNS settings so that Google can send emails on behalf of your domain.
Does Cloudflare offer email forwarding and sending?
Yes, Cloudflare offers email forwarding, which can easily be configured with its Email routing option. However, Cloudflare doesn’t offer a full mailbox yet, and you will need to use third-party solutions such as Gmail or others to send emails using your domain email address.
How to hide the original Gmail address shown in the email header?
You cannot hide the original Gmail address; it will definitely be revealed in the email headers as you are using Gmail to send emails.
Compose Emails and Reply using Custom Email Address
You can now use your custom domain email address to compose new emails and reply to emails using your Gmail Inbox.
To compose new emails using the custom domain email address, just select it from the From field at the top or bottom of your compose window.
You can also configure Gmail filters to send certain emails directly to your custom domain email address.
Using Gmail’s “Send mail as” feature with Cloudflare-routed email is a great way to send emails for free using your own domain name. All you have to do is make sure you configure the settings properly and follow all the steps mentioned above.
With this setup, you can easily save money compared to using paid professional solutions like Google Workspace and Microsoft Outlook.
So, if you are looking for a great way to send emails from your custom domain without breaking the bank, then using Cloudflare and Gmail (send mail as) is the perfect solution!