The Localhost

Modern web development guides hints and tips.

Configure Custom Domain Email with Zoho and Now


In this guide I’m going to cover the configuring of your custom domain with Vercel’s Now platform using the Now CLI.

I’ll be primarily covering the steps you take after setting up an account with an email provider, the email provider I’m using is Zoho Mail if you don’t use either of these services then this guide may not be much use to you.

What you’ll need

It’s implied that you have a machine set up for web development already and are familiar with using the terminal.

If you need to get set up for Windows I have written a guide previously on that topic.

If you’re a Linux user, check out this video on getting set up:

Set up an account

Zoho mail offer a 5 GB forever free plan, so as long as you can manage your email archiving then you are good to go.

You also get up to five users and a 25mb file attachment limit with hosting for a single domain.

Pretty good right!

Create an admin super user

When you sign up with Zoho Mail you will be prompted to create a super admin user for your zoho account and you’re given the opportunity to set up two factor authentication (2fa).

Zoho will even tell you about their authenticator app, which is only for authenticating with Zoho. Use this is you like, I use a 2fa app that you can use for multiple services.

Verify you own the domain

You will be given a code to verify that you are the owner of the domain, which you will need to add as a TXT entry on your domain with the Now CLI.

The verification token will look something like this:

1zoho-verification=se4567894.zmverify.zoho.eu

Add that to your domain DNS with the Now CLI, you can check your domain DNS entries with the ls command.

1# list your dns entries
2now dns ls yourdomain.com
3# add the zoho verification as a TXT record
4now dns add yourdomain.com @ TXT zoho-verification=se4567894.zmverify.zoho.eu

Add the MX records

Now to configure the MX records. MX records are essential to receive emails in your domain. The MX records for your domain will look something like this:

Host NameAddressPriority
@ / Blankmx.zoho.eu10
@ / Blankmx2.zoho.eu20
@ / Blankmx3.zoho.eu50

Add them much in the same way as with the verification token with the Now CLI this time specifying an MX instead of TXT and there’s a second argument for the priority:

1now dns add yourdomain.com @ MX mx.zoho.eu 10
2now dns add yourdomain.com @ MX mx.zoho.eu 20
3now dns add yourdomain.com @ MX mx.zoho.eu 50

Set the Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

To ensure that valid emails from your domain get delivered to your users, and spoofed emails from other spammers are identified by the other email services, it’s recommend you add an SPF record for your domain.

This will go into a TXT record like with the verification token:

1now dns add yourdomain.com @ TXT 'v=spf1 include:zoho.eu ~all'

Note: You may need to wait a while after making these changes before the DNS updates can be verified via Zoho.

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