A number of steps have to be taken to be able to receive emails for your domain on StartMail. Please stick to the procedure provided in this document. Below you can find a diagram outlining the necessary steps to set up a Business Account.
Register a Setup Account
- Navigate to https://www.startmail.com/signup/business, enter your information and click on Proceed.
- Your Setup Account name is shown.
- Your Master Key will be shown only once. Print it or Download it as file. Please store it securely.
Validate your domain
Before you can use StartMail with your own domain, we need to verify that it really is yours. You can verify domain ownership by adding a DNS TXT-record in your domain's DNS settings with a token that we supply. You will have to configure this in the management console of your domain host, not in the StartMail Business menu.
What is DNS?
DNS stands for Domain Name System.You can find more information about DNS and how exactly it works in this Wikipedia article.
Every domain host can use a slightly varying way to manage DNS settings, so we can only provide general information about how to set it up. Ask for assistance from your domain host if you do not know how to manage your DNS settings.
Adding the validation TXT record
- Go to menu Business, submenu Domains, and click “Add domain”.
- Click the Add domain button.
- Enter the domain name you want to use, for instance “yourdomain.com”.
- Now click “Verify domain”.
- You will be shown a verification value that you’ll need to enter into your DNS settings.
- Log in to your domain management panel at your host > Locate the DNS settings page > add a TXT record with the content shown in the box below (you should leave existing records in place). Enter the verification value you received at step 5, and save your changes.
Note: The value under "Name" has to be your domain, including the extension, followed by a period. If you want to register a subdomain, like me.mydomain.com, enter the full subdomain and end with a period: “me.mydomain.com.” However, depending on your domain hosting provider the NAME value might be different. If validation does not work with the name displayed above, try again without the period at the end. Other setup configurations could be required by your host. If this all fails, please contact your hosting provider.
Depending on your host, it may take some time before StartMail can access this particular TXT record.
- Please go back to your StartMail Business menu > submenu Domains > and click the Verify button.
Typically the verification can take place within minutes. However, in some cases it can take up to a couple of days before the changes are propagated and discoverable by our services. If you have configured all your settings correctly, they will turn green. If we found any incorrect information we display why the settings are incorrect and what we’ve found in the DNS records. If you think you have set up your TXT records correctly, but are still unable to verify the domain after three days, please contact email@example.com.
In order to use StartMail as your email host, you will have to purchase one Seat for every email address on your domain. A seat costs $59.95 / €49.95 per year. In order to purchase Seats, please go to Business > Accounts in your Setup account menu, and click the Buy more Seats button for as many Seats as you need accounts.
Activate Seats and create Staff Accounts
The next step is to activate those Seats and fill them with Staff Accounts. The Admin is responsible for creating the Staff Account’s passwords. They will be able to change their password. If a Staff Account user lost their password, you can reset a Staff Account’s password using the Master Key.
DNS record setup for StartMail
After these accounts have been created, they are ready to receive email that is being sent to them. You’re almost done!
The internet still needs to be made aware of the fact that emails to your domain will have to be delivered to our infrastructure.
You need to update the Domain Name Service (DNS) records of your domain in order to use StartMail. You will have to configure this in the management console of your domain host, not in the StartMail Business menu.
Every domain host can use a slightly varying way to manage DNS records, so we can only provide general information about how to set it up. Ask for assistance from your host if you do not know how to manage your DNS settings.
To receive and send mail using StartMail you'll have to add or replace three additional records. Again, if you have configured all your settings correctly, they will turn green. If we found any incorrect information we will display why the settings are incorrect and what we’ve found in the DNS records.
- MX records specify where the incoming mail will be delivered. To receive your mail at StartMail, you will need to specify our servers. It is important to correctly configure the priority to make sure that your email can be delivered to you reliably. More information in this Wikipedia article.
- SPF records identify which mail servers are permitted to send email on behalf of your domain. The purpose of an SPF record is to catch spammers sending messages with forged From addresses at your domain. Recipients can refer to the SPF record to determine whether a message purporting to be from your domain comes from an authorized mail server. More information is available in this Support Center article.
- If you also send mail via other systems or service providers on the same domain, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Setting up the DNS Records
- Log in to your domain management panel from your host.
- Locate the DNS settings page
Update all the MX records to match the following list, delete or create new entries as needed:
Record Type Name Value Priority TTL MX @ mx1.smtp.startmail.com 10 600 MX @ mx2.smtp.startmail.com 10 600 MX @ smx-5c0.smtp.startmail.com 20 600
If there are any SPF records (type SPF or type TXT starting with v=spf1) remove them. Once done, add a TXT record with these values (Do NOT use an SPF record which is no longer used. It has to be a TXT record.):
Record Type Name Value TTL TXT @ v=spf1 include:spf.startmail.com ~all 600
- Save your changes
Depending on your domain hosting provider the NAME value might be different. If validation does not work with the name displayed above, please look up the syntax used by your hosting provider. It might take up to 72 hours for the changes to propagate to all mail servers across the Internet. In the mean time emails could either be delivered to your old email provider or to your new StartMail email account(s). Usually the downtime is much shorter.