Dealing with Google Workspace Mail Cost Effectively by dealing with Routing

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OK, I’ve already posted on this, but it’s a little tricky to figure out how to setup up Google Workspace if you are just doing it for personal reasons and don’t really want everyone in your household to pay $6/month for mail, but you do want vanity domains to work properly. Here is the update guide for how to do this but there are no less than three different routing system in Gmail which is a little confusing plus you can also use Google Group to do the same if you want.

For most folks, I think Default Routing it’s slightly easier to find but Recipient Address Maps is probably fastest to do since you just need a quick table mapping input to output:

Of these I’ve found the most pain but which definitely works is to use Default Routing Rules as explained below. And works well when you have just a few rules.

  • You do need at least one account that is the master that does pay money. However, for the kids and so forth, you don’t need this since they won’t mind sending mail with an @gmail.com rather from @yourvanity.com.
  • There are two very different ways of doing this, the first is that buried inside https://workspace.google.com is Apps > Google Workspace > Gmail > Default routing
  • There you can Add Another Rule and then you select Add X-GM-Origin-To and X-GM-Spam and X-GM-Phishy headers and then choose Add more recipients and type in the gmail address. And make sure to uncheck Bypass spam filter for this message

The alternative way is to create a Google Group so that you are not buried, but it does mean that you are keeping all those messages and potentially other people. This is not a bad way to manage group aliases like admin@ where you really want to keep the messages for all to see

Finally, there’s are the two “advanced ways”. Confusingly, the default routing is at the top, but regular routing is actually in Workspace.google.com > Apps > Google Workspace > Gmail > Advanced Settings > Routing:

  • This particular service allows rewriting of both incoming and outgoing and also it allows full regular expression matching of names for rewriting. So if you want all email going to `demo[1-4].*1` to go to a single demo account, you can do this
  • When you make the change note that the user interface is not very conventional, you even you choose save in the Routing dialog, there is another Save in the Advanced Settings, so you basically have to click save twice.
  • It looks like it is working and it says enabled but it is isn’t really until the Advanced Settings Save button is hit.
  • Also the strings here are case sensitive, so looking for `Marketing` does not work if you want `marketing` as well.
  • The same is true for destinations

that is call a Recipient Address Map, this is a little easier because you can just have a single table rather than individual addresses.

  • Go to Workspace.google.com > Apps > Google Workspace > Gmail > Advanced Settings > Recipient address map
  • Select All incoming message and create a name for the map.
  • This works better because you have a single table to look at.
  • As with regular Routing, after you create the name list and hit Save
  • You need to hit Save again in Advanced Settings.

So net, net if you do not need vanity domains a clever use of routing will let “non-critical” folks who don’t need vanity domains to still get mail via those domains (although when they send it will come out of those gmails).

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