I needed a hosted mail service for one of my domains and went with Zoho, mostly because it was cheaper than some others. Setup was not as easy as it could have been since they include no support documents for AWS/Route 53. Here’s what you need to know to set it up.
Your Route 53 record set should look like this:
Specifically, you want nothing in front of the domain name in the name spot, and yes, you want periods after the values for the mx entries.
To verify your setup, go to the Control Panel in Zoho (top right of your in-box), click on the Domains entry on the right. If it is setup correctly, you should see a green checkmark under the MX Records entry.
If you want to forward messages that arrive in that inbox, be aware that Zoho will not forward an email that is coming from the account that you are forwarding to.
Specifically, I had Zoho forward all incoming mail to email@example.com. If I send an email from firstname.lastname@example.org to Zoho, it will not forward it since it’s forwarding back to where it came from. I had to forward from a different account to verify that forwarding works.