Starting out in business? Use Gmail for your company branded email for free!
by Sam Davis
When a client approaches me for the purpose of wanting a new website, quite often their first requirement is to get their email addresses set up. There are numerous ways to get this established, such as using G-Suite or Outlook Premium, all of which require a monthly subscription – however, for startups, I’m continually finding myself recommending Gmail in order to fulfil their needs – as it provides flexibility at an early stage which does not necessarily tie them down whilst their business is in its infancy.
Often, the ability to check and synchronise email on different devices is top of the list when it comes to the feature that users require from their email address, but there are a number of other factors which are of equal priority. These include good levels of storage, virus scanning facilities, the ability to add further email addresses, having email signatures, plus – the requirement for all the bells and whistles such as auto-responders, ease of search, and organising your mailbox efficiently.
The “go to” method of managing mail is simply to create an email account at server level, but setup process can also be painful – if you have 5 different email addresses and 5 different devices, that is 25 lots of settings you need to be entering.
With the majority of users having iPhones or Android devices, the default “go to” method of managing mail is simply to create an email account at server level, and then add them to the built-in Mail apps. Whilst this does provide an easy way to check and send email, on many occasions, if you need to do anything technical – it cannot be done on the phone. The setup process can also be painful – because if you have 5 different email addresses and 5 different devices, that is 25 lots of settings you need to be entering – what a rigmarole!
So, what’s the solution? Here comes the science bit, concentrate!
The following five steps will give you a run down on exactly how you need to be setting up your email account.
- Set up a Gmail Account
If we go the Gmail route, the process is much more simplified. You can use an existing Gmail account that you have, or you can create a new one specifically. So, lets say I create an account firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Create a Single Mailbox
At server level, you just need to create a SINGLE mailbox, for example email@example.com – you then just need to create forwarders for every other email address you want on your domain, all of which should forward to the aforementioned mailbox you setup
- Add your address
Then, within Gmail, you need to navigate to the Accounts section in settings, and the proceed to add an email account in the “Check email from other accounts” section. Here, you just need to enter the details of the mailbox that you created earlier. Once you have done this, you’ll then be able to send & receive from your firstname.lastname@example.org email address. Due to the fact that all your other email addresses are forwarding to this address, you’ll also now be receiving all mails sent to any of the address you set up. You are advised to set this address as Default.
- Create the “send from” addresses
Finally, in order to make it so that you can SEND emails from the other forwarding address that you created, in the same section, you just need to click Add Another Email Address in the “Send From” section. You should proceed to enter the credentials of the master mailbox you created originally, and they’ll then send you an email to verify the address is yours. Once the email arrives, click the link (or enter the verification number), and you’ll then be able to email from that address!
- Start playing!
There are extra options such as adding different signatures for each address (in Settings > General), and then creating different rules for each email address (in Settings > Filters) – such as auto-replying to certain emails, putting them in folders, colouring them, tagging them, and more!
Sending an Email
Finally, it just needs to be mentioned that when you compose a new email, the email address it will come from will always be the default address that you set in Settings > Accounts, however should you wish to choose another one, just select it from the drop down! Furthermore, one of the features you are advised to activate – is the checkbox to “Reply from the same address to which the message was sent” – which ensures that your emailed replies will always, you guessed it, come from the email address to which the email was sent.