As a small business the idea of paying for an email client for our employee’s seems like an extra cost that is un-necessary. However, to ensure legitimacy you need to have a professional email address that ties back to your domain (website). The problem with most shared hosting platforms is that the email clients really suck after using Gmail for all of your personal emails. Therefore, most small businesses opt to pay for the various email services out there which incur additional monthly cost that could get applied elsewhere. After much tinkering, we have figured out a way to utilize Gmail for your email client while maintaining the professional email address needed for your business. Set up only takes about 10 minutes to get this set up which we outline below.
I plan on demonstrating this using cpanel due to popularity; however the same concepts can get applied to other email clients easily.
Google Mail Step #1
First figure out what email address you want to set up for your business. In this instance we will set up a new email address called firstname.lastname@example.org.
Google Mail Step #2
Find your cpanel or hosting platform login information then log into the control panel. Here is a screen shot of our cpanel after logging in.
Click on the Email Accounts icon that is inside the Mail section.
Once inside the mail client add in your email address then your password. We use the Password Generator* to ensure that we have a very strong password. Once you have added the password press the “Create Account” button. *Note, you will want to copy this password to a secure location.
If the account was created successfully you will see the following message:
Now press the home button in the upper left hand side to go back to the main control panel.
Once you are on the main control panel, select the “Forwarders” icon under the “Mail” section.
After arriving inside the screen, click the “Add Forwarder” button which will open up another screen where you will enter the email address for the domain that you just set up along with the email address that you want to forward a copy of the emails to then press the “Add Forwarder” button.
On success you will get the following message:
You can log out of CPanel now as the verification email that you need later will get sent to the forwarding gmail address that you specified in the above Forwarder screen. *Note – In a future blog I’ll demonstrate how to automatically clean up the emails left on your hosting platform.
Open up Gmail, ensuring that you are logged into Gmail, and click the Wrench in the far right side then click the menu Settings.
After you click on the Settings menu item, a dashboard will open that has a list of items across the top, select the “Accounts and Import” tab.
Scroll down the page until you find the section called “Send Mail As:” then click on the blue link called “Add another email address you own”.
This will open another dialog where you will enter in the name you can use to reference later and the email address for your domain, we will use the email@example.com as our example. After you enter that information, press “Next Step”.
This will then take you to the next screen where you will just press “Next Step”.
This will then take you to another screen letting you know that an email will be coming to the recently setup domain account to verify that you own this email account, press “Send Verification”.
An email has now been sent to your new domain email account, do not close this screen as we will come back to it later. At this point open your Gmail client to get the verification code.
Once inside of Gmail open the email from Google labeled “Gmail Confirmation – Send Mail as ….” inside of that email you will find the option to use the confirmation code or just click the link to verify the email account. For this demonstration we will use the confirmation code. Copy the confirmation code and paste it into the Google dialog box that is still open then press “Verify” which will then close the dialog box and add the email address as a row in the “Send Mail as” section.
To ensure that you constantly use this email address as your outbound email address, press the blue link for “make default” on the right hand side.
Below this are additional settings that will allow you to select which address should be used when replying to an email, in most instances since this is your personal and professional email you will want to select the first radio button to reply from the address that the email was sent to.
That is the last step in the entire process for setting up Google Mail as your default Business Email client. I will add that this is the simple configuration which does have some caveats. We will list a couple, however we are certain that we are missing some (if you have additional situations please let us know).
1. This setup does not track the emails that were sent from your domain in on your server, therefore if you want to track the outbound emails in your system for logging purposes then in step #9 you would change it from using Google Outbound servers to use your own.
2. If an employee leaves, they can still send email from your domain. You can turn off the forwarder and delete the email address inside of your CPanel should this happen.
Use these steps to set up business emails for yourself and your employees. We hope you find this as cost effective as we have.