Use Gmail with your business domain email for free!
This may seem like a fairly random article, but I found this awesome little hack a few weeks ago and it's made organising my emails so much easier so I had to share!
This tutorial is for people who have a domain name and an email address package from a domain or hosting provider, but are only able to access their emails through a 'webmail' system on their browser.
Not only is it annoying to have to go into a browser and login to what is probably a pretty ugly webmail system, you'll probably find that you have limited server space that will quickly get filled up with attachments and long email threads.
*FYI, when I use the phrase 'business email address' or 'business domain email', I mean an email address that looks like: firstname.lastname@example.org (rather than something like email@example.com)
So why use gmail?
You may already have heard of Google Work Apps, where you pay per month to have your business email address on Gmail with unlimited space and access some special Google features, but you don't actually need to go down this route if you only want it to use Gmail with your business email address.
Without paying, you can still benefit from:
- Gmail's simple labelling & filtering features
- A free 15GB of server space (probably more than you'll need!)
- Gmail's responsive, easy-to-use desktop and mobile apps
- Easy access to your Google Calendar and Google Drive
- Gmail's 'labs' (including 'canned responses')
Let's get started!
Step 1: Go to Gmail Settings
You probably already have a Google/Gmail account (you seem to need one to do anything on the internet these days!). It probably looks something like: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you're logged in, go to Gmail and go to the Settings.
Then navigate to the 'Accounts and Import' tab.
Step 2: Add your pop3 email account
Chances are, if you've got a business email address and you need to login to a webmail account to access it, it is a POP email (rather than IMAP). I won't go into the detailed differences here.
Under the 'Accounts and Import' tab in Gmail, scroll down to 'Check email from other accounts (using POP3)' and select 'Add a POP3 email account that you own'.
It'll then ask you for the email address that you want to add:
STEP 3: Fill in the correct details
Here's where it gets a little more complicated. It'll take you this section, where the form fields should be filled in a little like this:
In the Username field, you'll want to write out your whole email address again, and in the Password field, you'll need to write the password you normally use to access your email in your usual webmail system.
*Important: The POP server details above may not necessarily be the right one for you, depending on your email host. For example, if my byrosanna.co.uk email account was with Bluehost, I would leave the POP Server details as is. But because I am with UK2.net, I would change it to mail.uk2.net - each to their own.
You can usually find your email host's server details with a quick Google search, like:
'[YOUR HOST] STMP settings'
'[YOUR HOST] POP email server'
As for the other options underneath, here's how I set them:
- 'Leave a copy of retrieved message on server' - UNCHECKED
One of the main reasons I use Gmail is because my email host server space is too small, so I want the emails to go straight to Gmail without touching my host server.
- 'Always use a secure connection (SSL) when retrieving mail' - UNCHECKED
You probably don't need this unless you have your own server and you manage your hosting yourself. Leave it be.
- 'Label incoming messages' - CREATE A NEW LABEL
This basically sets up a filter than means any email coming in that is sent to your business email will automatically be given a label (ie, put into a folder). This is very useful, especially if you actually use your Gmail email address for stuff and you want to keep them separate to be organised!
- 'Archive incoming messages (skip inbox)' - UNCHECKED
I personally want to have my messages come into my inbox because that's the first place I'll look for new emails.
Step 4: Set up to send emails from gmail
Your email account should be added successfuly, but then it'll ask you if you want to be able to send emails from your business email address through Gmail too, which you probably do want to do! Click yes and Next Step.
Here you'll need to enter your Name (the name you want to appear to people when they receive emails from you), and you'll also need to decide whether to treat the email address as an 'alias' or not:
I leave this ticked. If you treat it as an alias, it basically means that it's still YOU, not (for example) your assistant logging into your emails and doing things for you. It's subtle, but you probably want to keep it checked.
Fill in the details again as you did before, but this time you'll notice the 'Port' number has changed.
Leave it as it is unless your host STMP server details say otherwise.
You'll then receive an email to your business email address with a verification code. Type this in here, and you're done!
Step 5: Have fun organising all your old emails!
At this point, be prepared for all your old emails from your business email account to transfer over. I had around 2000 to be moved over and it took about a day; I organised them into folders as they came through.
To keep an eye on the amount of space you have in your Gmail account, you can see this either at the bottom of your inbox, or in the General tab of your Settings:
*EXTRA TIP: Enable 2-step verification
Because you now have some potential confidential business emails coming into your Gmail/Google account, you may want to crank up the security.
If you haven't already, I'd recommend setting up 2-step verification with Google. This means that whenever you log in from somewhere new, Google will send a text with a code to your phone to verify that it is you that is trying to login.
To set this up, go to you Google Account:
And go to your sign in security settings. If you haven't already set up 2-step verification, it should prompt you and give you instructions from here!