Leverage gmail for your professional mailing requirements
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Managing professional emails on a shoe-string budget

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to have a free gmail account yet send and receive email using your professional domain account?

Well you’re in luck cause here is all the magic tricks we have cumulated over the last few years experimenting with various solutions as our startup clients operated on limited budgets.

Get a domain

First of, you need a domain name, so in fact for as little as 300 Rs you can get a great ‘.in’ domain name.  For example chillies-consultants.in

Now, let’s say we need a general email account, say info@chillies-consultants.in, but we may want this account to also accept mails sent to jobs@chillies-consultants.in and contact@chillies-consultants.in.

We refer to the last emails as aliases in the email terminology.

Let’s say we want another email account, ceo@chillies-consultants.in for our startup director.

Set up Gmail accounts

for each email account we create on the professional domain we need a corresponding gmail account which will be our actual in-box.  Gmail is a great platform for hosting your email boxes because it has a fantastic SPAM filter, easy forwarding, and plenty of of space, as well as allowing upto 10 Mb of attachments per mail, which nowadays is usually more than enough, beyond that you can always use shared cloud drives.

So, for the info@chillies…account let’s create a new gmail account, chillies-consultants@gmail.com.  It makes little difference what you call it, because at the end this account will remain completely invisible to the outside world.

For our ceo@chillies…account we could use the personal gmail account of the director, ganesh.xxxx@gmail.com.  The beauty of this solution is that we configure gmail in such a way that you can decide which account to send the mail from (either as the ceo@chillies…. or from the personal email account john.xxxx@…).  Emails received under one account will automatically be sent form the same account when replying to them.  Easy!

Host your domain

Ok now for the technical stuff.  Step 1, you need to host your domain somewhere.  I recommend  GreenGeeks in the US because their service is good, they are competitively priced and best of all their servers run on 100% renewable energy, so you ensure your mails are not contributing to the warming of the planet.

Create email accounts

once you have a hosting account, modify your DNS settings i your domain registrar account to point to your new hosting server.

Log into your cpanel and create the email accounts.  In this example we would be creating

  • info@chillies-consultants.in
  • ceo@chillies-consultants.in

Redirect your mails to gmail

next we need to redirect all incoming mails to our gmail accounts.  To do this we use User-Level mail filters in the cpanel mail section configuration,

  •   Create for each account a new filter.
  • give the filter a name
  • in the ‘Rules’ options, select from the first 2 drop down “Any headers”  &  “Contains”.  Fill the text value with your email address you want to filter, say info@chillies-consultants.in
  • In the ‘Action’ select redirect to email and fill in the text entry with the gmail address you want to redirect to, in this case chillies-consultants@gmail.com
  • save the new filter by clicking the create button
  • repeat the above for the other email.

Aliases and forwards

for the extra emails we want to capture in the info@chillies-consultants.in inbox, got to the ‘Forwarders’ settings of the Mail section of your cpanel and click on the ‘Add Forwarder’. Create a forwarder for your aliases, in this case the address jobs@chillies-consultants.in and forward to the email address chillies-consultants@gmail.com.

This ensures that anyone who send an email to jobs@chillies-consultants.in will be redirected to your gmail inbox.

Tell Google you own the domain

Finally we need to ensure that Google can accept your mails, as well as send the on your behalf.  For this we want to add a DNS setting that will tell Google that you own the domain and want your mails to appear to be coming from your domain and not from Google. To do this you need to add a TXT record in your domain registrar account (if you have not reset your name space records), with the following value,

v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com ~all

Last but not least, sign-in to your google account and in the settings section, go to the Accounts tab and click on the link that says “Add another email address you own”.  You will be requested for the email address and name, following which you will be required to fill in the SMTP server configuration and access credentials for this email account.  This is the information you noted down (or took a screenshot of) when you created your emails on your hosting server.

The SMPT server is basically allowing Google to access your hosted domain server and send mails on behalf of your own domain name.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.