Email guide

Already under the assumption that I might be helping you set up your website, this is a quick guide on how the email would work.  There are many other ways to set up email for your company, including paid ones, but these are the easiest and cheaper (free) ways that I will touch on.  Any private mails (Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc) would from here on be referred to Gmail (@gmail.com) instead.

Company structure

Firstly, you should think of your company structure.  Should there be a specific email for every staff?  A shared email handled by a team (example: customer relations / marketing team)?

Types of email systems

Let’s assume that your company’s name is ” XYZ Company “.  There are several options possible, we’ll go through them starting from the most basic :

1) Using your personal mail.

You could just keep using your personal mail.

Pros:

  • No need to keep checking into a separate account for work emails.
  • No extra usernames or passwords to remember.

Cons:

  • Looks unprofessional if your email was coolboy888@yahoo.com.
  • Getting many emails could clutter work and personal and spam emails into the same account, potentially missing out on urgent emails.
2) Creating a new Gmail account.

You’ll create an email account with the email address XYZCompany@gmail.com.  To read your emails, you will have to log into Gmail.  Simple.

Pros:

  • Being separate from your personal email, it would not affect your own personal email account if it gets full, etc.

Cons:

  • Looks unprofessional and unofficial with @gmail.com email. Potential clients might think it’s a fake (scam) account and might ignore / delete your emails.
  • You have to keep logging into the separate email accounts.  However, there are ways to have 2 gmail accounts sync to your phone, so that you don’t miss any emails.
3) Creating an email under your Domain

You can create an email address like contact@XYZCompany.com for example.  Any emails sent to this address can be directed to the Gmail account mailbox XYZCompany@gmail.com created in option 2.  You can send the email back as contact@XYZCompany.com, while you are still logged into XYZCompany@gmail.com on the Gmail website.

This is the best option, as it is versatile and the email account / address can be shareable between members of your team.

(Under editing)

It is possible to reply as your customised personal email from your Gmail account.  This is also the easiest method as all the emails will be stored in your Gmail, and won’t be lost if you decide to cancel your services with me.  For example, I have an email, example@gmail.com using Gmail, and have “contact@mybusiness.com” as my website contact email.  I just need to log into my Gmail to read and reply to my “contact@mybusiness.com”.  This is because I have directed all my “contact@mybusiness.com” emails into my Gmail Inbox.  I will also Reply As contact@example.com via the Gmail website.

Multiple staff, multiple emails:

If you have a business and have multiple staff, I can help you set up multiple number of emails under your domains.  For example, you can have “john@mybusiness.com” and “jason@mybusiness.com”, that goes to John and Jason respectively.  If John and Jason are both in the customer relations team, an email “feedback@mybusiness.com” can be set up to go to both John and Jason, without them having to log into the “feedback@mybusiness.com” email.  If you prefer to assume the worst that a staff might leave the company, you might want to create another Gmail account (mybusinessfeedback@gmail.com for example) to store these ‘group’ emails so that all emails that was sent to “feedback@mybusiness.com” can still be stored (archived) and retrieved later on.  The set back is that this account (mybusinessfeedback@gmail.com) might get full without you knowing, if you do not log into it to check.

Accessing your emails

As previously mentioned, you could just use Gmail via the internet at the address mail.google.com to access your emails that are directed into the inbox of XYZCompany@gmail.com.  However, if you would prefer to use email programs such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla ThunderBird, you can still set it up to access the Gmail server.

Traditional methods used to get the emails via POP, which means once downloaded to your computer, they are deleted from the server to reduce clutter.  This is commonly practiced by big companies having many employees, and thus they try to reduce the mailbox limits for each employee.  Recall how you might get “Mail delivery failed as recipient’s inbox is full” message from your colleague that went on long leave.  This is because their computer did not download and delete the emails form the server, thus filling it up to their mailbox limit.

A newer method is to use IMAP, where your computer synchronizes its mailbox with the server’s mailbox.  You could also connect multiple computers / laptops / tablets to the same mailbox account with no issues.  The benefits of IMAP is that no matter where you are, the emails are always accessible and latest emails are always synchronized with any computers.  However the downside is that as the emails are not deleted from the server, it will fill up over time.  This can be managed by archiving the emails, by downloading emails into backups when each project has ended or when the emails’ age hits 2 years or older, for example.  The emails can then be deleted from the server after archiving them.

Further reading

Why IMAP is better than POP when choosing how you access your emails, read HERE.

Latest email guides at Webfactions website HERE.

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