This article will get technical. There are many options to set up email for your company, including paid ones, but these are the cheapest ways (also free to most extent) that I will touch on. Any private mails (Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc) would from here on be referred to Gmail (@gmail.com) instead.
I will cover a few possibilities depending on your company structure :
– You work alone (Self employed)
– You have different teams handling separate aspects of the company (see Structured Company below)
You just need a professional email. Currently you are using email@example.com and will be changing it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You have had many emails from previous clients on your email@example.com account, and that is fine. Gmail has a guide HERE to set up your email so that you can get emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org directly in your email@example.com account. If you are not using Gmail, i suggest that you create a new account and follow the same setting up instructions.
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)?
The image below shows a typical company structure and the corresponding emails associated with the team. Different staffs could get the same emails sent to a group email. This is useful for different projects and to ensure new staff will be in the loop through out the project.
There are 2 main ways to setting up your company’s email. Pros and cons will be explained below.
Option 1) Using Gmail as an online email platform.
Option 2) Using computer based email like Microsoft Outlook or the free Mozilla Thunderbird.
|Option 1||Can access online any time while on the move||Since we are using Gmail, it will get full as more emails with attachments are sent|
|Option 2||As emails are downloaded onto computers, will not get full||When staff leaves and the computer is not owned by the company, all the previous email records will be lost as it is not available online (like in Gmail in Option 1)|
Steps for Option 1:
Create a new Gmail account.
You’ll create an email account with the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. To read your emails, you will have to log into Gmail. Simple.
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.
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, email@example.com using Gmail, and have “firstname.lastname@example.org” as my website contact email. I just need to log into my Gmail to read and reply to my “email@example.com”. This is because I have directed all my “firstname.lastname@example.org” emails into my Gmail Inbox. I will also Reply As email@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 “firstname.lastname@example.org” and “email@example.com”, that goes to John and Jason respectively. If John and Jason are both in the customer relations team, an email “firstname.lastname@example.org” can be set up to go to both John and Jason, without them having to log into the “email@example.com” email. If you prefer to assume the worst that a staff might leave the company, you might want to create another Gmail account (firstname.lastname@example.org for example) to store these ‘group’ emails so that all emails that was sent to “email@example.com” can still be stored (archived) and retrieved later on. The set back is that this account (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
Why IMAP is better than POP when choosing how you access your emails, read HERE.