I work with a lot of clients who love the flexibility and portability of Gmail email – but obviously don’t love having the unprofessional looking firstname.lastname@example.org address on their business communications. In this situation, Google Apps for Work is a great solution, giving you business email with Gmail.
Now this is not a new news blog post – Google Apps for Work has been around for ages (and has lots of other great features too), but there are some steps that you need to ensure that you take in order for your wonderful business email with Gmail to work seamlessly with your website or the likes of Mailchimp (otherwise they will get relegated to junk folders, or not get delivered at all…).
How do I get a business email with Gmail?
Firstly, you will need to register the domain name you would like to use (if you don’t have it already), and need to have access to edit the DNS records.
Then go to https://apps.google.co.nz/intx/en_nz/products/gmail/ to sign up for your free trial.
Costs are based on the number of users you will have (i.e. staff members) with email addresses. If it is just yourself, then this is approx. US$5/month.
You can also get team email addresses (ones that groups of people can access) e.g. info@ or admin@ for free.
What about my existing email address?
Want to have all of your email coming in to your new email inbox? In most cases (certainly if you have an existing Gmail account), auto-forward settings can be actioned up so that these emails are automatically sent to your new inbox.
They also offer migration tools to bring your old emails accross from other services.
But I’ve heard that using Gmail accounts with Mailchimp will mean my emails end up in the junk folder…
If you use a free email provider (e.g. Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc), web hosts and bulk email providers (e.g. Mailchimp) cannot guarantee delivery of e-newsletters or communications from your website (such as order confirmations or contact form submissions).
The reason being that most spam email is sent from these free email providers, And this is true for a Google Apps for Work business email address too, UNLESS you authenticate your Google Apps Domain with SPF.
How to avoid this
You need to set SPF records (short for Sender Policy Framework) within your domain name DNS settings.
This basically allows your email recipients to verify that the server sending your email is authorised to send email on behalf of the domain that is found in your email address.
Instructions can be found here to help you configure SPF records to work with Google Apps.
And as always, I am happy to help if you get stuck (or would just like it to all be set up for you)!