How to configure emails in Google Apps in a typical small business?
Starting December 2012 Google Apps is not free any more for new customers. If you got it earlier or don’t mind paying, it gives you a relatively simple way to configure users and groups.
Lets review the typical needs of a small business. Lets assume we receive billing and support emails and we have these individuals:
- Worker – handles support email
- Accountant – handles billing emails
- Boss – receives copies of both types emails and wants to answer to some of them
We could have assumed they are not individuals, but types of users, but it is enough for demo purposes to stick with the former.
Prior to 2014 you could have used Groups to email from them. But now Google requires SMTP when you add new email addresses in Gmail. So Groups are still useful to organize people to mail to, but useless if you want to email from the groups – for this we will create separate email accounts/users that would be shared. We will still use groups to organize people, but this will be out private setup that our clients do not need to know. For our case we will create groups:
- SupportGroup (add Worker and Boss to it)
- AccountingGroup (add Accountant and Boss to it)
Small note, when creating a group, make sure to check “Also allow anyone on the internet to post messages”
And we will create these “users” that will be used as public group emails:
- Support – redirect all mail to SupportGroup
- Billing – redirect all mail to AccountingGroup
Now all emails sent to Support will go to SupportGroup, then to Worker and Boss. The only reason to use SupportGroup vs managing redirects in Support account settings is to manage the list of recipients in one single place and also skip confirming redirects for each single user (you’d still have to do it once for SupportGroup). It would also be advisable in Support gmail settings to set deleting mail after it was redirected to SupportGroup.
This takes care about receiving email. To send, each of users would have to add the group email as their own. In our case both Worker and Boss would have to go to Gmail Settings > “Accounts and Imports”, click “Add another email address you own” and set:
- Email: Support@MyDomain.com
- SMTP Server: smtp.gmail.com
- Username: Support@MyDomain.com
- Password: [Support email password]
When replying to a client, it would be a good idea to BCC the Support email so the Boss (or whoever is in that group) would receive a copy. Then both Accountant and Boss would add Billing@MyDomain.com as the addresses they own.
Now emails sent to Support@MyDomain.com will be received and can be replied from the same address by Worker and Boss. And Billing@MyDomain.com – by Accountant and Boss.