Lessons Learned: Business E-mail Addresses April 21, 2016 08:00

There are many small things you can do when starting up a company that make people take your company a bit more seriously. Ways to help you "fake it until you make it." One of those small things is setting up a company/business e-mail. 

Our real e-mail address: upstudio.nc@gmail.com

Our advertised e-mail address: hello@upstudionc.com

Doesn't the company one appear a little bit more polished, make us seem more legit?

Typically the place that hosts your website domain will have some sort of system to help you set up a business account. So, if you already have your website set up, start there. If you are looking for a good host, we highly recommend using Google Domains, just $12 a year. 

One of the free services Google Domains offers is what they call "E-mail Forwarding". You can set up alias e-mail addresses that all come to your actual e-mail address. You can setup up to 100 aliases. Note that with the free service all of your aliases are directed into an existing e-mail address, so for us they all go to upstudio.nc@gmail.com. If you want to upgrade this, you can have separate accounts set up (instead of aliases) through Google Apps for businesses for $5 a user. We are a cheap start-up so we just use the "E-mail Forwarding". When we put our professional looking e-mail on our business cards, no one knows the difference, and we are okay with all the e-mails flowing through the same place, easier for us both to see everything that is going on, feel the pulse.

If you are a fellow Google Domain user here is a quick tutorial on setting up E-mail Forwarding.... 

First log into your Google Domain's account (go to https://domains.google/).

Your screen should look like this:

Google Domain Login, UPstudio setting up a business e-mail

First click on the DNS icon and confirm that you have chosen to use the Google Name Server. If you haven't, E-mail Forwarding won't work for you, sorry. (If you haven't, please tell us why you haven't, we aren't really sure of reason not to, please enlighten us...)

Next, click on the e-mail icon. You should then see the screen below, where you can type in whatever alias addresses you so desire... 

E-mail Forwarding Screen, UPstudio, Setting up Business E-mail

You can see that we actually have our own personal aliases if we want to get super snazzy! Also note that we have one listed as "*@upstudionc.com". This is what they call a wildcard, which means that anything else someone chooses to send their e-mail to that ends with "@upstudionc.com" will also be forwarded to our upstudio.nc@gmail.com account. Example, if someone decides to send an e-mail to thisblogisawesome@upstudionc.com, we'd get it in our inbox.

Google Domains will then send a confirmation e-mail to the recipient address to finish the set up. (If the recipient address is the same as the one you use to sign into Google Domain, this step is skipped.) You are now ready to send a test e-mail! 

So, that was easy, right? Now the fun begins...

When we first set this up, we were so excited, we felt legit. We quickly realized that yes, people could e-mail us at our new fancy e-mail addresses, but when we replied to their e-mails it still said from "upstudio.nc@gmail.com", totally blew our cover. We also couldn't send newly created e-mails from our new addresses either.

How do you send mail from your forwarded e-mail addresses you ask? Let us walk you through it.. 

Log into your Gmail account, click on your user icon on the top right of the screen and select the "My Account" button.

Under "Sign-in & security" click on "signing in to Google".

Under "Password & sign-in method" there should be a section called "App passwords." If it appears like this, click on it.. 

App Password Screen, UPstudio Business E-mail with Gmail

If it doesn't, it probably means that you don't have the "2-Step Verification" turned on. We personally do not have this turned on because we have two individuals using one account which makes utilizing it a little more difficult. If you're like us, go through the process of turning it on for now, and then after you complete this process you can turn it back off, no issues. 

When you click on "App passwords" your screen should look like the one below (minus the fact that you probably have no previous app passwords set up). 

App Password, UPstudio, Business E-mail with Gmail

Add a new password by selecting "Mail" for the app, and "Other" for the device. Once you select "other" it will ask you to name the device, enter the name of your domain, so for us it is "upstudionc.com". You will then be given a new app password (found in the yellow box):

Generate App Password Screen, UPstudio Business E-mail with Gmail

WRITE DOWN THE PASSWORD! You will need it in a few short steps. If you are setting up multiple e-mail address at once, generate 1 password for each e-mail address that you want to send e-mails from. Example: We will never send e-mails from our "wildcard" e-mail address, so we didn't generate one for that.

Exit out of all of that an return to your regular Gmail inbox. (When exiting you can turn off the "2-Step Verification" if you choose, it won't need to be on for the remaining steps.)

Go to your settings screen by using the gear icon on the top right of your Gmail inbox:

Settings Screen, UPstudio, Business E-mail with Gmail

Click on the "Accounts and Import" tab. Go to the "Send mail as:" section and click on "Add another e-mail address", a screen will pop-up that looks like this:

Send E-mail As Popup, UPstudio, Business E-mail with Gmail

In the "Name:" field add the name you want people to see when you send e-mails from the new alias address. In the "E-mail address:" field at the new e-mail address you set up on the "forwarding e-mail" screen.

On the next step the boxes should read:

SMTP Server: smtp.gmail.com
Port: 465
Username: the Gmail account you use to log in with (for us: upstudio.nc@gmail.com)
Password: the one you WROTE DOWN a few steps ago that was generated.
"Secured connection using SSL" is the recommended setting

Then click "Add account". You can then repeat this for each address you set up. You can only use each app password once, but it doesn't matter which one you use for which e-mail address. 

Once you have completed this step you should receive an e-mail in your inbox with the subject "Gmail Confirmation: Send Mail As (fill in new e-mail address here)". There will be directions in the e-mail for you to confirm the new addition. Simply clicking on a link and inputting a confirmation code. Once you complete this step for each address, you should be G2G!

Now, when creating a new message or replying to a message you can choose the e-mail address your e-mail will be sent from by using a drop down in the "From" field:

From Drop Down Menu, UPstudio Business E-mail with Gmail

In the "Send mail as:" section in your settings you can set up your default send from address. Helpful if you always want to send from a certain address, don't have to use the drop down each time.

Note that if you are iPhone users like us, the default iPhone e-mail will only allow you to send e-mail from your actual e-mail address. In order to use your aliases download the Gmail app for your phone. 

Hopefully our instructional was easy to follow (and crossing our fingers we didn't leave anything out), but please comment with any questions you might have or if you run into any trouble! Good luck!