If you use Gmail for your personal email, you will probably find it is the most sensible choice for your business email too.  Connecting your mail account is relatively straightforward if you have the right information.

You will first need to create an email address within the email settings of your hosting provider.  At this stage you will also be prompted to create a password.  You will need this to connect to Gmail.

POP3 vs IMAP

Gmail uses a POP3 connection to link to external mail servers.  Other platforms like Outlook and most Mail apps use an IMAP connection.

There are differences between the two which it’s important to understand.  A POP3 connection downloads a copy of the email into your Gmail mailbox, removing it from your email server.  This means if you connect from a different platform (a mail app on your phone for example) the message will no longer be there.  Any folders created in Gmail will not be replicated on the mail server.

An IMAP set-up is a live connection to the mail server so what you see in your mailbox is exactly what is contained within the mail account including all folders, sent items and deleted messages.  This can be accessed via multiple platforms at the same time.  It’s important to note that any messages deleted on one platform will be deleted on all.

Connecting your business email to Gmail:

In your Gmail account click on the cog in the top right-hand corner of the screen and select “See all settings”:

From there select “Accounts and Import”:

From there select “Add a mail account” next to Check mail from other accounts.  This will launch a small pop-up:

Name should be the name you wish to appear on your emails (usually your full name but you might want to include your business name too).  The email address is the one you have already created in your mail hosting account.

Select Next:

Select “Import emails…” and Next:

It is at this stage that you will need further information from your email service provider.  This is usually called “mail configuration” information.  It will include a server name and you will also need the password you created.

The username is your FULL email address and the password the one you created when you set-up the email address.  The POP Server should be something like mail.[yourdomain].com but this is not always the case.  For a POP3 account the Port is 995 (you may need to change this).

If you tick “Leave a copy…” it will make sure there is still a copy of the message in your mail server after it’s been downloaded into Gmail.  This is important if you want to access your email from other platforms or if your share the mail account with someone else.

You also want to make sure the SSL connection option is ticked.  You may also want to label incoming messages so you can easily distinguish them from your personal messages.

When you click on “Add Account” you will be asked if you want to be able to send mail from the same account.  Assuming you do, select yes and next.

On the next screen confirm the name you wish people to see when they receive your emails and untick “Treat as an alias” if it’s selected.  Click “next step’:

You will now be prompted to add your SMTP Mail Server information:

The SMTP server should be the same that you entered in the earlier step.  The username is your FULL email address and the password the same as before.  The Port should be 465 and select “Secured connection using SSL”.

Select Add Account.  You will then see a prompt to add a verification code.  To find this code you will need to access your business email account via a webmail connection.  You can usually find this relatively easily in your hosting control panel.

You should now see any messages you have received to your business account in your inbox and when you compose a message there will be a dropdown option showing all your email accounts.  Simply select the one you wish to use and you’re ready to send emails from your business account!

Common problems

Wrong username – your username is always the FULL email address, not just your name

Wrong server details – you may find that in either the POP3 or SMTP settings the server name has already been added.  This is not necessarily the correct one so you should always check in your hosting dashboard what these should be.

Emails not arriving – Gmail is notorious for being slow to update and check for new messages.  You can prompt a check by either refreshing your mailbox at the top of the inbox screen or back under “Accounts and Import” you can select “check mail now”.  This area will also show you how long ago the mailbox was last checked.

There is lots of help available via Google but if you need help connecting your business email to Gmail please do contact us. You can also read out connecting your email to Outlook here.

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