When you sign up with your web host, you're typically given the option of setting up your email address with your own domain. For example, my blog email is "email@example.com" instead of something like "firstname.lastname@example.org."
Using a domain email address is better for a multitude of reasons. It makes your emails look more authentic, and less like they're just spam. It also stands out more in the mind of your subscribers, and memorability is a valuable aspect of marketing! Plus, it just looks more professional.
But here's the problem. Your domain name set up through your host uses Webmail. If you've logged into your webmail to check your emails, you've already seen that it is a really, really ugly application. And it's horrible for functionality.
I was just dealing with it for awhile, but then I learned that I could just move it over to Gmail! As in, I can log into Gmail to send and receive emails from email@example.com.
It's a super simple process, and will only take about 10 minutes. Not a bad investment for a lifetime of better email.
My domain name comes from Siteground, so that's the perspective of this tutorial. But don't worry if you have a different host! Everything after step 1 is pretty much the same.
So, let's make emailing easier, yes?
Step 1: Know your settings.
This'll save you some headache when you go to add your account to Gmail. Bear in mind that you may need to look elsewhere for this information if you use a different host than Siteground.
Navigate to your cpanel, then scroll down and look for Email Accounts.
Then select More > Configure Email Client for the email address you want to move.
Keep these settings open in a separate tab for later!
Step 2: Navigate to Gmail.
Log in to a Gmail account. I have one that I created for this purpose using my domain name, The Lazy Source. This way, if I accidentally don't change the sender address (we'll talk about this in a bit), an email I send will still come from my brand.
I would not recommend using your personal Gmail for this. Email management is hard enough without combining business and personal emails into one inbox!
Navigate to the gear icon in the top right corner, then select settings form the drop-down menu.
Under the Accounts and Import tab near the top, you want to select "Add a mail account." This will open a pop-up window where we'll give Google the info they need to transfer your emails!
Step 3: Enter your information.
First, we're going to set Gmail up to receive your emails from your domain address. With this information, every email that comes to your address will automatically come to your new Gmail inbox. You won't need to check Webmail anymore to see your new emails!
Note: I have noticed about a 10-15 minute delay between the time an email would appear in my Webmail inbox versus my Gmail inbox. While I don't consider this to be a big deal, just know that you probably won't receive new emails immediately if you're expecting a password reset email or something.
In the first screen of the pop-up, enter your domain email address.
Then just click next on the following screen.
This is where I messed up because I hadn't pulled up my settings from the cpanel yet. Originally, I had what you see below in the POP Server window, but apparently, this isn't right.
I'm pretty sure this autopopulates in the field, so just know that you need to change it to match the cpanel settings that say "Incoming Server." In my case, and likely yours, the server is just your domain.com.
As you can see below, I changed the server name to "thelazysource.com."
Also, you'll need the correct Port number, which you can also see in your cpanel settings. We're working with POP3, so my port was 995. Then be sure to select "Always use a secure connection." Because, duh, security.
Also, your username is your full domain email address. And your password is going to be whatever you use to log in to Webmail.
Ta da! Now your emails are going to arrive in your Gmail inbox! Now, we'll set up the outgoing emails so that you can send emails with your domain address. Select the Yes option and click next!
Specifiy the sender name that you want to appear on the emails you send out.
Fun fact: Sender names are actually one of the primary reasons people click an email! If they don't recognize the sender name, they're more likely to skip it and/or trash it.
So you want your name to differentiate you (I wouldn't just use Katie, since it's a common name). Make it memorable and clear. If someone doesn't remember that my name is Katie Scott, they'll be more likely to know who I am if they see "Katie at The Lazy Source."
You'll also want to make sure "Treat as an alias" is checked. This will allow you to control your sender address within a single account.
Now we need to consult our cpanel settings again. Be sure to correct the server name and your port number. Then fill out the username (as your email address) and your password again. Be sure "Secured Connection using SSL" is selected! Then click Add Account!
Step 4: Verify
Google will send you a confirmation code to your domain email. This will be the last time that you need to sign in to Webmail. Hooray! Enter the code and hit Verify!
And you're done! As you can see, I now have the option to "Send mail as" both firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com.
I'm also just noticing as I look at the screenshot below that there's an option to "Reply from the same address the message was sent to." I recommend selecting this so you don't have to worry about forgetting to switch the sender address. Otherwise, it'll default to the gmail address. I'm about to go select that myself, whoops!
Also, when I first logged in to this account, it had 0 emails. Then, I immediately had 84! This means everything transferred over, easy as pie. Bad news is that I now have to sort through these. Using Webmail really limited my ability to stay on top of my email management.
Step 5: Personalize your emails (Optional)
I figured I'd just throw this in since A) 4 steps seems incomplete and B) it helps with our goal of functional professionalism!
In the "General" tab of your Gmail settings, there's a section to add a Signature. This will show up at the end of every email you send from the address you specify.
As you can see below, I selected my domain email address and then created a super simple signature that just includes my name and a link to my website.
You could also add an additional note such as "Sincerely," "Best wishes," "Have a great day," or even "xoxo." I've seen them all! I have a special signature that goes at the end of all of the email campaigns I send out with Mailerlite.
The signature area I'm customizing here is for when I send or reply to emails personally. As such, I imagine the sign off would change based on the type of message being sent, so I chose not to automate that.
I also see people get more professional with their signatures. You could have something like,
"Jane Doe Business Strategist Certified Life Coach Author of An Awesome Book Founder of mywebsite.com"
I don't really claim any titles at this point, so I kept mine simple. However, if you're marketing your titles and credentials (ideal for people that offer a service), this would be a great idea!
And guess what! You're all done!
Your email is officially moved over and completely ready to go. You will receive all your future emails in the Gmail interface, and you can easily send out and reply to emails from your very own domain name. How cool is that?
How good are you at maintaining control of your inbox? Is it flooded with 3-year old emails or have you achieved Inbox Zero?
Let me know in the comments!
Or, send me an email from your fancy new Gmail set up at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Until next time!
- Katie Scott