Today we are sharing how to create an email alias through Gmail absolutely free. This tutorial is going to help you look more professional without spending a dollar. It’s all about working smarter not harder.

The Problem:

You want to look professional when emailing clients with your domain name at the end of the address instead of the “@gmail.com” or “@aol.com” but you want to continue using your preferred email provider. We get it, you already have all your accounts, contacts, and calendars synced with your email account. It would be a pain to manage another email account.

The only problem is email services charge extra for you to replace their domain name with yours. This isn’t the end of the world. If you’re not interested in going the DIY route, then paying for these services may be beneficial to you. But for my small business friends who want to save some cash, this tutorial is for you.

Here are a few items you will need before we get started:

  1. An email account through your hosted cPanel (Instructions to setup cPanel email account)
  2. Access to your cPanel (How to login to your cPanel)
  3. An email account through your favorite email provider (ex. Gmail)

Step One: Access Your cPanel Email Accounts

The first step is to log into your hosting cPanel and find the “Email Accounts.” If you haven’t already, create an email account. An example of this is yourname@yourwebsite.com. Most hosting companies allow multiple accounts, so you can create a personal email account and additional generic accounts such as hello@yourwebsite.com or info@yourwebsite.com.

Step Two: Configure Email Account

After successfully creating your email accounts, find the “Configure Email Client” button and select it. Now you can relax. Leave this tab open and we will return to this page later.

Step Three: Access Your Preferred Email Account Service

In this example, I am using Gmail but you can find similar settings with other email providers. You will want to find the email account settings for your email provider and select the “Accounts and Import” settings tab. Next, select the “send mail as” option and “add another email address.

A popup will open with the options. Here you will provide the name of the email account (how you want people to see it appear) and the actual email account you created from step one. Be sure to check “Treat as an alias.” As the name suggests, you are telling Gmail that you want others to see the “alias” email account when you are actually using your regular @gmail.com account.

Step Four: Locate the Configure Email Client Settings

Remember that tab we left open from step two? Awesome, head back to the cPanel- Configure Email Client settings so we can grab some important information. Gmail needs to know a few items to create the connection properly.

From your cPanel- Configure Email Client find the Secure SSL/TLS Manual Settings. Copy and paste the required settings into the Gmail prompt window. The settings you will need are the following:

  • SMTP Server (Outgoing Server)
  • SMTP Port Number
  • Username (the email account you created ex. yourname@yourwebsite.com)
  • Password (the password to that email account you created)

Step Five: Find the Verification Email

If you typed in the settings correctly, you will see the verification screen. Gmail must verify that you own the email account, so they will send you a confirmation email. This means we need to access this email account in order to verify the confirmation email from Gmail.

To access this email go back to your cPanel- Email Accounts and click Access Webmail.

You will then be prompted to select a Webmail Application. You can select any of the options. In my personal opinion, they are all pretty horrible and that’s why I prefer to use Gmail in the first place. I selected “Horde” in this example.

Once logged in, find the email from “Gmail Team” and click the confirmation link. You will be asked to confirm your request, click the confirm button. Tada! Congratulations, you successfully setup a Gmail alias. If you return to your Gmail settings, you will now see the email account in the “send mail as” settings.

Step Six: Add an email forwarder

Now you can send clients emails with your professional looking account, all while using your favorite email provider. But there’s one detail you don’t want to forget. What happens when someone emails that account? We will want to be sure that we forward all your email to your generic Gmail account so you never have to access the hideous Webmail Applications again.

Go back to your cPanel and click on the “Forwarders” button for email accounts and “Add New Forwarder.

Tell the system what email account you are forwarding and where you want to forward the emails to. In most cases, you will want to forward all the message to your generic @gmail.com account. I NEVER select “discard and send an error to the sender” because I want to be sure that I have a backup of the email in case there is an error. When you are finished select “Add Forwarder” and you are ready to test it out.

Step Seven: Test it Out

We want to make sure we set everything up properly, so let’s check our work and see how we did. Return to your Gmail account and compose a new message. When you compose a new message you will notice some new drop-down options. Select your email account alias and compose your message normally. Send the email to another email account you own or a friend that is willing to help you out.

If we did the setup correctly, the email will appear in the inbox with our professional name and address. The last step is to check that the forwarder from step six is working properly. To test this simply reply to the message (or ask your friend to hit reply) and see if the email is properly forwarded to your generic Gmail account. Within a few short minutes, you should successfully receive the reply in your Gmail account.

Hooray! You now have a professional email account to give clients. 

Congrats for sticking through those technical details and walk away in triumph knowing you saved yourself some hard earned cash today. Stay tuned next week for more Tuesday’s Tutorials and Tips.