Hostingheaderbarlogoj
Join InMotion Hosting for $3.49/mo & get a year on Tuts+ FREE (worth $180). Start today.
Advertisement

Set Up Whitelabeled Email in the Cloud for Your Clients With Atmail

by
Gift

Want a free year on Tuts+ (worth $180)? Start an InMotion Hosting plan for $3.49/mo.

If you've ever wanted to offer a high quality email service to your clients, tailored to fit their needs, Atmail fits the bill perfectly.

With a gorgeous, intuitive interface, powerful yet easy to use admin tools, and the option to host in the cloud, Atmail puts providing quality email services to clients within the reach of any freelancer.

We put Atmail through its paces so we could show you how it works. But before we dig in, let's get one thing straight. Just what is whitelabeled email?

Sponsored Content

This is a sponsored review or giveaway of a product/service that's particularly relevant to our readers.

What is Whitelabeled Email?

Whitelabeled email is a hosted email service that can be rebranded with the branding visuals (logo, color, brand name, etc.) of the company using the service.

Using a whitelabeled email service such as Atmail is the perfect solution for freelancers looking to expand their services beyond web design or managing computer systems.

With whitelabeled email, you can quickly and easily set up a professional email service branded for your client. It's similar to basing your website designs on themes. It makes things easier for you, and it gives your client a clean, professional design at a price they can afford.

We've put together this guide to show you just how simple it is to get Atmail up and running.

Tutorial Assets

To complete this tutorial, you will need:

  • A computer with an internet connection.

Optionally, you will need:

  • A domain name that you want to use for email.
  • A logo.

1. Sign up for Atmail

Step 1: Take a Look at Atmail's Features

Before taking the plunge into Atmail, visit the Atmail website and browse its key features. These include:

  • Email on your client's domain name.
  • A selection of webmail themes that can be rebranded throughout with your client's logo and branding visuals.
  • A gorgeous webmail interface with powerful search tool to find any message or attachment in any folder.
  • One-click set up for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod), including full integration of email, calendar and contacts.
  • Advanced contact management tools.
  • A calendar that syncs with Outlook and iCal, so it's suitable for PC and Mac users.
  • Fast and secure file storage. Files can be dragged and dropped from your desktop into Atmail.
  • Powerful security and anti-virus.

Atmail can be hosted on your own server, in the cloud, or on a Plug 'n' Deploy Atmail Appliance. For this tutorial, we're going to cover cloud hosting. The great thing about cloud hosting is you need no special technology to offer it to your clients. As long as you've got a computer with internet access, you can offer cloud hosting.

Cloud hosting is perfect if your clients are small to medium-sized businesses. If you're working with large enterprises with hundreds or thousands of employees, then you may want to consider hosting Atmail on a server.

You can check out an in-depth overview of Atmail features.

On this page, you'll find links to interactive demos of Atmail's key features.

Here is the webmail demo in action, which as you can see has a clean, intuitive interface:

And here's the webadmin demo:

Atmail offers a 14-day free trial, so you don't have to be completely sold on it before you sign up. You can give it a whirl to see if it has the features you'd like to offer your clients.

When you're ready to sign-up, head back to the Atmail homepage and click Try Now. Let's get inside and get your email up and running.

Step 2: Sign Up

You'll be asked for a Username, and your email address and password.

For your username, I recommend using your company name. If you're setting it up for a client, use their company name. That's because the username you choose can be part of the domain where people go to log into their email.

When choosing an email address, you should enter your current email address, not the email address you plan to set up on Atmail.

After you've filled out your details, click Create Account.

Excellent, that's your account created. As soon as you sign up, you'll receive an email welcoming you to Atmail.

Let's go ahead and set up your cloud-based email.

2. Set-up Atmail

When you login to Atmail for the first time, you'll be taken to the Atmail getting started wizard.

Let's look at the steps the wizard guides you through.

Step 1: Choose Your Domains

The first thing you need to do is list the domains you'd like to create an email service for. List these in the box titled Define a list of domains.

For this tutorial, I'm using the domain davidmasters.info, so I'll enter that into the list of domains like this:

Step 2: Set-Up Your MX Records

Before I can move onto the next step in the Atmail wizard, I need to set up the correct MX (Mail Exchanger) Records with my domain registrar. Your domain registrar is the company you purchased your domain name from.

Every domain registrar has a different process for setting up MX Records, and most provide a how-to guide on getting it set up.

Since I purchased davidmasters.info from GoDaddy, for this tutorial I'll head on over to GoDaddy's Edit Zone for the domain. In the MX settings, I enter the Atmail setup:

  • mx-a.atmailcloud.com (MX priority 10)
  • mx-b.atmailcloud.com (MX priority 20)

In GoDaddy, my setup looks like this:

Once you've changed your MX Records, remember to save your settings.

Depending on your domain registrar, the changes you make could take up to two days to take effect.

Here are the links to in-depth tutorials for some of the big domain registrars and hosting providers:

Note: The Hostgator and Bluehost tutorials both show you how to set up MX records in cPanel. If you have a different webhost, do a web search for "MX records [name of your hosting company]", and you should find a tutorial.

Now that's done, go back to the Atmail wizard and click Next Step.

Step 3: Choose Which Atmail Features to Activate

In the next step of the wizard, you choose which features to activate for each domain.

The features you can choose are:

  • Webmail. Atmail's online email management tool.
  • Calendaring. Which is just as it sounds. With this, you can turn on a cloud-synced calendar for your client's email users to keep themselves organized.
  • Groupware. With Groupware enabled, users can share calendar events and contacts.

This ability to select features gives you a range of options you can present to clients depending on their needs and budget.

By default all features are set to ON. For the purposes of this tutorial, I am leaving all features on.

This stage of the setup wizard also allows you to see whether you've correctly set up your MX records. As you can see in the screenshot above, for my default atmailcloud.com domain, the MX Records are set up fine.

For my davidmasters.info domain, the MX Records aren't yet set up properly. This is because at the time of writing, I'm still waiting for my domain registrar to process the new MX Records.

If you've waited 48 hours and the MX Records are still not set up correctly, go back to Step 2 to check that you gave the correct MX Records to your domain registrar.

Once you've selected the features you want, click Next Step.

Step 4: Add Users

In this next step, you'll add the email addresses you plan to use with your account, or that your client has requested that you set up. With the free trial, you can add up to 19 users.

The format for adding new users to the list is:

  • name@domain.com, FirstName, LastName, Password

To create a user called John Smith with the email address john@davidmasters.info, I would write:

  • john@davidmasters.info, John, Smith, pa55w0rd

In the following screenshot, I've added myself as an email user, as well as John Smith:

As an alternative to typing out the users into the Atmail wizard, you can enter the details into a CSV file. Each row of the CSV should have four columns, with the following in each column (in the order I've listed them):

  • name@domain.com, FirstName, LastName, Password

When you've added all the users you want to add click Next Step. You can always add more users later.

Step 5: Set Up Mobile Use

Finally, you can set up your Atmail account for use on your mobile device. Atmail integrates with iOS devices using an easy one click set up. No complex hostname, protocol, ports or advanced settings are required.

On your iPad, iPhone or iPod, visit your Atmail URL, which is username.atmailcloud.com (for me it is  davidmasters.atmailcloud.com). Log in with your Atmail email address and password.

Once you login, email, calendar and contact configurations will be downloaded to your device. Now, any changes you make to your contacts and calendar on your device will automatically sync with your Atmail account, and vice versa.

3. Brand Your Whitelabeled Email

Now you can add the relevant branding to the email service you're setting up for your client.

The options you can tweak include:

  • The website domain where users go to log-in.
  • A brand name and brand website.
  • The email address of the system administrator.
  • A logo to be used on the webmail interface.
  • The theme of the login page.
  • A logo for the login page.
  • A footer message for all emails.

Let's take a look at how to get these set up.

Step 1: Choose a Login Domain

By default, Atmail sets the log-in website as your Atmail domain, which is username.Atmail.com. To turn on a custom domain for your log-in website, switch the button to ON.

You then need to visit your domain registrar and create a CNAME record for your domain pointed to:

  • web-a.atmailcloud.com

As with setting up the MX Records, the process for creating a CNAME varies between domain registrars. You can search online for instructions for your registrar.

Here's how I set up the CNAME record for my site on GoDaddy:

Once you've set up the CNAME record, go back to the Atmail setup wizard, and enter your domain into the Custom Domain box.

Your domain registrar may take a couple of days to process the CNAME record you created. To check whether your domain is working, you can click Test Domain beside the Custom Domain box.

Step 2: Select a Login Page Theme

You can choose a Login Page Theme from the dropdown menu. This is what will be displayed at the login page at the Custom Domain you selected just now.

There are five themes to choose from, and when you select a theme, a thumbnail of the theme is displayed. This is what the Simple theme looks like:

Step 3: Choose a Brand Name and URL

In the Brand Name box, put the brand name of your email service. I recommend using your client's business name followed by "mail" or "email". In the webmail interface, any references to the email service you provide will cite this brand name.

In the Brand URL box, put the URL of your client's website. Users will be directed to this site when they click the logo in the webmail interface.

Step 4: Add a Logo

By default, the logo within the webmail is set to the Atmail logo. You can change this by clicking the Atmail logo that's displayed in the Webmail Logo section. When you click the logo, you will be prompted to upload the image you want the logo to be. Atmail recommends using a PNG image file with a maximum dimensions of 180 by 36 pixels.

For this tutorial, I've chosen a simple image of an envelope as my logo:

Next, you can choose a Login Page Logo. Again, this is the Atmail logo by default. Change it by clicking the Atmail logo that's displayed.

Step 5: Set The Admin Email and Email Footer

In the Administrator Email box, put your email address, or the email address of your employee or subcontractor who will be the admin for this client.

Finally, you can create a footer message to be included at the end of every email sent using your whitelabeled service. Check with your client for the message they'd like you to use.

Click Next Step, and you're done!

You've completed the set-up wizard, and your email is ready to rock!

4. Give Your Webmail a Whirl!

Head over to the custom domain you set up, and check out your login page.

Here's mine with the envelope logo:

Enter the log-in details of one of the users you created to get inside the webmail.

Here's how it looks:

Notice the little logo in the top left. The setup worked.

Congratulations, you've set up whitelabeled email in the cloud for your client. Now you've got an extra trick in your toolbox. Why not add branded email accounts to the list of services you provide?

Advertisement