Whether you run a business or are just a heavy user of email, you're probably already aware of how helpful Gmail can be. Gmail is a great free option for many businesses and individuals. For a peek at some other great free email options, review the article:
If you own a growing business, though, you may want more from your email provider than a free service offer. That's where G Suite email (formerly Gmail for Business) comes in. G Suite email includes the basic Gmail features that come with a free Gmail account, but incorporates many extras that a growing business will find useful—extras such as a custom domain name and technical support.
In this tutorial, we'll explore some of the benefits of using Gmail for Business. You'll also learn how you can set up your own G Suite email account for your business.
What Is Gmail for Business (G Suite Email)?
There are some important differences between the free version of Gmail and Gmail for Business (G Suite email). Some of these differences will be important to business owners and others who need more than what basic Gmail has to offer.
Some benefits of G Suite email include:
- Match your email domain name to your corporate web site with a custom domain name.
- Enjoy around the clock technical support by phone, email, or online.
- Google-sponsored ads are gone.
- Save more messages with increased cloud storage—starts at 30 GB.
- Use other packages (like Outlook) as an email client.
- Log in one time to access both email and other Google business tools like Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
- Share calendar information between multiple employees.
- Display your Logo on the Gmail interface.
Of course, there are a few disadvantages:
- Cost - While G Suite is reasonably priced, it's not free. This could make a difference for some very small businesses.
- Familiarity - If you or your employees are more familiar with another email tool (such as Microsoft's Outlook), there may be a learning curve.
Some situations where you may want to use G Suite email instead of the free version of Gmail include:
- You are branding your small business and it's important for your email address to match your new website domain.
- You have employees who rely on email to do their job. You want them to use the same tool to make training easier.
- You need an email tool that includes around-the-clock technical support.
- The storage capacities of free email tools aren't adequate for your needs.
- Your business relies heavily on other G Suite tools such as Docs, Sheets, or Slides and you want your email to integrate with these tools.
These are just some of the scenarios that might cause a business to make the switch to G Suite email.
How to Sign Up for Your Own G Suite Account
Now that we've discussed some of the advantages and disadvantages of using G Suite email (Gmail for Business), it's time to learn how to set up your own account. The first step is to sign up for a G Suite account.
Step 1. Choose a Paid G Suite Option
The first step in signing up for G Suite email is to decide which plan level you need. There are three different plan levels available, ranging from the Basic plan to the Enterprise plan.
Generally speaking, most larger businesses will want to opt for the Enterprise plan while small to mid-size businesses are more likely to choose the Basic or Business plan.
You can find a listing of each plan at the URL: https://gsuite.google.com/pricing.html. Use the scroll bar on the right of the screen to review the features available for each plan level.
When you are ready, click the Get Started button. (Enterprise level users will click the Contact Us button.)
Note: This tutorial is based on the least expensive plan, the Basic plan. The steps outlined below may vary for other plan levels.
Step 2. Enter Business Profile Information
After you select a plan level, the Let's get started screen may display if you are using a Firefox browser:
If the Let's Get Started screen displays, review the screen. When you are ready, click the Next button. You will be asked a series of profile questions about your business. Answer the questions and click the Next button to move through the questionnaire.
For users with other browsers, you will go directly to a profile screen:
Fill out the following fields on the profile screen:
- Name (first and last)
- Current email address you use at work
- Business or organization name
- Number of employees
When you have finished, click the Next button.
Step 3. Choose a Custom Domain Name
After you complete your profile information, the Choose a Domain screen displays:
Choose between using a domain name you already own or buying a new domain name. Click to the left of an option to select it.
- If you choose to use a domain name you already own, the screen asks for the domain name.
- If you choose to buy a new domain name, the screen asks what domain name you want and gives you an opportunity to check to see if it is available. You are also asked to provide your domain contact information.
Note: This tutorial is based on using a domain name you already own. If you choose to buy a new domain name from Google, the steps below may vary.
For more information on choosing a good domain name, review this tutorial:
Although the tutorial is specific to personal sites, much of the advice also pertains to business sites.
When you finish choosing a domain name, click the Next button.
Step 4. Select a Password
After choosing a domain name, the Your new G Suite account screen appears:
Start by typing your desired user name and then create a password. (Remember this information since you will use it every time you access your G Suite account.)
To learn more about password security, study this tutorial:
After you've created a password, check the box next to I'm not a robot. You'll be asked some questions to confirm that you are human. Answer the questions.
Step 5. Agree to G Suite Terms
Next, decide whether
you want to receive email from Google and review the G Suite Agreement:
Click the link to review the agreement. Click the checkbox the left of the link when you've read it. If you want to receive email from Google, click that checkbox too.
Finally, click the Accept and sign up button.
If you have other Google accounts, you'll notice that your new G Suite account username appears on the list with those accounts:
Click your new G Suite account to log in. Once you are logged in, the Welcome to your new account screen displays. Read the terms on the screen carefully and click the Accept button when you are ready.
If you click your user icon in the upper right corner after you log into your account, you'll notice a difference between your G Suite profile and your other Google profiles:
You'll see the phrase, "This account is managed by [domain
name]" above your user name. This is phrase is there because in G
Suite you can have multiple users and a site administrator. The administrator is the user you set up in step 4 above.
Connect to Your G Suite Account Email
Now that you've signed up for a G Suite account, you need to make sure your email and domain are connected before you can access Gmail for Business.
Step 1. Set Up G Suite
Before you can send your first message using G Suite email, you will need to set up your G Suite account. To get started with the setup, go to the URL https://admin.google.com/
If you are already logged in to your G Suite account, the Set Up G Suite screen appears. (If you are not logged in, do so now.)
The Set up a business account is checked off, because we just completed that process. We are now ready to Add people to your G Suite account.
Click the Start
button. The Create user accounts screen
At the Basic level, you can add up to ten users. Type the information for the first user you wish to add and click the Add button. The usernames you add will become that user's email address. Continue to add users until everyone in your organization who needs an email address has one.
Caution: Remember that you are charged by the number of users.
When you have added all users, click the checkbox at the bottom of the screen to show that you are done. Click the Next button.
Step 2. Verify Your Domain
If you opted to use a domain you already own, you are now prompted to verify your ownership of the domain:
The first method of verification is to add a meta tag. You can use this method or you can click Choose a different method to bring down a drop-down menu with other methods of verification:
Click on a verification method to select it. In this tutorial, we chose to Add a domain host record.
The process of domain ownership verification varies depending on domain hosting company.
For specific domain name verification instructions for dozens of hosting companies, go to the G Suite Administrator Help Center. Follow the specific instructions for domain name verification for your hosting company.
Step 3. Set Up Gmail for Business MX Records
Next, you'll need to let your domain system know that you'll be using Google as a mail server. To do this, adjust your domain's mail exchanger records (MX records).
After you've verified your domain name, the system prompts you to change your MX records:
Enter the MX record information from this screen into the MX record information on your host account. Again, this process varies depending on your hosting company. For specific set up instructions for various hosting companies, go to the G Suite Administrator Help Center. Follow the specific instructions for your hosting company.
Click the check box when the Create new MX Records process is complete. The following prompt appears:
Click the Next button to continue. You are prompted to re-confirm your choice of a G Suite plan. After you do that, the G Suite log in re-displays:
Type your password and click the Sign in button. The Admin console screen displays.
The Admin Console is where you will manage your entire G Suite account now that it is set up. You can add users, update your company profile, handle billing, and more. Since we are only concerned with G Suite email in this tutorial, you can exit this screen for now.
Be sure to leave your G Suite account logged in. You are now ready to take your next step—actually using your new G Suite email (Gmail for Business).
Use G Suite Email
Step 1. Access Your Gmail Business Email
From your browser window address bar, type "gmail.com". Your new G Suite Gmail inbox loads:
As you can see, your Gmail business email inbox looks very much like any other Gmail inbox. At the top you have three new welcome messages from Gmail. At the bottom, you have links to click as you learn how to customize your Gmail inbox for your needs.
Step 2. Compose Your First G Suite Email Message
Once you've familiarized yourself with your inbox, you are ready to compose your first email message. Start by clicking the Compose button in the upper left corner. The New Message form displays:
Type your message in the form and click the Send button when you're finished.
To review detailed instructions on how to create and send your first Gmail messages, study this tutorial:
If you own a growing business or if you're a heavy Gmail user, a free Gmail account may not be enough for your needs. You can benefit by making the switch to a G Suite email account (Gmail for Business).
To start using G Suite email, you first need to sign up for G Suite. The process includes choosing or purchasing a domain name. If you elect to use a domain name you already own, you need to verify your ownership of that domain and configure its MX records to point to Gmail.
Once the G Suite set up process is complete, you can begin using your new G Suite email account.