How to Set up a G Suite Email Alias and Save Money

As consumers, no matter what we buy, we want the maximum benefit and value from our purchase. Fast food? I’ll dig down to the last French fry. Toothpaste? I also bought a squeezer to get every last bit out of the tube.

Your purchase of G Suite should be no different. So, how to get the most of it?

One way many people don’t know about is the G Suite email alias feature. With Gmail aliases⁠ (disguised email addresses) you can use more than one email address without having to actually use more than one account⁠⁠—or make an email look like it was sent from someone else.

How to set up a G Suite email alias

The G Suite administrator for your organization is the only one who can set up the alias. They can link each alias to one of the user accounts in your organization, and each user account can have up to 30 aliases associated with it.

Follow these steps to set it up:

  1. From the Administrator console in G Suite, select “Users.”
  2. Find the username for which you want to create an alias and click on it.
  3. Click “User Information” > “Email Aliases.”
  4. Click “Alias” and enter the alias username you want to create. (This is the portion of the email address before the @ sign.) Bear in mind that the alias username can’t be the same as any other username or alias name in your organization.
  5. If you’ve created multiple domains in G Suite, you’ll need to assign the alias to the proper domain.
  6. Finally, click “Save.”

Side note: you can’t sign in to your primary G Suite account using any of your email aliases. You’ll need to use your primary email address to access your account.

Sending mail using an alias

After you set up the alias for Gmail, you’ll be able to receive messages sent to the alias email within 24 hours.

However, if you also want to send messages through the alias, you have a few extra steps to take.

  1. From the Gmail window, click the Settings icon in the top right corner of the screen, followed by the “Settings” text label.
  2. Click “Accounts” (or “Accounts and Import,” depending on your setup).
  3. Look for the “Send Mail As” section and click “Add Another Email Address.”
  4. Enter the alias name from which you want to send messages.
  5. Click “Next Step” > “Send Verification.”
  6. You may need to add the SMTP server name, as well as your username and password on the following screen.
  7. Click “Add Account.”
  8. Now sign in to Gmail with the alias name.
  9. You will receive a confirmation email from G Suite about the change. Click the link inside the message to activate the new alias for sending messages.

When sending messages, the user may have to change the address used in the “From” line to the alias name. It sometimes may default to the user’s personal email address.

To change the address in the From line, click the downward pointing arrowhead and select the address you want to use. (If you don’t see the From line, click the area just under the header bar⁠—which may say “Recipients” or have the recipients’ names listed⁠—and you should see the From line.)

How to remove a G Suite email alias

Occasionally, you may need to make changes to how the aliases link to certain email names. Maybe the person who handled the messages sent to the “sales” alias for your organization left your department, and you need to remove the “sales” messages alias for that person.

As when creating an email alias, only the G Suite administrator can remove an alias. Here are the steps:

  1. Click “Users” in the Administrator console in G Suite.
  2. Find the username for which you want to remove an alias and click on it.
  3. Click “User Information” > “Email Aliases.”
  4. Look through the list of aliases associated with the account and click “Remove” (or X) for the alias you want to remove.
  5. Finally, click “Save.”

The alias name could remain linked to the user’s account for up to 24 hours before the system fully removes it.

How Gmail aliases save you money

Beyond making it easier to sort and find messages, using G Suite email aliases can also save you money on your monthly G Suite subscription.

When you subscribe to G Suite, you pay anywhere from $6 to $25 per user per month, depending on the level of service you’re using. If you were to create a separate account for sales, customer service, and other departments, you’d have to pay for each of those accounts.

But remember, there’s no additional cost to create up to 30 aliases for each subscribed user. Essentially, multiple aliases can diversify a single email account, without you having to pay for multiple inboxes.

Plus, it’s a productivity hack. Your employees can save time sorting their messages when using aliases. And should your organization use Microsoft Outlook, you can set G Suite aliases to work with Outlook, saving more time.

G Suite alias use cases

We’ll share a few of our favorite uses for G Suite aliases as organizational tools:

Sorting email messages

If you get inquiries through your website to multiple business areas⁠—sales, customer support, general inquiries, technical support⁠—you can use aliases to route these needs to the right people.

Just link the alias for each business area to the account for the person who should get the message first.

Sorting messages is more efficient this way than having all emails go into one account to sift through manually.

Pro tip: Gmail supports email forwarding to further simplify email management, for when the primary recipient is on vacation, for example.

Adding filters to your messages

You can create a filter for an alias using the search function in Gmail. Click the arrow at the end of the Search bar. In the dropdown, look for the “To” line, and select the alias you want to use for the filter. Then click “Create Filter.”

In the next window, you can choose what to do with messages sent to the alias⁠—like having them routed to a certain folder to cut inbox clutter. When you’re done, click “Create Filter.”

Filtering helps separate certain types of messages from your main inbox and makes them easier to find.

Hiding personal email addresses

Sharing the contact details of someone in your organization? Maybe you don’t want to share their personal email addresses. Using an alias, you can direct emails to the right person without having to.

This is also beneficial when you want to easily switch the owners of various aliases, or areas of business. Rather than try to update all your customers, you can just go to the console in G Suite to update the person associated with the alias to keep communication flowing to the right business area.

Maintaining your messages

By using aliases rather than unique accounts for each department, you’ll have an easier time keeping your messages backed up well into the future.

When you need to delete a user account, Google takes you through a complex series of steps to recover messages and save them to another account, or you’ll lose them.

But with aliases, the messages sent to the alias accounts end up associated with a user account. Should you need to delete the alias in the future, you don’t have to recover the messages.

Putting Gmail aliases to work for you

When just starting up, I’ve found aliases a handy way to make the company appear larger than it really is. Customers don’t need to know you only have one or two people handling all emails sent to a dozen different aliases, as long as they can handle them in good time.

As you see, the process is easy. But our last tip is that you do want to take some time to think about how you want to organize your aliases before setting them up. Maybe your organization doesn’t need a separate “sales” alias, but maybe it does need a dedicated customer support alias for each department.

Map out your plan for aliases ahead of time. The process⁠—and with aliases, your company!—will be much more efficient.

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Bryan Wise
Bryan Wise,
Former VP of IT at GitLab

Incredible companies use Nira