As entrepreneurs we wear many hats, and that usually means managing multiple email accounts. For Gmail users, there is an easy way to access all of your accounts from one Gmail inbox, as well as choose from any of your aliases when replying. You can even create a unique custom signature for each account, which will display in the footer of your emails automatically to match the alias selected. For instance, Rob here at Rogue Heart Media has a new email address for our new commercial division, but he doesn’t want to have to check two email inboxes. You may want to be able to respond to inquiries from email@example.com but manage it through your individual email, or countless other possibilities, but we’ll use Rob as an example.
First, establish which email address is going to be your primary that you will manage the other accounts through. For Rob, it was natural to keep his older address firstname.lastname@example.org as the primary and add his new email@example.com as the secondary. It would make sense to select the address that has received more mail or that you need to search for old emails in more often as your primary. When we’re all done, emails sent to the secondary address will be forwarded to the primary, but any emails sent to the secondary address before the forwarding is set up will have to be accessed by logging back into the secondary account.
To set up the email forwarding, we’ll log into our secondary account, firstname.lastname@example.org, and go into Settings by clicking on the cog button on the top right of the screen and clicking Settings from the dropdown menu. Then, we’ll navigate to the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab, click “Add a forwarding address,” and enter the primary email address. This will forward all emails sent to secondary account robert@ to the primary account rob@. Click Next, confirm the address and click Proceed, then click OK.
Now we’ll need to log into our primary email and open the confirmation email. Click on the link and enter the confirmation code to verify that you own both accounts, then the email forwarding setup will be complete. You can also forward non-Gmail accounts’ emails to your Gmail, but the method will vary slightly depending on your provider.
Now that all emails sent to our secondary account will be forwarded to the primary, we just need to set it up so that we can reply as robert@ (secondary) from our rob@ email (primary). Still in our primary email account, we need to go back into Settings and click the Accounts tab. Here we’ll find the “Send mail as” options, and we’ll click “Add another email address you own.”
Enter your name and the secondary email address, and leave the “Treat as an alias” box UNCHECKED. If you check the alias box you won’t have the ability to create separate signatures. Click “Next Step” and leave the default settings in the next window, then continue on to send the verification email. Same as we did for setting up the forwarding, we now have to retrieve the verification code from the other email account. Follow the steps to verify that you own both accounts.
Back in our primary account’s settings, make sure to check the option for replying from the same address that the email was sent to. That will set the default, but you can always change the email you are sending from when composing an email by selecting the address you want in the From field.
Now we can designate our custom signatures for both emails. Still in our primary account’s settings, click the General tab and scroll down to “Customize signature.” There should be a drop down menu to select from your multiple email addresses, so you can enter the signature information for each one. If there is no drop down menu, try refreshing the settings page.
Here Rob was able to list the Rogue Heart Weddings website in his rob@ signature and the Rogue Heart Media commercial website in his robert@ signature. Be sure to check the box to “Insert this signature before…”, which despite its confusing description just places your signature above the email thread in replies and forwards, instead of all the way down at the bottom. Scroll down and click “Save Changes” and you’re done! Now you can send and receive emails for multiple accounts from one primary Gmail login.
Later we’ll share a technique for embedding email signature graphics so you can further incorporate your branding into your email correspondence. Sign up for our email newsletter to receive this and other tips on marketing your business, get Rogue Heart Media news, and receive complimentary stock images.