Gmail Alias

When to Use Gmail Aliases or Groups

Often times you need a generic email address such as “[email protected]” in which one or more people need access to emails sent to that address.

As a G Suite user, you may think you need to purchase a new subscription to set up the generic email address. However, not only might that not be necessary, it may not be the best way to accomplish your objective. This post will discuss the three (3) ways G Suite users can set up “generic” email addresses, the pros and cons of each method and example use cases.

Option 1:

Purchase a stand-alone G Suite account and assign the generic email address to it (ie – [email protected]). 

Pros:

  • All emails sent to that address will be centralized into a single G Suite account which can be checked by anyone with the credentials to that account. 
  • The G Suite account can also be used to authenticate other applications and/or access shared files and folders for teams or departments negating the need to purchase each employee their own G Suite account.

Cons:

  • You have to pay for the G Suite account to use for the generic email address.
  • Allowing employees to log in with a generic account prevents admin from knowing exactly who accessed what since multiple people are using the same account.
  • Sharing credentials presents a security risk and makes it difficult to use two-step verification or security keys.

Example Use Case:

If you need to send emails from a copier, you would need to set up an account such as “[email protected]” then configure the copier in accordance to G Suite guidelines. 

Option 2:

Set up an Alias email address to an individual account (ie – main account = [email protected]com with an alias of [email protected])

Pros:

Cons:

  • You must have the credentials to the parent account (ie – [email protected]) in order to see the [email protected] emails which means allowing another user to access poses a security risk to the [email protected] account and inconveniences both the requestor and the parent account owner.
  • You can forward emails to [email protected] to other employees, but you must know how to use account Gmail filters and possibly “groups” to effectively pull off. 

Example Use Case:

You are the only salesperson in your company and want the ability to send and receive emails with the [email protected] address and nobody else in the company needs to see these emails.

Option 3:

Set up a Google Group with an email address of [email protected] 

Pros:

  • You don’t have to purchase an additional G Suite account to set up a Group.
  • You can easily forward emails to group members from both inside and outside your organization.
  • You can assign “Group Managers” to manage members from their own G Suite account.
  • You can easily assign and manage internal file permissions.

Cons:

  • There is no single G Suite account that has all of the emails which could be an issue in some instances. However, the messages can remain in the Google Group’s web interface as topics.
  • You can’t use the generic email address to authenticate applications.
  • Members can only receive copies of the emails sent to the generic email address (ie – [email protected]) and can not send emails with it.

Example:

You need your clients to be able to send in support requests and multiple people in your organization need to see the emails when they come in.

So, before you decide to purchase another G Suite account for a generic email address, make sure to consider the use case. It might save you money and regrets down the road.