So I was on a quest this week to create a distribution list for a friend and his business and I got pretty frustrated with Google’s new Admin changes. After some digging I figured it out and figured I’d share my findings with you.
If you do some searches online you’re likely to find yourself on Google support page, something I found less than helpful, so here is a quick break down on what you need to do.
If you’re not familiar with Google Apps, then I highly recommend you look into it. It’s an easy to use solution that allows you to configure a number of things, email being but one of those. I like it though for small and large companies alike, it’s an easy way to configure your company to use it’s domain as an email (.e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com).
Using your domain is always a more attractive solution, last thing you want is prospective clients getting emails from a generic yahoo.com, gmail.com, or some other free email provider. It’s about appearances, and let’s face it there is a certain level of professionalism that is portrayed when someone gets an email from you that’s under your domain. I can almost hear people chuckling as they read this, but I think many of us in the technical field take this simple feature for granted. Unfortunately many of your local mom-and-pop shops are vaguely familiar with the idea and many yet don’t posses the technical knowledge to configure it for themselves. Many others try to get into the email server business and often integrate the feature with other online properties like chat or website services, that’s a horrible approach. If nothing else, I encourage you to look into Google Apps.
There was a time when this was free, that time has unfortunately passed. So you’re going to have to dig deep and cough up some cash, sorry, but it’s well worth it. The good news is that you can set things up to be on a monthly basis and you can decide how to proceed that way. Currently, it’s set as $5 / user, this isn’t bad until you start thinking through the types of emails you want.
Small snippet of what most organizations will want:
Along with other more specific emails:
And a number of other more specific emails.
The first set of emails is what I would consider to be distribution lists. These are emails that you don’t need a separate account for; in reality, you’d likely want those emails going to a number of folks so that there isn’t a bottle neck in the process and anyone can respond. If you’re one of those people, and you’re now using Google Apps, there is a way to get this done.
Create Your Distribution List
When you log into your Google Apps admin panel, often located here: http://www.google.com/a/domain.com, you’ll see a panel like this:
You will need to be an administrator on your domain. You might also not see all theses apps by default, you might need to click on more options, at the bottom of the image, and drag and drop the apps into your main panel.
You will want to click on the Groups app:
You’ll be greeted with an option to create a new group:
You will want to configure the following page to look similar to the image below. You will define the name of the group, and an email to use (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, etc.. ). Give it a description if you like so that you can quickly identify it later. Lastly, be sure to configure it to allow anyone on the Internet to post to the group. This will be important so that if someone sends an email to firstname.lastname@example.org it doesn’t get declined.
Ofourse, also include the users in your domain you want to have access to received the emails. For me, as it’s a small business, I just set it to everyone.
That’s it, with that you’ve now created a new distribution list and have saved yourself $5 with each account by treating it as a distribution list.
Hope this helps someone, I know it annoyed me when I was first looking at it.