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I'm a freelance web designer and, being really impressed with Gmail and Google Apps in general, I want to recommend this to all my clients. (Say no to spam and weekend phone calls about setting up POP clients!)

My only problem is this: I have no problem with $5 a month for each of their accounts but I'd like to have my own email at their domain.

With Google Apps I have buswell@mydomain.com. For a client they will have tom@tomsbusiness.com. But I'd like to have buswell@tomsbusiness.com that forwards straight to my buswell@mydomain.com and I don't want to pay another $5 a month for this! (I'll be doing this for many clients so it would add up a lot.)

This is just for doing the basics first steps of SEO—submitting websites to Google, Google maps, Yell.com etc. It's just much easier if I have buswell@tomsbusiness.com for verification, and I don't want to ask the client to be forwarding me emails.

Also, I need to be able to send emails and reply with this buswell@tomsbusiness.com.

This is the only thing that's putting me off using Google Apps for everyone!

I think I can do this if I'm in charge of all their domains on Google Apps and turn all the buswell@s into aliases?

Thoughts appreciated!

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From Mail routing and delivery: Guidelines and best practices - Google Apps Help

Routing examples and uses cases

Several mail routing and delivery scenarios are listed below. If a use case applies to you, click the link for detailed instructions.

Default routing - Use split delivery to route unregistered Google Apps users to an on-premise mail server

If you are migrating from a legacy mail server to Gmail, you can test your Google Apps configuration with a subset of users before registering all of your users. During this time, the MX records for your domain are pointing to Gmail; but, a portion of your users are unregistered with Google Apps and will continue using the on-premise mail server (for example, Microsoft Exchange).

To configure such a phased roll-out of Google Apps using split delivery, configure your mail routing and delivery options as follows:

  • For registered Google Apps pilot users, deliver inbound mail to the Gmail inbox.
  • For users who are not yet registered with Google Apps, deliver inbound mail to the legacy email inbox.

An incoming message is then delivered to either a Gmail inbox or a legacy system inbox, depending on the recipient.

To set up split delivery as described above, use the Default routing setting in the Admin console.

Note: Default routing defines domain-wide mail routing settings, and applies only to inbound messages.

Route unregistered Google Apps users to an on-premise mail server:

  1. Sign in to the Google Admin console.
  2. From the dashboard, go to Apps > Google Apps > Gmail > Advanced settings.
  3. If you've not done so already, add a host, or route, for your on-premise server (see Setting up mail hosts).
  4. Click the Default routing tab.
  5. Click Add setting.
  6. Navigate to the Specify envelope recipients to match section, and from the drop-down list, click All recipients.
  7. Navigate to the If the envelope recipient matches the above, do the following section, and from the drop-down list, click Modify message.
  8. Check the Change route box. From the drop-down list, click the name for your on-premise server (for example, Exchange on-premise).
  9. In the Options section, click the Perform this action only on non-recognized addresses option.
  10. Click Save.

For more details and instructions, see Default routing setting.

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