Forwarding emails to a gMail account getting lost

Doing business with an “official” email address, meaning something like <name>@<mydomain>.com is a preferred way of handling emails from businesses.  It makes you look more professional.

Many people handle this by having this @<mydomain.com> email forwarded to their gMail account so they can handle it all there.  This is great and the preferred method according to Google.

However, lately many people have been noticing that their emails aren’t reaching them.  The reason being is that gMail has marked their server as a spammer.  What is happening when you create a forwarding email account is the mail is going to your actual server (where you host your website).  That site is then telling the mail to go move on to your gMail account.  As it travels across your server, it picks up the IP address of that server as the sender.  Suddenly, gMail is seeing your mail + all the other people on your host as sending mail to various gMail accounts.  Bang! Your host is now considered a spammer.

The work around :: IMAP/POP

One of the work around is to change how you’re receiving emails to gMail.  As I primarily work with cPanels here, all the screenshots are depicting what you’d see in cPanel.  If you need help with a different interface, drop me a line.

Step 1:  Delete the Forwarder Account

When you setup a forwarder, normally it isn’t an actual email account but just a redirect that you set somewhere in your cPanel.  It will look something like the below image:

forwarder_1

Click to Enlarge

To start with you need to DELETE this forwarder.  Don’t panic as we’ll get it back and not lose email for too long in the process.

Step 2:  Setup the new email account

Next you’ll want to go the Email Accounts section and create a new email account.  If you’re on cPanel you’ll find that under the Mail section to the left of the Forwarders section you just came from.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Once there, create a new account with the SAME name as what you had before.  So in my example I need to enter the word test in the top before the @creeksidecs.com line.  Add in a password and make sure you know what it is, you’ll need it for the gMail step.

After that it should return back to the Email Accounts page and your new email should show up.  Click on the “Configure Email Client” to the far right.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Jot down the info for the POP3 Secure SSL/TLS Settings.  You’ll need this for gMail.

Step 3:  Setup gMail

Now that you have all the info you need and the account, hop over to your gMail account and login.  Once you’re in go to the far right “gear” and select “Settings”.

forwarder_4

Click to Enlarge

Once you’re in the Settings area, go to “Accounts and Import” and select “Add a POP3 mail account you own”

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Now follow the prompts.  First enter in the email address you were forwarding (so in my example above test@creeksidecs.com).

forwarder_6

Click “Next Step”.  Now enter in the information you collected before.  Note since we’re using the SSL version of the connection for security reasons (what I had you copy from the “Configure Email Client” above, you will need to change the POP Server and the Port to what you had in your cPanel.

Also make sure to have “Always use a secure connection (SSL) when retrieving email” checked.

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You can check or uncheck the other items if you like, that is entirely up to your preference.

Click “Add Account” and it should all work. If it doesn’t it will sit on the screen for a bit and eventually return an error message like the screenshot below.

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If you are getting an error message, check the following:

  • double check you’ve got the right POP server and IP
  • retype in your password
  • make sure you have the “Always use SSL” checked off
  • make sure you used your full email address for the username and not just the first part.  So it should be something like <name>@<mydomain>.com

Limitations

This is a great work around if you’re losing email from the forwarder.  But it’s not perfect.  One of the limitations is unlike other POP account setups, you can’t control when gMail decides to pull mail.

If gMail goes out and sees that there’s mail there, they will reduce the time until their next pull.  If it sees more mail, it will reduce it again and so on until it is as quick as 5 minutes.

If it doesn’t find mail, it extends the time and keeps extending up to 1 hour.

So sometimes, you may have an hour delay on your email.  You can force gMail to access your mail immediately via a manual pull if you suspect there should be mail.  To do this, go back to the “Accounts and Import” area.  Under the same section we just did the “Add a POP3 mail account you own”, you will see your email address.  Next to that email address should be a “Check Mail Now” along with information on when the last pull was and how many emails it pulled down.

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That’s it!

If you have any issues please let me know. Leave a comment below and I’ll respond or email me directly at caroline@creeksidecs.com.


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