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How to Set Up a Gmail Alias That Doesn’t Hurt Deliverability

A Gmail alias lets you send an email from any address inside your gmail.com or Google Workspace account.

That alias can be another Gmail or Google Workspace address — or an address from another email provider, from Outlook or Yahoo to your school or work or small business.

That’s the good news.

The bad news? If you set up your email alias the way that Google expects you to set up your alias — by entering its SMTP server, username, and password —  you’ll send your messages from Gmail through that email provider’s servers.

And odds are its servers don’t have the naturally high deliverability of Gmail’s own servers.

But never fear.

If you set up your Gmail alias using the technique I’m going to cover in this article, you’ll avoid that trap and send your messages through Gmail’s SMTP server when you use your alias.

And you can even use GMass to send your mail merge campaigns using your alias email.

Gmail Alias Set Up: Table of Contents

Setting Up Your Gmail Alias to Send Through Gmail’s Servers

If your alias email is another Gmail or Google Workspace account, you don’t have to worry about this — Google will send through its own servers either way.

But if you’re setting up an alias from another email provider, then this is crucial for deliverability.

Step 1: Setting up 2-step verification

There are two techniques you can use to prep your Gmail/Google Workspace account for our Gmail SMTP workaround.

The first involves allowing less secure apps to sign into your account. While that’s probably not going to cause problems, it might feel unsettling.

So we’ll go with the other option: 2-step verification.

Head to the security settings for your Google account (https://myaccount.google.com/security) or by going to the nine-dot Google Apps menu in the top right corner of any Google screen, clicking Account, then clicking Security on the left sidebar.

Not too far down that page you’ll see 2-Step Verification settings. Click the arrow to enter your settings.

Enter the 2-step verification settings

If you’ve set up Google’s version of two-factor authentication already, you can move on to step two.

If you haven’t set up 2-step verification before (like me in the screenshot above), you’ll need to do so now by entering your phone number and choosing texts or phone calls for account security.

Step 2: Getting an app password

Once your security is squared away, re-enter the 2-step verification settings again. This time scroll down to the section called App passwords and click the arrow to enter.

Go into the app passwords settings

In the Select app dropdown, choose Other (custom name). Give the app a name. You can choose anything here.

Since I’m setting this all up so I can send campaigns via GMass using my alias, I’m going to call this app GMass. But again, this doesn’t matter — it’s for your own record keeping purposes only.

Select Other (custom name) for the app

Then click the Generate button.

Google will generate a 16-character app password. Copy that app password, you’ll need it shortly. (I’ve blurred mine in the screenshot below.)

Grab your app password

Now click Done. We’re ready to set up the alias.

Step 3: Setting up your alias in Gmail

Head back to your Gmail inbox and go to the Gmail settings.

Go to the Accounts section and click Add another email address.

Now add another email address in Gmail

In the pop-up window, enter the other email address from which you want to send email. I’m going to enter one of my Outlook addresses.

Leave the box checked for Treat as an alias.

Enter the address you want to make a Gmail alias

Then click Next Step.

This will bring up a window where Google pre-populates some fields for you because, as I mentioned earlier, it wants your alias to send through its own SMTP server. But we don’t want that. So… we’re going to delete the pre-populated suggestions.

Delete the pre-populated info

Instead, we’re going to go with the following values (which are basically the standard Gmail SMTP settings):

  • SMTP Server: smtp.gmail.com
  • Port: 587
  • Username: your Gmail/Google Workspace address
  • Password: the 16-character app password you generated earlier
  • Secured connection using TLS
Enter specific info for the SMTP server

Now click Add Account.

Assuming all went right, Google will say “Congratulations” and tell you they’ve mailed a verification code to your other email address. (You know, to make sure it really is your email address before they start using it to send emails.)

Grab the verification code

So head on over to your other email account to grab the verification code.

Find the verification code in your email

Once you enter it, you should see your other email address is now listed as a sending option in your account.

You can see your Gmail alias is ready

You can now use your alias to send emails from that address in your Gmail account and send them through Gmail’s servers.

Using Your New Alias to Send a Gmail Mail Merge Campaign

And… your alias is available to send a cold outreach, email marketing, or other mail merge campaign through Gmail with GMass.

If you don’t have GMass installed, it’s a Chrome extension that takes less than a minute to install and set up (no credit card required — you don’t even have to fill out a form). Follow the quickstart guide to learn the basics of connecting Google Sheets with your contacts to a new campaign.

When you’re creating your GMass campaign, choose your alias from the from address dropdown.

Choose your alias from a dropdown

And in your GMass campaign settings, if you have an SMTP server connected to your account, you probably don’t want to send through that — you want to send through Gmail. After all, we went through all this trouble to route your alias’s messages through Gmail’s servers.

Make sure GMass sends via Gmail

When everything is ready, hit the red GMass button to send your campaign with your alias.

Here’s what the headers will look like to your recipients if they dig in. (Note: Here are instructions if you want to change the From name for an alias in a GMass campaign.)

The headers of a mail merge campaign sent with an alias

Gmail Alias: Setting Yourself Up for Successful Sending

Now… you don’t have to set up a Gmail email alias the way I’ve done it in this article.

You could enter the SMTP server settings of your Outlook or Yahoo mail or other primary account along with that account’s username and password. (Although expect a lot of trial and error figuring out the right combo.)

But as long as this workaround is viable and you can use Gmail’s servers for your third-party aliases, we strongly recommend taking advantage of the opportunity.

While no email server guarantees perfect deliverability, you’re better served going with Gmail’s servers than pretty much any others. You’re setting yourself up for better odds of reaching the inbox and better odds of success.

Plus, by employing this technique, you can use GMass to send campaigns from any email address.
So to get started with GMass, download the Chrome extension (if you’re in the mood, you can check out the 7,500+ reviews which give GMass an average of 4.8/5 stars while you’re over there).

You can get going for a free trial and send your first mail merge campaign (from an alias, if you’re so inclined) in a matter of minutes.

Ready to transform Gmail into an email marketing/cold email/mail merge tool?


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2 Comments
  1. I’ve been so frustrated trying to get my alias email back after it suddenly stopped working and I couldn’t remember how I had previously set it up. This is the ONLY tutorial that worked and I cannot thank-you enough!

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