Email Aliases Essentials: When To Use (and When Never Ever)

Email Aliases Essentials: When To Use (and When Never Ever)

Author
Dariia Leshchenko
Published
Mar 20, 2023
Reading duration
12 min

As your company grows, you realize that creating new email addresses every time to sign up for a particular service or to run a temporary project isn’t the best idea. Sorting through tons of emails is tiresome, time-consuming, and even poses security threats.

And the headache from managing all the domains is so frustrating.

Luckily, email aliases provide a practical solution—with different email addresses, all emails still land in one inbox. 

And before you get too excited, it's important to understand not only the perks but also the downsides of using an alias email address.

Those tricky downsides can kill your email deliverability (even if you are trying all the advanced practices to improve email deliverability).

Folderly email deliverability experts know about the issue firsthand. On the way to helping clients clients achieve up to 100% email deliverability,  we dealt with numerous issues connected with aliases misuse. So, gathering together the best (and the worst) practices, we have created this helpful guide on alias emails to help you make an informed decision for your business.

Let's dive into the world of email aliases and see if (and when) it's the right choice for your brand.

The Article Walkthrough:

❓ What are email aliases (+ example)
πŸ‘£ How to create an email alias, step by step
βœ… 5 cases when you benefit from email aliases
🚫 4 cases when email aliases can kill your email deliverability

What Are Email Aliases? (+Example)

So, how does an email alias work? Simply put, an email alias is like a nickname for your primary email account. Alias email addresses, sometimes referred to as alternate emails, are used to keep a user's actual full name hidden. 

Yet, in the business field, they are exploited as forwarding addresses representing different company departments/employees.

Once created, alias email accounts forward incoming messages to a separate inbox, usually a primary inbox you choose. Unlike in the case with an additional email address, you don't have to log into the inbox to manage all the listed emails. And this is such a stress-relief considering that the average Gmail account contains around 17K messages.

Also, you don’t need to go through the hassle of setting up a new account with unique login credentials. As for the account settings, an alias exploits the same settings and has access to all the contacts to which the primary inbox is entitled.

❗ Keep in mind that email aliases and mail accounts are entirely different. While the former simply redirects the message to the primary inbox, the latter has a mailbox where all the messages are stored. 

Now, let's assume that Johnathan Johnson is working for Folderly and needs more email addresses to be more productive and successful. Here’s a practical email alias example:

johnathan.johnson@folderly.com – this could be an address used for compliance purposes. The first and last names mentioned in the address make it official and recognizable.

John@folderly.com – can be used for client communication. A shortened version of an official address makes it easier to remember.

J.johnson@folderly.com – an alias for another domain used by the company that John needs to participate in all the business processes.

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As you can see, a single person can have different aliases for different purposes without the need to switch between the accounts to access all the incoming messages.

Creating an Alias Email, Step-by-Step Guide

It may matter little to know what an email alias stands for and how it works if you don't know how to set it up correctly. We'll discuss the three most commonly used email services and how to set up an email alias for each without much fuss. 

Create your email alias with Gmail

Gmail is one of the most popular email services used globally. Let's figure out how to create an email alias with it first. 

  1. Use an Admin account to sign in to your Google console.
  2. Access the Users section from the Home page.
  3. Scan the User list and find the user you want to assign with an alias. Open the chosen account page.
  4. From the list of options provided under the User information, you should pick the Alternate email addresses one.
  5. As the new field opens, type in the desired username before the @ sign. Mind you – you can't use the alias which is already in use.
  6. In case you have access to more than a single domain, you will have to pick the one suitable in a given case.
  7. Save the changes.
  8. The changes will take effect within 24 hours, so if you don't start receiving emails for the chosen alias immediately – it is alright. You should wait a little longer.
  9. Go to your primary email and add the alias so that you can send messages from the alternate mail.

A few notes to add:

  • You can create up to 30 aliases for each user, at no extra cost using Gmail. If you need more aliases, you must create another Google Account. 
  • You can’t create an alias with the same name as an existing Google Account in your company. For example, if you created a Google Account called sales@folderly.com, you can’t create an alias called sales@folderly.com.

Create your email alias with Outlook

To create an email alias with Outlook, take the following steps:

  1. Log into your Microsoft Account.
  2. Go to the Add an Alias section.
  3. You can choose one of the two options – either "Create a new Outlook email address and add it as an alias" or "Add an existing email address as an alias."
  4. Fill out the before @ part with an alias you prefer and click Add alias button.

A few notes to add:

  • You can't use an address connected to your work or school accounts as an alias.
  • An alias can contain spaces and special characters.
  • Any alias that is already associated with Microsoft can't be used.
  • Any existing @hotmail.com, @live.com, or @msn.com addresses can't be used as aliases.

Create your email alias with iCloud

iCloud's users can successfully create aliases by taking these steps:

  1. Log into your iCloud Email and locate the Cear Icon. It can be found in the sidebar. 
  2. Pick Preferences.
  3. Go to the Accounts section and choose Add an Alias option.
  4. Provide the requested information. Aside from the desired alias, you must provide your full name, label as well as label color.
  5. Press Ok and Done.
  6. Fill out the before @ part with an alias you prefer and click Add Alias button.

A few notes to add:

  • You can create only up to three @icloud.com email aliases.
  • Your alias name must contain between 3 and 20 characters.
  • You can change the name for an alias anytime.

Organize your inbox with aliases

As you add different email aliases, you should organize your inbox to make it twice as easy to manage. There are a few management tips to keep in mind:

  • Create a different email signature for every alias.
  • Use filters and rules to sort incoming emails automatically.
  • Use Labels to manage aliases in iCloud, which are listed alphabetically by a label.
  • While turning off an email alias is temporary, deleting it is permanent.
  • Note that when an alias is turned off/deleted, email sent to that alias is returned to the sender.

5 Cases When You Benefit From Creating Email Alias

Email alias are valuable only when there is a practical background to rely on. Thus, here are the prominent cases where you can benefit from creating an email alias:

βœ… When you or someone else in the company carries out multiple roles.

Sometimes a single employee can be responsible for a variety of tasks or operations. Checking a bunch of different mail accounts is tiresome and time-consuming (just imagine, an average office worker receives around 121 emails every workday).

Email alias ensures that all the mail goes to the same address and is filtered accordingly. Such an approach will help you track all the incoming messages and organize the work process more effectively.

βœ… When you need to keep the former employees' contacts.

Imagine the panic that sets in when you have to delete a former employee's professional account, and you realize that some of your most loyal clients are associated with that account. And it might be 6 times more expensive to win the loyalty of a new customer.

Instead of saying goodbye to those precious contacts forever, you can create an email alias, change the password, and voilà - problem solved! It's like a superhero swooping in to save the day and rescue those critical relationships from being lost. 

Your customers will never know the difference, and you get to keep those valuable connections intact.  Win-win.

βœ… When you require a temporary email address to register for not credible services.

Every single online database can be hacked. Every. Single.  

45% of US companies have experienced a data breach in 2021. If you come across a new service that you're unsure about its trustworthiness but still need to register for, it's wise not to use your primary email (or the email of your business).

Instead, consider using an email alias to test the service before providing your real email. (ONLY use an alias that is not known and is not in the public domain)

This precaution can prevent your primary email from receiving spam messages if the service turns out to be fraudulent.  

You’re not interested in a registered service anymore? Click - gone with one click in your email solution.
Tired of irrelevant newsletter? Click - gone.
Turned to get in a data breach? Click - gone.

βœ… When you need a legal and working alternative to “do not reply” emails.

An email account called a "do not reply" email is used by companies to send emails without receiving any replies. It can be identified by the email address, which typically includes "no-reply@company.com" or "donotreply@company.com." 

However, using a "do not reply" email can have negative consequences — it violates email compliance policies and negatively affects email deliverability

Instead, it's suggested to create an email alias to manage automated email sends. This approach allows people to respond if necessary, but emails can still be sent using an alias such as "thankyou@company.com." For a more personal touch, the email alias can include the name of an executive leader, like “johnson@company.com." 

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βœ…  When you need to have a memorable email address.

Email aliases come to the rescue when dealing with lengthy, hard-to-remember addresses for the average consumer. They allow you to shorten and make addresses more memorable, without the hassle of creating multiple new accounts.

4 Cases When Using Email Alias Can Kill Your Email Deliverability

Although email aliases are undeniably useful and convenient, they come with certain pitfalls (and become a never-go strategy to prevent emails from going to spam. Folderly experts reveal the top scenarios where crafting an email alias might wreak havoc on your email deliverability.

🚫 To create aliases for different domains.

While it may seem like a great idea at the time, creating email aliases within more than one domain is a dreaded shortcut to deliverability scores dropping. The thing is that multiple domains with aliases are often used for nothing other than spoofing and spamming. The more spam filters you trigger along the way, the lower your deliverability rates will drop.

🚫 For your cold email outreach.
Never ever create aliases for cold email outreach. Never.

The fact is that most email service providers and Internet service providers can so much as tolerate email aliases. They aren't in full awe of it.

❗ When an ESP detects an outreach campaign sent from an alias, it will trigger an alarm based on why you are trying to hide your identity if you are a legit and reliable sender. Thus, the scamming alarm goes off, and you know what happens to email deliverability in such cases – it starts to drop at the speed of light.

🚫 To set up automated scalable email campaigns.

A major pitfall of email aliases: automated outreaches bypass DNS. With spam filters scrutinizing DNS, this raises red flags, and to play it safe, your emails might be banished straight to the spam dungeon.

While discussing the DNS subject, the Folderly team advises double-checking your DNS settings whenever you create an email alias, either manually or with a helping hand of email deliverability experts.

🚫 To hide your identity for misleading purposes. 

Bad news for privacy enthusiasts. 

Email service providers can peek behind the curtain and identify an alias's origin. Even if they would, it's still the bad practice. Recipients see an unfamiliar alias address, which may lead to decreased open rates, conversions, and a surge in complaints—all combining to harm your deliverability rates.

Remember, recipients can often decipher your primary email from aliases and treat the last ones like spam signups. In situations where anonymity is vital, consider creating a separate account. But beware! Concealing email identity is rarely justifiable and can land you in hot water, violating email compliance rules.

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🚫 When you want to fix your sender reputation.

As your domain reputation goes down for one reason or another, you may feel like an email alias will fix it. If it only was that easy. And our dedicated email deliverabilty experts will tell you why.

Since all email service providers can see behind the 'mask,' such steps will add more suspicion to your account and may lead to permanent deliverability problems.

Fixing email deliverability always requires a comprehensive approach that can be streamlined with a one-stop email deliverability tool

All-inclusive email deliverability solutions like Folderly are always there for you to reach out a helping hand and boost your deliverability rates along with content quality. You can sign up today for a free 7-day trial to see your email deliverability score gradually grow.  

There is no way of fooling spam filters with such cheap games.

Bottom Line: Think Twice Before Setting Up Multiple Aliases

The success of your email campaign relies heavily on your email deliverability score. It takes a lot of hard work to improve your sender reputation, but a single step off the chosen path can instantly level all the efforts. 

Creating an email alias brings multiple advantages and saves a lot of organizational hassle within a company. However, as you set up multiple email aliases, you may as well damage your email deliverability without even realizing it. And the need to monitor email deliverability regulrly becomes more than just a necessity.

Look through the reasons for and against email aliases again to ensure you benefit from them.

Also, you can rely on Folderly's advanced knowledge of the field and minimize all risks while making the most of your email alias accounts!

The only tried-and-true method for improving email deliverability that lasts.
Email Aliases Essentials: When To Use (and When Never Ever)
Dariia Leshchenko
Author:
Dariia Leshchenko
Head of Customer Success
Dariia is the Head of Customer Success at Folderly, bringing over 3+ years of successful client management. Her dedicated approach to every customer proves that no issue is impossible to fix. Dariia advocates for the synergy of new-level email analysis technology and a human approach to improving email performance.

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The only tried-and-true method for improving email deliverability that lasts.