Forward emails to multiple recipients in Google Apps
For reasons best known to Google, the email component of Google Apps allows users to automatically forward all email to a single email address only. Since it is not uncommon for organizations to set-up a common email ID for interacting with customers and then forwarding all email received to multiple people for action, the restriction on forwarding emails to multiple recipients is a bit of a bummer.
Sure, multiple recipients can use the ‘recent:’ tag while logging in and ensure that all of them download the emails, but it is easy enough to forget to switch on ‘Leave messages on server’ and actually delete all messages.
Recently, a friend of mine also complained of this and since he is an individual, yet affected by this issue; I felt I should figure out a workaround to this and publish it.
The simplest solution is to set-up an Email Group in google apps. Simply put, an email group is an email ID that itself comprises of multiple users. Any email sent-to the group ID is automatically replicated to all members of the group.
The solution to forward emails to multiple recipients simply consists of creating a group-ID and adding recipients to the group. Once added, configure the master account to forward emails to the group-ID and they will be forwarded to all the recipients.
To illustrate the concept:
- Let us assume that we have a real-estate project called ‘Lotus Leaf‘ and we have an email ID firstname.lastname@example.org on which we encourage prospective customers to shoot enquiries.
- The organization requires that all emails received at email@example.com should be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com.
- To achieve this, we will create an email group called firstname.lastname@example.org and add the email IDs of the four persons to the members list.
- Now we configure POP & Forwarding options of email@example.com to forward all emails to firstname.lastname@example.org
- All emails received at email@example.com will now be automatically replicated to the members of the firstname.lastname@example.org group
- If creating a group, try to set the group type to “Team”. In this mode, you can add recipients from any domains. For ex: Group members can be from Hotmail, Yahoo, Rediff or any other email service.
- In “Team” mode, emails received at the group ID are automatically forwarded to the team members who can be from any domain.
- Any member of the team can send an email to the group ID and the mail will be replicated.
- Non group members cannot send emails to the group ID since their email will be rejected instantly. This is useful to avoid spam.
- If a group member forwards a spam message to the group ID, it will be replicated to all the group members. Please avoid blindly forwarding every email to the Group ID; instead use a rule to forword emails so that only those emails which concern the group are forwarded.
Thanks for this post – it was mega-helpful. Not sure why Google decided to make it this hard?!
What if I want to forward to multiple addresses outside my main domain?
Like email@example.com –> forwards to: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Google Apps allows you to add other domain email IDs to the group.
Your will have to set the Group’s permissions correctly to allow other domain email IDs to also sent messages to the group ID.
If you only want one-way traffic (from Group to Users), then the ‘Announcement Only’ setting will work fine.
Is there a way to make and existing email address have more recipiants ? obviously it should have been setup like the above in the first place.
firstname.lastname@example.org is sent to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
but if firstname.lastname@example.org wants to see emails to email@example.com aswell as firstname.lastname@example.org , would i have to delete email@example.com and create a group firstname.lastname@example.org ?
sorry for the confusing post.
It appears that Google has not yet added the facility to forward emails to multiple recipients and still requires the use of Google Groups to forward messages.
Groups don’t appear to be working correctly for me. I create a group and add myself as a member. When I email the group – I never receive my test email.
Is this a known bug or is there a trick to this? Seems pretty straight forward.. but, again, it’s not working.
Nick, I think if you are the one sending the message, you won’t receive your sent message but the other recipients in the group e-mail address that you belong to will.