Transitioning from a POP only email account to new IMAP enabled account – how can subsequent emails to the old POP only email be supported?

I have just started working for a growing small business. I am the first person they’ve had with any real technology background and from this point onward I will be organising and managing any IT systems for the business.

One task is to improve the email services to be more professional. The organisation started as a one-man small business using an email address from an ISP which uses POP only protocol – something like: This was the address all customers contacted the business owner on. The Business grew over several years and this email has become a catchall for all customer email to the business but now there is a front office team with multiple people on multiple devices needing to monitor the contact email account. But with POP protocol, only 1 device can monitor the email which is now an issue.

The ISP does not have an option to change from POP to IMAP protocol (that really surprised me, but its what the ISP support guy says…).
I think the business really needs to migrate this to an address on IMAP protocol, but there are thousands of customers using the current POP only email so that email address still needs to be supported in some way, for now anyway.

I am thinking of moving to a cloud based service for email such as google apps for work or office 365, do any of those types of email cloud services offer some kind of option to pull from a POP only email account into an IMAP enabled account? What is the best option to move forward to a better practice service for email but still keep the old email functional?


Move to new Service / their own domain. Have the current ISP setup a mail forward to the new email address, and hopefully an autoresponder that says something along the lines of ‘In order to better serve you, we are now XXX@company. please update your address books’.

Gmail has an option to pop into your old mail account on a schedule, other cloud services might have something similar, but I would think moving to new mail system, and setup forward for old address/autoresponder for a while might be easier. Another option is to add signature to the end of all emails that say our address has recently changed, etc…

Edit by OP: I found the following gmail support article which I think adds to this answer, so adding it to the response:
3 ways to move email from other accounts to Gmail.

If anyone knows of similar instructions for other hosting services I think that would be useful too.

Source : Link , Question Author : abc123 , Answer Author : Doon

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