In this 6-minute read:
- Why use a business email address
- How to create a business email account
- Tips for using your business email address
If you’re still using a generic Gmail, Yahoo, or other email account for your business, we’re here to tell you that it’s time to stop. Your business deserves a branded email account, and you deserve the benefits that come from it.
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What is a business email account and why is it important?
A business email account is more than just an email that you use for business. It’s an email account that is branded by your domain (in other words, your business’s website). So, instead of using firstname.lastname@example.org you would use joe@[yourdomain].com.
Anyone can create a free Gmail or other email account using your business’s name and pretend to be your business. But only your business can use an email that is on a domain that you own. Using an email address that is on your domain helps establish trust, not only with your customers but with their email service providers, too. Some email accounts will block generic email addresses that they’ve never seen before, or automatically filter them into junk mail.
A business email address looks more professional and is generally easier to remember. Plus, it allows you to promote your brand with every message that you send.
How to create a professional business email account
Now, let’s talk about how you can actually accomplish getting a business email account.
Step 1: Get a domain for your business
First, you need to have a domain. The good news is, if you have a website, you likely already have your domain! If your website is hosted on a free platform that doesn’t provide you with a domain, then you’ll need to purchase one (and we highly recommend putting your website on your own, purchased domain).
There are tons of domain registrars out there to purchase from; GoDaddy.com, BlueHost.com, Domains.Google, and Zoho.com are a good place to start. Just find a domain that fits well with your business (but keep it short and memorable) and make the purchase.
If you already have a domain, make sure you know where it is hosted and can get logged into the account. If you don’t know that information, talk to your website developer or ask the customer service department of your domain hosting service provider.
Step 2: Choose an email service provider and create your email address
Once you have your domain, you’ll need to choose a place to host your email. Your domain registrar likely has an email hosting plan that you can sign up for. These are usually a couple dollars a month per email box that you need.
Common email service providers that businesses use include G-Suite (now called Google Workplace) and Microsoft Outlook. These are both more advanced business plans that cost a little more, but do have additional features like calendars, chat, file sharing, and more.
If you’re looking for the easiest and cheapest way to set up a business email account, go with your domain registrar.
When you have chosen your email service provider, you can create the email address that you want to use. Keep it simple and easy to remember, and keep a consistency across your company’s email addresses. For example, if you have an email for every employee, choose a consistent format like [firstname]@[yourdomain].com or [firstinitial.lastname]@[yourdomain].com
Step 3: Set up your email
Now that you have a domain and your preferred email service provider, it’s time to set up your email so that you can actually send and receive mail. We can’t go through the setup of every email service provider out there, but the main steps are generally the same.
If you are using your domain registrar to host your email, just log in to your account to set up your email. There will generally be a section under your account that says “manage email.” With some of them you may need to purchase your email hosting first, so choose the email plan that you want, make the purchase, and then follow the prompts from your registrar to finish the setup.
If you are using a service that is separate from your domain registrar, you’ll need to set up the MX records to direct your mail to your email service provider’s servers. Mail Exchange (MX) records are codes or identification records that your domain registrar uses to specify the mail server that hosts your email.
Most domain hosts will have step-by-step MX setup instructions that you can use.
Here are some generic steps for finding those records and making the change:
- Sign in to your account on your domain host’s site
- Find the section where you can update your MX records—it might say “Mail Settings,” “DNS Management,” or “Advanced Settings”
- Delete any existing MX records (you’ll be adding new ones)
- Add new MX records for your email service provider (find these in your account for your email service provider)
- Test your email to see if it works
Note: Sometimes it can take 24-48 hours for your DNS (Domain Name System) to reflect this new change.
If you are having trouble finding the settings that you need to set up your email account, talk to your IT team or your web developer.
Best practices for setting up your business email account
Once your business email account is created, there are a few other things that you need to be aware of in order to have the best experience and ensure that your customers receive your emails.
Don’t spam your customers
If your customers have signed up to receive emails from you or you have their email address from your numerous communications with them, respect that. Don’t spam your customers with constant messages that they are unlikely to read. That might just ensure that they miss the more important emails that you send their way.
Avoid getting your email blacklisted
As you start creating email campaigns and engaging in email marketing with your new professional email address, there are some important steps you need to take to avoid getting your email blacklisted (meaning blocked or going straight to spam).
- Don’t buy email lists. It’s important that you get permission from people you send emails to (like through a sign up form), and people on email lists generally didn’t give their consent
- Craft engaging emails. Low engagement rates can cause emails to bounce or go to spam if the receivers aren’t opening the messages
- Don’t use click-bait subject lines (at least not if they aren’t accurate to the message of the email)
- Include an unsubscribe link so customers have the option to opt out of your email campaigns
Have customers/subscribers whitelist your email
Some email services automatically block new emails that aren’t included in a list of safe senders or that they’ve never seen before. If your customers or subscribers whitelist your email, that will help ensure that they receive communications from you.
Use a spam testing tool
There are a few email spam testing tools out there that you can use to score your email campaigns. These will tell you how spammy your emails are and how you can fix that. A couple of good ones to start with are Litmus and Mail-Tester.
Additional resources for email marketing
If you plan to do any email marketing, you should always do so from a business email address. Once you have that set up, you might find these additional articles helpful in your marketing efforts:
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