If you have a goal of starting a website for your business, add one more thing to your to-do list — getting a personalized email address.
Company branding ensures potential customers understand your brand and makes you look professional. Just like you’d have a custom URL for your website rather than something like mybusiness.wordpress.com, you also need a professional email address to provide consistent branding. A study showed 75% of U.S. e-commerce customers believe domain-based email addresses are crucial to creating trust with small businesses.
That said, here’s what we’ll cover:
Why you need a custom email address
Having a custom email address gives your business credibility and shows you have a well-established company. Customers look for some legitimacy before deciding to work with a business. So, if you’re looking to brand your business as legitimate and professional, you should use a professional email address.
Some more reasons for getting a customized email address include:
1. @Gmail or @Yahoo may look “unprofessional”
Using free email addresses detracts from the value you want to offer your customers. For example, if you were thinking about spending a fair amount of money with a company, which salesperson email would you feel more confident in:
An email address with yourdomain.com at the end ensures potential customers get a good impression of your brand.
2. You’re already paying for a personalized email hosting service
If you’ve purchased a domain name for your website, you can use that domain for your email addresses as well. As we’ll see later, setting up an email address with your custom domain name is easy.
3. You can standardize email addresses with personalized email hosting
This is especially important as you grow your staff. You can use the same format for every other email address when you have a domain email address.
For example, you can use [email protected] or first[initial][email protected]. That provides consistency in your business, and customers can easily remember the formula for your company email addresses.
4. A branded email does marketing for you
If you use a domain-based email address, you’re getting your brand in front of more eyeballs. When your branded email address appears in each employee’s email signature, business cards and social media accounts, it will be an opportunity to attract new business.
5. You can create as many emails as you want
Even if you’re a one-person operation, you can create a new email address for different aliases such as sales, customer service. And it’s more efficient to have separate emails for different business functions as well. If you hire for those roles one day, you can simply assign those email addresses to other employees.
6. When someone leaves your company, you keep control
What happens when your marketing manager leaves, taking their email with them? If they were using it to conduct business for your organization, you wouldn’t be able to access those emails. On the other hand, if you set up an account under the person’s name, you can redirect those emails to your newly hired marketing manager.
How to create your personalized email address
You cannot get a free domain email address such as [email protected] unless you pay for web hosting. A web hosting provider like Bluehost provides a custom email domain with any hosting package, which is super affordable. Bluehost also has a free domain with all new signups, so you only pay for hosting.
To create your Bluehost email, simply set up your domain name and configure your email address. Then, connect to your preferred third-party email service provider, such as Gmail, Apple or Outlook for free.
Let’s look at the steps in more detail.
1. Set up your domain name
First, go to Bluehost and click the green Get Started Now button.
Bluehost has four pricing plans — Basic, Plus, Choice Plus and Pro.
The Basic plan is ideal for a starter website or if you only require a few free business email accounts. If you want unlimited email accounts, the Plus plan will be ideal.
Click Select on the plan that suits you, then register your free domain. Enter your business name into the box, then click Next to search for the domain name. Bluehost will check if a domain name matching your brand name is available. If it’s not, it will give you some alternative suggestions, or you can search for a new domain name.
Next, enter your billing information and submit the form.
You’ll successfully create your hosting account and receive a welcome email from Bluehost with login info to your hosting control panel. That’s where you’ll manage your business email accounts and other settings.
2. Create your free personalized email address
Navigate to the Email section in the hosting account dashboard and click on the Add Email Account tab. Enter your email account’s username and password and click the Create Account button. Bluehost will create the email account and notify you.
3. Connect to your preferred third-party email service provider
After you’ve created your free personalized email account, you can connect it to a third-party email provider like Gmail or Microsoft. You do this to use your domain-based email with the tools and benefits provided by email providers. For instance, you can connect your personalized email address with Google workspace so you can use applications like Google doc, google spreadsheet with that email.
For this step-by-step guide, we’ll use Gmail. Here’s how to go about it:
Log in to your Gmail account and select see all settings from the gear menu in the top right corner.
Go to the Accounts and Import tab and click Add a mail account.
That will open a new window where you’ll enter the email address you just created then click Next.
Type your full business email address and Bluehost password in the username and password fields.
You’ll now have linked your Bluehost email address to Gmail, which will set up email forwarding from your Bluehost email address to your Gmail folder.
However, you’ll need to update Gmail if you want to send emails from your Gmail address. Bluehost will ask you if you want to set this up. Click Next after selecting ‘Yes.’
You’ll then be prompted to verify your email address. Once you’ve re-entered your email address and Gmail password, Gmail will send a verification code to your Bluehost email address.
On your Bluehost account, click on Email Manager and select View Inbox. Copy the verification code and paste it into the correct field in Gmail, then click Verify. That should configure your outgoing mail.
First impressions are everything, and how potential customers see you will determine how successful your brand will be. Not only does a custom email address deliver a level of professionalism, but it also empowers your users to receive and send emails consistent with your brand. If you already have a custom domain and are paying for hosting, you can use that domain for your email addresses.
While there are multiple options for creating personalized email addresses, Bluehost offers one of the best web hosting services, including emails. Select your plan and get started today.