Using free email addresses such as gmail, outlook, or yahoo for your business can become a big turn off for your customers. Setting up your business email can be really easy. I am going to walk you through two ways on how to create your own email domain for free in less than 15 minutes. One way will be with using your existing hosting provider and the other way will be setting up your email using Microsoft Office 365
Lets begin with the easiest method to creating an easy professional email:
What does a Domain Email Address Mean?
So imagine you are an accountant and your contact information on your website or business card was John.Smith.Taxes@gmail.com. This would be an example of using a free email account as mentioned above.
Most people would not consider this business more professional than an email that says email@example.com.
If you have not had the chance to purchase your domain read our article here on a quick and easy way to do that before moving forward.
How to Create an Email Account for your Business using Dreamhost
Even though I am walking you through how to do this using Dreamhost, The same steps will still apply across other hosting platforms that you may be using.
Once you log into the dashboard you will be presented with a sidebar. Click on the option that says:
- Create New Email Address
Dreamhost gives you three options when it comes to emails:
- Fully Hosted Email: This will set you up with an account to be able to sign into on your phone or a portal on the internet
- Forward-Only Email: This option allows you to create an email address that forwards all incoming emails to another emails address. Best used for when multiple people need to receive or monitor an email address.
- Garbage Email Address: Best used for automated reply’s that will not be monitored. For example firstname.lastname@example.org
Creating a fully hosted email address:
- Email Address: You can put anything you want in here but not spaces. typically you would want something like email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Just keep it professional
- Mailbox “Name”: This is what your name will show when you email people so your first and last name will work or you could put the name of your business
- Password: Choose a password. Choosing a strong password will prevent somebody from stealing your email credentials and hacking your email.
- Limit Total Disk Usage: This is the amount of storage your mailbox will get. 200MB is not a lot of storage. Bump that up to 2048 which equals about 2gb of mailbox storage
- Keep the daily warnings checked. This will be important if your mailbox starts to get full. If your customers get bounced emails they may think you are no longer in service
- In the remove old messages section make sure to add a bigger number to the amount of messages removed once your inbox reaches a certain number. Also make sure to increase the amount of days of old messages that get deleted.
once you click Create Address, you new business domain email address will be available. As you see below I was able to login to my free domain email dashboard and retrieve the test email I sent to it. In less than 5 minutes you have a full email setup.
At this point your email is all setup and you have now created your own free email domain but, If you would like to create a forward only or junk email follow on below.
Creating a Free Forward Only Email Domain
Creating a forward only email address is great for when you want multiple people to be able to field the same emails for things like customer service or support. If you go back to the section in Dreamhost were you created your original email, scroll down and you will see the section called Forward-Only Email. Using the example below, that is how you will structure yours but of course choose your own email addresses.
Creating a Free Garbage Email Domain
These type of emails are great for when you want to let somebody know their email has been received but, you do not want to monitor the email address. Lets say you have a form on your website to contact you. When somebody fills out that form and submits it, they will receive an email from a email@example.com. What this will do is delete any emails from people who try and respond to it. Its a great way to prevent people from getting your email right away until you have time to respond from your personal.
Now that i showed you how to create your own email domain for free using your hosting provider. In this next section I will walk you through how to setup email using Office 365. This way has an additional cost but may be beneficial for others who may need the added functionality and applications.
Office 365 Business Domain Setup
Assuming you have already purchased Microsoft Office 365, This section will help walk you through setting up email for your business domain. I will post a later article on the different Office 365 packages and their options.
When you first sign into Microsoft Office 365 you will be presented with a screen like below. Click on the Admin Button.
on the left hand side you will see the button that says setup. Click that Drop-down and select Domains. A box in the middle of the screen will show. Select Add Domain
Take your email domain and add it to the field and select Use this Domain at the bottom of the page.
This next section is more of a security feature. To prevent anybody from using your domain name it has to be verified that you own it. Using the txt record that they provide, take that and place it in the hosting providers dns section for your business domain. That will be done wherever you purchased the domain at.
After you add the record, go back to Microsoft Office 365 and Click Verify. Their can be a delay up to 5 or more minutes when you add that record for it to be recognized by Microsoft. You can keep clicking verify until the next screen comes. The next section gives you the option to use your own dns provider or switch to Microsoft and allow them to setup your dns records for email. If you currently have your own dns provider with records for other things select the first option. If not select the second option.
I chose the first option and if you did also you will get presented with this list of records to add back into your dns providers website. If you are a startup with no current email, changing these records will not affect anything since you do not have any current mail. If you already use mail through your provider choose a time to cut over without affecting anyone getting mail.
Once your records are added it will take you back to the domain section showing your domain as healthy.
You are now all setup and ready to use your business email domain using Microsoft Office 365. Go back to the Office 365 Admin Panel and off to the left you will see the section called Users. Click Add user and fill out the form below to start using your email. Once your user is all setup you can go to office.com to sign-in as that user and start using webmail.
I hope you learned a lot about ways to improve on your startup business by creating a more professional email address. If you have any questions during your setup, reach out in the comments and I will see if I can assist you in getting setup.