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Still using an old, generic email address? Don’t worry - most people are. But you might want to look into getting a custom email address. You’d expect that to be an expensive or complicated process - thankfully, it isn’t.
We’ve prepared a short article that will explain how you can quickly and easily get a custom email address. There’s not much mystery to it - the process is simple, but it’s always useful to have a guide that you can refer to.
We’ve also included a segment detailing all the various benefits that acquiring a custom email address can have for your business. Armed with that knowledge, you’ll be able to leverage your brand new, shiny, unique email address to its maximum effect.
How Email in Business Has Changed
Any business that wants to thrive in today’s markets has to have an online presence.
The internet is, after all, still relatively new and modern. And so, many businesses have migrated online. But a key segment of online presence - emails, have likewise changed.
Where once emails used to be a high priority and high-volume marketing tool, they have now shifted gears. The paradigm has changed.
There’s no doubt about it - emails still matter. But you can tell - just from your own experiences and surroundings, that none of us use emails as much as we once used to. If you’re emailing someone and it’s related to business, chances are that things are already serious.
How Email Communication Has Changed?
Interactions via email are now smaller in scale and more focused. This is a better climate overall - there’s a higher chance of making a lasting impression. Standing out via email is an art and science of its own - but today we’ll just be covering a basic stepping stone towards that goal.
The foundation of any successful email strategy is your address. It has to be dedicated, uncluttered, and regularly checked - but that isn’t enough. It should also be unique - a simple @gmail address works fine for private matters - but it doesn’t exactly give the impression of a serious, capable professional.
So here’s a quick refresher to make sure that you have your bases covered. Start at the beginning - with the foundations.
Why A Custom Domain Email Address is Good for Your Business
Before we get down to the meat of the matter, let’s review how this decision benefits you and your business.
Once you understand that, a custom domain email address and a quality email host will be powerful tools at your disposal.
Of course, there’s plenty of room for improvisation and a unique, personal approach - but here are the main benefits of custom domain email addresses that you should focus on to achieve the best results.
Professionalism and Credibility
Having a custom email address inherently exudes a sense of professionalism and credibility. For starters, a custom address is, by design, the address of a business.
A generic work address just doesn’t cut it. Don’t set such a low bar for yourself and your business - go the whole nine yards to impress and stand out, it will pay off.
Subconsciously, at least, a custom address positions your business as a dedicated, standalone entity, separate from yourself. Of course, you should always strive to be as personable as needed - but potential clients and partners are looking for something that feels rock-solid, and it’s much easier for a business to give that impression.
Even if your business is a passion project, even if you work by yourself - the business always comes first. A custom email address signals that your venture is reliable, well-established, and professional.
Appearances and reputation matter - your work will speak for you, but you have to get your foot in the door, and it’s impossible to cultivate the presence you need without this one simple step.
Standardization, Consistency, Organization
Standardization and consistency are of the utmost importance for any business.
Particularly when it comes to growth and expansion - ensuring a reliable, predictable workflow is essential.
A custom email address can help you achieve those goals. It allows you to create an easily distinguishable, professional template for all the email addresses in your company.
Picking a naming convention is simple and efficient - there’s no need to remember specific usernames, as they can be logically deduced from a person’s name. Custom addresses can be a great first step towards achieving a standardized, consistent system of communication. They accomplish this in a couple of ways.
For starters, a custom address takes a lot of guesswork out of the equation. Whether or not a specific username will be available is no longer a worry. All of the email addresses follow a simple pattern - giving the impression of order and reliability.
As for organization, your hosting plan can allow you to create different addresses for specific purposes or departments, as well as shared group mailboxes.
These are invaluable tools when it comes to upscaling and upsizing. Even if you don’t have any plans to expand your business, a custom email address allows you to take a much more comprehensive, hands-on approach to the way your business communicates.
A custom domain email address can also positively contribute to your overall brand marketing in a couple of different ways. Just as physical space can be important for advertisement, so too can screen space.
And if you’re already communicating via email - why not make sure that you are marketing your brand along the way?
Using a custom email address is a very cost-effective method of marketing.
As you’re working within a very small, limited space, it’s important to leverage all points of contact. That address should always be included in email signatures, and it should be simple and easy to memorize.
But it doesn’t have to stop there. You’re in no way limited to the digital sphere - and although your address should appear as often as possible online, it can also be a marketing tool in a physical sense. Nothing is stopping you from including that address in advertisements, leaflets, booklets, brochures, catalogs, or business cards.
One avenue you should definitely explore is promotional marketing material or merchandise. Putting your address on a t-shirt, coaster, pen, or bag is a great way to raise brand awareness passively and at little cost - putting your name out there has never been easier.
Getting a custom email address is a great way to increase brand visibility. Having a unique, distinct, and simple address makes it easier for customers, clients, and potential partners to find your business.
This streamlines the process by which people get in touch with your business, making the entire system a bit more efficient. In the digital era, visibility equals accessibility.
A custom address will always stand out, as most inboxes are chock-full of messages from generic addresses. People are naturally more inclined to examine the contents of a message if the sender seems trustworthy.
If you have a custom address - you’ve already taken the first step towards a specific, coherent, and memorable brand identity - one which is automatically more appealing, and easier for people to remember.
Having a custom address also leverages how emails function to your benefit - messages from custom addresses are much less likely to end up in the spam folder by mistake.
How to Get a Free Custom Email Explained
Now let’s move on to the actual process of acquiring a custom domain email address for free. The specifics vary from case to case, as the entire ordeal depends in large part on your web hosting service. However, the approach is always the same, while the differences are relatively minor.
Choose a Domain Name and Hosting
The very first thing you will need is a domain name. Your domain name is the cornerstone of your brand’s online identity - so taking the time to think it through is a must.
There is a slight issue here - domain names have been a veritable online “gold rush” for years. The simplest, most effective domain names are often already taken.
However, there are a couple of tricks that can help you secure a better domain name for yourself.
If your preferred domain name is taken, try changing it up slightly - prefixes, suffixes, adjectives, your location or certain keywords relating to your business can net you a great domain name.
Whenever possible, try to acquire a .com domain - as they are generally seen as the most trustworthy, and perform better with search engines.
Ideally, a domain name should be short, simple, easy to memorize and pronounce.
A domain generally costs between $2 and $20 per year. However, we’ve decided to focus on the method which avoids even this small expense. It is possible to get a domain for free - and the process is even more convenient and simple.
A lot of web hosting providers include domains in their packages free of any additional charge. If you already use a web hosting service, check if your package includes a free domain name.
Create a New Email Account
Once you’ve taken care of the domain and hosting, it’s time to make a new email account. Most web hosting platforms will have a relatively straightforward email menu - just enter an email username and password, and voila - you’ve created a new email account.
Just remember to take care - your email username is what comes before the @ symbol (for example, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Depending on the web hosting option that you’ve chosen, you’ll be able to create several new email accounts this way. If your web hosting provider offers a limited number of email accounts, make sure that you name them all according to the same template in the interest of consistency.
Access Your Email Via Hosting Provider
Now that account creation is taken care of, clicking on the email menu will show a list of newly created addresses.
Clicking on any of them should bring up an option called “access webmail” which will take you to that particular account’s inbox.
Logging in with your web hosting account just to check your mail is a terribly inefficient way of doing things.
Thankfully, there’s a much simpler workaround. Most web hosting providers also have a “webmail login” option that will take you straight to your inbox without the unnecessary clutter.
Connect Your Email to a Third-Party Email Provider
Third-party email clients and providers offer a plethora of interesting features and a much higher degree of customization. Executing a thorough, effective email strategy without using a third-party client is almost impossible.
Connecting your new email to a third party email provider isn’t a difficult or time-consuming process.
The exact steps vary from provider to provider - but in general, you will have to input the full details of your account - username, password, mail server and so forth, into the client. Keep in mind that any changes which happen on the web hosting side of things will have to be manually inputted into the third party email provider.
Set up Email Forwarding (Optional)
Email forwarding is an optional, although highly useful feature that you should make use of.
Email forwarding allows you to automatically direct messages to another address.
It’s a feature that is simple to set up - it’s done via your email provider of choice (provided that it supports this feature).
The exact steps vary from provider to provider, but you shouldn’t have any trouble, as the instructions are usually clear and easy to follow, and the setup process shouldn’t take too long.
Forwarding emails has a variety of uses - for example, forwarding messages sent to a generic customer service address to support agents.
Routing messages from one address to another this way has several benefits - it’s efficient, it preserves privacy, and allows you to achieve a leaner, more productive system of communication.
Email forwarding creates a distinction between your address and your mailbox - and this distinction offers a lot of interesting possibilities for improving overall workflow.
Related Read: Best Private and Secure Email Services