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Did you know that your email address could be letting your business down? How you present yourself in business really makes a difference — and having a professional email address is a big part of that.
You’d be unlikely to show up to an important business meeting wearing dirty, torn jeans and a paint covered T-shirt, but if you’re using an @gmail, @yahoo, or @outlook type email address you’re essentially doing the same thing!
What’s a professional email address?
As a business owner, people expect you to have a professional email address — and that means something like:
Anything else makes the statement: “I don’t take my business seriously,” and could detrimentally influence the way others view you. Sad but true.
An unprofessional email address can impact everything about your business success, from whether potential clients get in touch, to how many of your business emails reach their destinations. @gmail type addresses are more likely to get flagged as spam, especially if you’re sending emails to a company.
How do I get a professional email address?
If you have a website, you have a domain name. There are three ways to go about creating a functional, custom email with your domain name and how you proceed will depend on your current set up and requirements.
Option 1: Use a dedicated email hosting provider
The most expensive — but perhaps most professional and useful solution — is to sign up to a dedicated email hosting provider. These are companies that provide email hosting, usually along with other collaboration apps and functionality. Examples would be Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, or Zoho Workplace.
These all offer you:
- The ability to use your custom domain — so your website URL and email address match.
- 24/7 support.
- Great web and mobile apps for business efficiency and information sharing.
- Decent amounts of mailbox and cloud storage.
Google Workspace is the email hosting solution Click and Repeat recommends, if you can afford it. Why? Because Google Workspace allows you to connect your Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Calendar, not to mention YouTube and video meeting apps, all to the same account. So, if you share any information from any of the apps it all comes from your custom email address, @mydomain.com.
Short on cash and don’t want to pay for yet another tech solution? The next two are for you…
Option 2: Use your free email hosting
If you have web hosting — we recommend SiteGround* (affiliate link) – you probably have free email hosting to go with it. If this is the case, you can just go with that. But — and this a big ‘but’ — often the email client/webmail option you get with that hosting is a little…basic. It might be clunky, difficult to use or lacking the functionality and user-friendly interface you’d like.
However, if you need a simple, cheap option, it’ll get the job done.
If this sounds like you, here’s an excellent article explaining how to set up your email within SiteGround.
Be aware that if you go with this setup, you’ll probably need other tools to manage your calendar and any other information-sharing you want to do for your business.
Option 3: Link your web hosting email to a free Gmail account
Did you know you can link your free email hosting — provided with your web hosting — to a free Gmail account? No? Well you can — and it’s a great workaround!
First, you set up your free email account with your web hosting, then port that free email account to your Gmail account.
Are you thinking “Wow, that sounds complicated! Why would I bother?”
Well, it means you can have all your email in one place. If you’ve already been using Gmail for your personal email, you probably don’t want to have to go to a separate email client to deal with your business email.
This setup gives you all the functionality of your Gmail account WITH your custom domain name. Everything is all in one place and you still have access to any business emails you sent or received in the past. It also gives you the benefit of a double layer of spam filtering: you get the email hosting spam features from your web hosting account, plus Google’s spam features.
And it’s totally free. Win-win!
Want to know how to set it up? Here’s how to port your Siteground hosted email address to Gmail.
There are a couple of limitations, so this isn’t a perfect solution. Firstly, you can only send/receive email with your custom domain. If you share Google Drive files or Google Calendar information, they will still go under your personal Gmail address, not your custom professional one.
Secondly, there can be a lag between emails being sent to you and arriving in your inbox. Gmail doesn’t check for incoming messages as frequently for ported addresses. If you’re waiting for something like a validation code, you might need to manually ask Gmail to check so you get the message before the code expires.
You can do that by going to Settings and then Accounts within your Gmail account:
Where it says “Check mail from other accounts”, your custom domain email address should appear.
Porting isn’t limited to Gmail accounts
Have web hosting with SiteGround but want to port your custom domain email to a different personal inbox such as Apple Mail? Here’s how: port to a non-Gmail email account.
As you can see, there are a few ways to get a professional email address. Set up isn’t complicated but the results you see from polishing your image could be huge.