Why Custom Email Will Elevate Your Business Success
“I'm used to it."
“It's what everyone uses."
No matter why you decided once up on a time to set up your small business email on Gmail, Yahoo, or some other mass email service provider, it's important for you to understand what you are missing out on by not using custom email for your business, brand, or organization.
What is custom email?
A custom email is simply an email address that ends in your domain name. If you have a website, this can be the same as the name of your URL.
So, let's say a business owner named Sarah owns a custom bicycle shop called Best Seattle Bikes. Without custom email, Sarah might be sending business emails from her personal account or firstname.lastname@example.org. Instead, she could register the domain name bestseattlebikes.pro for her website, then also set up personalized email addresses from the same domain, such as email@example.com.
Learn More: The Beginner's Guide to Domain Names
What are the advantages of using a custom email address?
One of the obvious advantages of using custom email is that it promotes and reinforces brand awareness. It can literally be the means by which someone finds your website, since you can use the same domain name you use for your organization's website. Hence, if someone knows your email address, they also know your website URL.
A less obvious but very real advantage of using custom email is the perception it creates. Using a custom email address sends the message that your business concern is a serious endeavor. It's established and professional and uniquely yours. Conversely, if you are sending emails from one of these free, mass provider services for business purposes you could also be telling prospects and clients that you haven't quite arrived on a professional level.
Custom email also provides you with more flexibility. You can set up unique email addresses for individual use within your organization, so as your team grows, everyone can have emails with your branding. You can also easily set up email aliases that allow people to get in touch with your company without reaching out to you directly, like firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Set Up and Use Custom Email
There are essentially three steps to using custom email: acquiring a domain, creating email addresses, and setting up access to emails for the addresses you create.
1. Acquire a Domain
If you haven't already registered your own domain, this is the first step to using custom email. Many people opt for a domain name that is identical to their business name, others select domain names with keywords that reflect their organization's function or values. You may have also noticed that some businesses have multiple domains and choose a domain that is slightly different from their website name for email use.
2. Create Custom Email Addresses
Once your domain is registered, you can start creating email addresses using your custom domain. You can either do this directly through the registrar where you registered your domain, or work with a familiar platform like Google to set it up. Sometimes this will involve an extra cost, or an upgrade to utilize more than a few email addresses.
You'll want to decide early on how you want to structure custom emails for your business. In a small organization, simply using first names followed by @yourdomainname.pro is a simple format, but it might not be practical as your company grows or if your organization already has multiple people with the same first names. Some other common formats used include:
You may also want to set up a few email aliases. Even if these are just forwarding to you for now, they will make your company look bigger and more established than it is, and give you the flexibility to easily delegate these inboxes as you grow. Some common ones are:
- email@example.com to use in press releases or for other media inquiries
- firstname.lastname@example.org to use on the about page of your website
- email@example.com for use on customer order forms, invoices, statements, etc.
- firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for use with vendors and suppliers
- firstname.lastname@example.org or HR@yourdomainname.pro for use by employees or contractors who have questions about their compensation, benefits, company policies, etc.
3. Set Up Email Access
In most cases all you need to do to set up access to the custom emails you create is to follow the instructions provided by your provider for Outlook or whatever software you use for email. You may also have the ability to check your email online using an app or webmail program.
In the case of an email address you set up to forward to another existing email or multiple email addresses, you don't need to do anything to set up email access—these emails will come directly to your existing email client.
Custom email is arguably the quickest and cheapest way to elevate your brand's image. With just a little bit of legwork, you can get it set up and start looking like the pro you are.