A business email address that fits your brand can drive customers to you.

When you’re first building a relationship with a new client, customer, or business partner, the last thing that will help you earn their trust is sending an email from a Yahoo account. A professional email address is a small investment that will help you build and maintain your credibility.

Even in the heyday of text messaging and LinkedIn connections, a stunning 86% of professionals still prefer email as their main channel of communication. Consumers also prefer email for customer service by a long shot.

This means an email address on your business card, website, or social media channels is essential. It’s time to upgrade from an email address that ends in “gmail.com” to one that ends in a custom domain name.

Benefits of professional email addresses

Getting a professional email address is more than a vanity project. When you create your business email account, you help improve your company’s perceived reputation and legitimize your brand.

Here are five benefits of a professional business email:

1. It’s memorable

Your email will be clear and concise, without unnecessary numbers or letters, as there won’t be hundreds of users seeking the same generic email address. When your email is easy to remember, it means that all its components—including your name and website—are memorable too.

2. It makes you trustworthy

Anyone can create a free email address on Gmail or Yahoo. When you invest in a business email address that ends with your own domain, you show your customers you’ve spent the time and money to build your business. This acts as proof you’re serious about the products or services you provide. It’s also evidence you’re experienced in your industry and not just testing the waters while spending as little as possible.

Even if you haven’t gathered enough customer reviews to prove your trustworthiness, a professional email will still make you appear as a business leader rather than a Hotmail-using competitor below your Google listing.

3. You’ll appear more professional

As you may guess, a professional business email is designed to make you appear more professional. First, the person you contact is less likely to ignore your email, as your email shows you mean business. Second, your email will even look professional to spam filters, so your emails won’t be marked as suspicious or booted to the spam folder.

4. You’ll have a consistent brand

Creating custom email addresses will ensure your online presence is consistent and easy to find. Plus, all your employees and departments can have matching emails with your company name. No matter how fast you grow, you will have plenty of on-brand email addresses.

Consistent branding will help your customers contact the right person every time. It will also help your employees find each other for smoother internal communication.

5. You improve your security

When you use a custom email domain, you have complete control over who can use your accounts and can easily add and delete users as your team changes.

If you’ve hooked up your custom domain to G Suite and are using Gmail as your email service provider, you can limit file sharing to within your organization. Whenever you delete an account, G Suite documents will automatically transfer to a designated email account, making off-boarding easy and secure.

Professional email address ideas

Simply using your own domain name for your email address isn’t enough to prove your professionalism. You also need to choose an email address format that is simple and can be taken seriously.

Most business owners choose to simply use their full name or a variation of it in their professional email address. Common email formats include:

If you’re creating a primary email address for people to contact your business as a whole—the one you’ll display on all your online business listings—common options may include:

Department-specific email addresses should be just as short, simple, and memorable. For example, [email protected] would make more sense for your human resources department than [email protected].

Setting up your professional email

Before you begin our step-by-step process to set up your professional email address, it’s important to note that you do need to pay for your business email. There is no way around paying your email providers when you want to use a domain with your business name. Plus, free domain names rarely fit the bill for professionalism or memorability.

Luckily, business emails aren’t expensive. They can be purchased for as little as $3 per user per month for a basic plan and rarely exceed $30 per user per month for top-tier enterprise plans.

Here’s what you need to do to set up your professional email account:

1. Purchase your domain name

Most business owners already have a domain name purchased for their website, but if you haven’t, this is the time. This domain name will replace the dreaded “yahoo.com” or “gmail.com” at the end of a business email.

Domain names can be purchased on any domain marketplace website. Some of the most popular domain creation websites are:

  • Squarespace: Squarespace has domains that start at $20 per year. The biggest perk of getting your domain through Squarespace is the fact that your domain will always renew at the same rate, with no hidden costs.
  • Bluehost: Bluehost domains start at $11.99 per year.
  • Google Domains: If you want your business fully integrated with the G Suite once you’ve created your email accounts, Google Domains is a convenient place to make your purchase.

When choosing the domain name, keep it relevant to your business. If you’re a one-person operation, you can use your own name (ex., [email protected]). You can also make the domain match your business’s name (ex., [email protected]).

2. Create your email account

After creating your domain, you can begin setting up your email account. To do so, you can use one of these popular email service providers to create your custom email address:

  • Google G Suite: Google is naturally one of the leading email service providers, thanks to the entire suite of business services it already provides. You can create your professional Gmail account and get access to the entire G Suite for as little as $6 monthly per user.
  • Microsoft Office 365: Office 365 is another popular suite of services that includes business email services for as little as $5 monthly per user for an annual commitment.
  • Zoho: If all you need is your professional email and basic office apps like Zoho Docs, Zoho will get you just that for the low price of $3 per user per month. Even an upgraded plan is the same price as G Suite’s basic plan.

Many web hosting platforms like Bluehost will actually include email services in the bundles they offer, so you may want to check your options before purchasing a separate plan with an email service provider. Hosting packages can often get you a steep overall discount on the services you need for your company’s online presence.

3. Optimize your email

Once your professional email address is created, you can set it up to further reflect your brand and personal professionalism. Go into your email settings and add a profile picture and email signature.

If you additionally created a basic contact email for your company or department emails, make sure to set up email forwarding as well. For example, emails to “[email protected]” can be forwarded to the employee best equipped to answer queries. This will ensure the right person or people receive emails directly in their inbox, so you’ll never leave your customers hanging just because you didn’t check a second account.

Make your online brand count

Creating your own business email is an important step in building a trustworthy brand. With a custom, professional email address, you’ll be taken seriously and remembered by all stakeholders right off the bat.

Now you’ve purchased a domain name, it’s time to optimize your website to improve your digital presence even further. Learn how you can convert more leads by adding one simple button with Podium Webchat.

Nico Dato
Nico Dato Executive Vice President of Marketing

Nico Dato is the EVP of Marketing at Podium, the premiere messaging platform that connects local businesses with their customers. He fuses his passion for statistics, design, and digital marketing to produce measurable results.

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