No matter how big or small your organization is, companies of all sizes need professional email. Having an email address that uses your own domain name (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org) makes your business not only appear professional, but also credible and legitimate. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about business email, including how to set up your own professional email address in just a few minutes.
What Is Business Email?
A business email address is one that uses your company’s domain name, such as email@example.com, as opposed to firstname.lastname@example.org. It also comes with some added bonuses, such as helping to instill confidence in customers and creating a memorable email, which builds brand awareness.
Here are the additional top reasons for having a professional email address:
- Appear professional: For your business to be taken seriously, you need to have coherent professional branding, which includes email.
- Increase brand awareness: A business email address uses your domain name—which almost always includes your business name.
- Build customer loyalty: A professional email address not only increases brand awareness, but also conveys integrity and reliability.
In short, if you want to appear as though you’re a legitimate and trustworthy organization, then you need email that doesn’t make you look unprofessional.
Business Email Cost
It doesn’t need to be expensive to get a business email. On the contrary, it can be very affordable—and even free depending on how and where you get it from. For example, you can connect a domain name (approximately $12 per year) to an email provider such as Google Workspace for $6 per user, per month. However, you could also get a free domain name and email hosting for multiple email addresses through a web hosting plan for around $3 to $5 per month.
Here are the costs involved with email that uses your own domain:
- Domain name: For starters, you’ll need a domain name. If you don’t already own one, you can purchase one through a domain name registrar such as GoDaddy for around $12 per year.
- Email providers: Email needs to be hosted, and you can get email hosting through platforms such as Google Workspace ($6 per user, per month), Microsoft ($5 per user, per month), and Zoho ($1 per user, per month).
- Web hosting: If your site is built with WordPress, you will need to purchase a web hosting plan for your site to be live on the web. And many of the top web hosting providers, such as Bluehost and DreamHost, include a free domain name and free email hosting within their web hosting plans, which cost around $3 to $5 per month.
Money-saving tip: If you still need to build a site, you can get both a free domain name and free email through providers you will likely already be using. Learn more about how to get free business email.
Ways to Get Company Email Addresses
There are a number of good email hosting providers that offer quality plans at low prices. To help narrow down the options, we’ve found the best business email providers with ample storage and glowing reviews:
- Google Workspace: Best overall value for price; learn more about Gmail for business
- Zoho Mail: Bare-bones email for free
- Bluehost: Free unlimited email addresses for one low price ($5.45 per month)
- Microsoft 365: Best for Microsoft Office suite users who want professional email
- DreamHost: Ultra low-cost professional email with ample storage ($1.67 per month)
There is a lot to consider before choosing an email provider. Consider things like the ability to connect your domain, the price per address, reliability, and the amount of storage included, as well as additional tools and features such as productivity tools and web hosting for your website. Learn more about the best business email providers.
Professional Email Address Formats
Choose an email address format to use across all staff members and accounts to maintain organization and to ensure that email addresses are cohesive—and therefore easy to remember. There are five formats that are most commonly used: first name only, last name only, a combination of first name and last initial, a combination of last name and first initial, and departmental email addresses.
5 Popular Email Formats
First name only (not recommended)
Last name only
Combination of first name and last initial
Combination of last name and first initial
Need more guidance? Get all the information you need on choosing a professional email address.
How to Get a Business Email Address in 4 Steps
No matter which way you choose to get a free business email address, the steps will more or less be the same. First, decide where you want to get your free email from, whether that’s through a web hosting plan (e.g., Bluehost or DreamHost), an all-in-one-site builder (e.g., Squarespace), or a customer relationship management (CRM) software (e.g., Zoho). Then, create your custom email address with your chosen provider, and connect that to Google Workspace by updating MX records.
Here’s a quick overview of how to set up an email account for professional use in four steps:
- Create an account with your chosen email provider: Navigate to the provider of your choice (e.g., Bluehost, DreamHost, Squarespace, or GoDaddy) and create an account. For example, we’ll go to Bluehost.com and choose a web hosting plan, which comes with a free domain name and free email hosting for five email addresses for as little as $2.95 per month.
- Choose a domain name: There are a number of ways to get a domain name, including domain name registrars e.g., GoDaddy) or for free through a web hosting provider (e.g., Bluehost). Ideally, your domain will be your business name. However, if your desired domain isn’t available, get more insight on how to choose a domain name.
- Set up your email account: After selecting a domain and creating an account, the next step is to create your username. For example, those using Bluehost would be redirected to their user dashboard, where they can click Advanced from the left-hand menu > Email Accounts > +Create > enter your desired username and password.
- Connect email third-party email providers (e.g., Gmail): Though optional, many choose to connect their new business email account to one of the most popular email service providers, such as Gmail, Outlook, or Apple Mail. To do this, click “connect devices” from the Email Account dashboard (under the “Advanced” menu option).
Follow along with detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to create a custom business email address.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between a .com & a .net domain extension?
The domain extensions .com and .net are both top-level domains (TLDs). However, each extension represents a different type of business. The .com stands for commercial entities, whereas .net stands for a network. Given that, the .com is the most popular and more versatile domain. The average business will find the .com to be the best solution. For more insights, check out the full comparison of .com vs .net.
How do I get a domain name?
There are a couple of ways to get a domain name. The most common way is by using a domain name registrar such as GoDaddy. A better option is to get one for free through a provider you’re likely already using. For example, site builders such as Squarespace or Wix include a domain name with annual plans, and those building a site on WordPress can get a free domain name through web hosting plans with Bluehost and DreamHost. Learn more about domain names.
Which is better: Google Workspace or Microsoft 365?
Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 are both leading productivity suites that include everything from word processors and cloud storage to email hosting. They are very similar in terms of pricing and tools. However, which is better for you will depend on which features you value most and, for many, whether you prefer Google products or Microsoft products. For more information, get the full breakdown of Google Workspace vs Microsoft 365.
Business email addresses are a necessity for any organization. Luckily, it’s neither difficult nor expensive to get professional email thanks to a number of providers, from Google Workspace to Zoho and Bluehost. Set yours up in as little as four steps: choose a provider and create an account, select a domain name, set up your email account, and connect it to an email service provider, such as Apple Mail or Office 365. If you’re still on the fence about which to use, try Google Workspace. It’s the best value and with contracts, there’s no commitment.