A business email address uses your company’s domain (yourbusiness.com) and your personal name (email@example.com), giving your brand a professional image. Set up a free business email address in five minutes or less by choosing a domain and hosting provider, registering a new email address, and connecting it with your email client.
What a Business Email Address Is & Why It’s Important
A business email address is one that uses your business’ domain name, such as firstname.lastname@example.org. Every business should create a business email address since it makes your brand appear more professional. That helps instill confidence in customers and, by extension, increases customer loyalty.
Here are the top reasons for having a business email address:
- Appear professional to customers: For your business to be taken seriously, you need to have coherent professional branding, which includes email. Every employee should have an email address with the same domain to maintain brand consistency.
- Increase brand awareness: A business email address uses your domain name—which almost always includes your business name. That way, every time an email is sent, your brand name is displayed to customers and increases brand awareness.
- Build customer loyalty: A professional email address not only increases brand awareness but conveys integrity and reliability. This makes customers more likely to do business with you.
- Keep costs low: Startup businesses with limited budgets can keep costs down and still create a professional image with a business email address, as they are often available for free with web hosting packages.
Ways to Get a Free Business Email Address
There are very few options for finding a truly free business email address that makes a professional first impression. However, we have found two good choices to choose from: signing up with either Bluehost or Zoho. Bluehost is best for businesses that need web hosting, domain creation, and a free email address, while Zoho is best for those that already have domain hosting and simply want a business email account.
These are the two primary ways to get a free business email address:
1. Bluehost Free Business Email Address
Best for: Businesses that need a domain name, web hosting, and free business email.
Every business needs a website with a custom domain and reliable web hosting. For those that don’t have a website name (domain), or a place for their website (hosting), Bluehost offers free email and a domain name as part of its low-cost web hosting plans, which cost as little as $2.95 per month. Click here to check it out.
2. Zoho Free Business Email Address
Best for: Businesses that have a domain name and need a free business email account.
If you have a domain already, you can use Zoho to create a business email address completely free. It’s also great for businesses that use email marketing, as Zoho includes built-in email marketing tools.
Below, we’ll walk you through the exact steps to get a free business email address, including instructions on how to connect your new business email with Gmail, Outlook, and other third-party clients. We’ll start with Bluehost, then move on to Zoho as well as a bonus later in this article. Alternatively, read our article on the best email hosting services.
Set Up a Business Email Account With Bluehost
Bluehost provides up to five business email addresses and a free domain name for your small business website as part of their web hosting plans that start at $2.95 per month. To set up a business email account with Bluehost, start by going to their website, choosing a hosting plan that’s right for your business, selecting a domain, setting up an email address, and connecting it to a third-party email provider, such as G Suite.
Here’s how to set up your business email account using Bluehost in four steps:
Step 1: Choose Your Plan & Domain
Navigate to Bluehost.com. Click “Get Started Now” and select the subscription package you want. The basic plan should be sufficient if you don’t need more than five email accounts. If you need unlimited email addresses, you will only need to pay about $2.50 more per month. Then, check domain name availability and, once your domain is selected, complete the registration.
Choose a Domain Name
Bluehost plans come with a free domain, so use the search tool provided after selecting your plan to find one that suits your business. Selecting a domain name is a critical step in setting up your business email account, as it will affect how people perceive your business.
The best domain is typically your business or brand name. However, not all domains are available, and you might need to add additional words to your domain if your desired one is already taken.
Here are three tips for choosing your domain name:
- Use a .com domain: People tend to assume that websites end in .com, and are also more trusting of .com over other top-level domains (.net, .co, and .io).
- Include keywords (such as location) in your domain name: Adding your location not only increases the chance that the domain will be available, it also means there are more keywords in your URL that you can potentially rank for in search engines. For example, if your domain is www.maggiespizzanyc.com, it can appear for searches about “Maggie’s,” “pizza,” and “NYC.”
- Consider adding a prefix or suffix: If your current business name is unavailable as a domain, don’t give up. You can add prefixes, such as “the,” “my,” or any short adjective. You can also add suffixes like “biz” or “co.” Don’t, however, completely exclude your business name. If people have heard of “Cornerstone Bakery” and your domain is “bestcupcakesintown.com,” it will be harder for people to find you.
Ideally, your business name will be available as a domain name with a .com extension. If not, consider the tips above in order to find an available domain. For tips on how to come up with the right domain name, see our article on how to create a custom email address.
Next, you’ll enter your account information and finalize the order. There will be add-ons available before you confirm your order; you can select any of them, but it’s recommended that you at least pick Domain Privacy Protection. By law, your contact information becomes public after registering a domain. By selecting Domain Privacy Protection, however, Bluehost will add their own information to the registry rather than your own, limiting spam messages in your inbox.
Step 2: Set Up Your Email Account
Once you’ve selected a domain and created your account, you’ll land on Bluehost’s dashboard. On the left menu, click the link that says “Email” to go to Bluehost’s Mail Manager.
On the following screen, you will be prompted to enter an email name and password to create a new email account. Make sure you pick a professional email address format (such as “firstnamelastname” or “firstinitial.lastname”) that serves your brand, maintains your privacy, and can be used for future business email addresses.
Choose a format that clearly identifies the individual user and maintains that format across all of your employee addresses. This helps maintain overall organization—especially for a growing business.
After choosing your email name and password, click “Create Account.” Repeat this step for each employee who needs a free business email address. When you’re ready to access your webmail inbox, go to Bluehost’s login page and click “Webmail Login” instead of “Hosting Login.” Alternately, you can navigate to the Mail Manager and select “More > Access Webmail” next to the address you’d like to view.
Step 3: Connect Email to Gmail or Outlook
If you don’t want to log into another mail account to check your email, you can connect your new business address with your current inbox, including Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, iOS, and Android Mail. While each client is different, you’ll typically need to enter your username and password, verify your account, and input mail server information in order to use your free business email.
How to Use Bluehost Email With Gmail
Log into or create your Gmail account. When you reach your inbox, click the gear in the upper right-hand corner (below your user picture), and then select “Settings.” Select the “Accounts” tab at the top, and then scroll down to “Add a mail account.”
This will open a pop-up window where you’ll enter your new Bluehost business email. In order to connect it to Gmail, you will need to enter your Bluehost username (your full Bluehost email address) and password, confirm your POP server is correct (this is what’s used to collect new email and should be mail.yourdomain.com), and click “Add Account” to save.
In addition to receiving mail, you can select to send mail from Gmail using your new Bluehost email address. On the following screen, Gmail will ask if you want to set this up. If so, check “Yes, I want to be able to…,” then click “Next.”
On the next screen, enter your email address and password once again (as before, be sure to enter your full email address). This will prompt Gmail to send a verification code to your Bluehost address. On the next screen, Gmail will ask you to input that code.
Head back into your Bluehost account. Select “Mail Manager” and click “View Inbox.” You should see an email from Google with your verification code. Copy and paste this code and enter it into the verification field in Gmail.
Once you’ve combined your accounts, you’ll be able to choose between your professional or personal email addresses within Gmail. Wait five to 10 minutes for the changes to take effect, then compose a new email in Gmail. You’ll notice that you can now select different “From” addresses; whichever you pick will appear on outgoing mail as your “Reply to” and “From” address. Get more details on how to set up your account with our Gmail for business guide.
How to Use Bluehost Email With Outlook
If you want to connect your new Bluehost business email with an Outlook account, the process is very similar to Gmail. It will vary slightly, however, depending on which edition of Outlook you’re using. For instructions on how to connect your email with an Outlook account, click on one of the following guides from Bluehost below:
How to Use Bluehost Email With iOS, Android, or Other Clients
Bluehost free business email can be used with a number of email clients—not only Gmail and Outlook. Below are instructions on how to connect your Bluehost business email account with other commonly used email platforms:
Step 4: Set Up Email Forwarding (Optional)
Email forwarding sends a copy of all mail from one address to another automatically. This step is optional, but it’s helpful if you’ll be using a generic email address (like email@example.com, for example) and you want messages forwarded to your employees’ inboxes. You can easily set this up by clicking on the “Forwarders” tab on the Bluehost Mail Manager menu.
Click on “Add a New Forwarder” and select the business email address you would like to forward from the “Address to Forward” drop-down menu. Then, below that, enter the address the email should be forwarded to. If you want emails to forward to multiple addresses, simply click “Submit” and create another forwarder.
Set Up a Free Business Email Account With Zoho
If you already have a business domain and hosting, you can use Zoho to set up a completely free business email address. In fact, they offer up to 25 free business email accounts, each with 5GB of data. To set up a business email account with Zoho, go to Zoho.com and sign up for an email account, verify your domain, update your mail server information, and create your business email address.
Here’s how to create a business email account using Zoho in four steps:
Step 1: Sign Up for a Zoho Mail Account
Navigate to Zoho Mail and click “Sign Up Now.” On the next page, select the Free Plan, which is listed below the paid options. Then, enter your current domain in the widget. Once entered, click “Add.”
Step 2: Verify Your Domain
Next, you’ll need to verify that you own your domain. The exact steps will vary depending on which provider you used to purchase your domain. We’ll use GoDaddy as an example, as it’s one of the most commonly used domain name registries. If you want instructions for a different provider, just select your provider from the list available on Zoho and they will supply directions.
The first step is to make note of the CNAME and Destination values, which will appear on the following screen.
Once you’ve noted these, head over to GoDaddy and click “Manage” next to “Domains.”
Click on your domain to bring up the domain submenu. Select the “DNS Zone File” tab on the top, then find “Add Record” a little further down.
For the Record type, select “CNAME (Alias).” Then, in the window that pops up, enter the CNAME and Destination Values you noted from Zoho. The CNAME record should be entered under “Host” and the Destination Value should be entered under “Points to.”
Remember to click “Save” when you’re finished. Now, return to Zoho and click “Verify by CNAME” at the bottom of the screen.
Once your CNAME has been verified, you will need to update your mail records.
Step 3: Change Mail Record With Your Domain Provider
Now that your domain is verified, you need to update your mail records with GoDaddy (or your chosen domain hosting partner). Head back to your domain host and click the “DNS Zone File” tab.
Scroll down to the MX records section and delete any MX records listed.
Next, add two new records. Scroll back up to the top and click “Add record.” For record type, choose “MX (Mail Exchanger).” Add the following information: “@” for “Host,” “mx.zohomail.com” for “Points to,” “10” for “Priority,” and “1 hour” for “TTL.” Click “Finish.”
These changes will complete the mail record setup process. It generally takes around 30 minutes for these changes to take effect, at which point you can head back over to Zoho and create your new business email address.
Step 4: Create Your Business Email Addresses
Now that your domain has been verified, you will be given the option to add an email address in the Zoho Mail Manager. Start by clicking on “Create Account” in Zoho Mail. Input the username you would like to use as the first half of your business email address and click the “Create Account” button below.
If you would like to create accounts for your employees, go to “Add Users” and create new email addresses. Addresses can be changed later should you need to update formatting or remove a user.
Bonus Option: Free 14-day Trial From Gmail
While Google doesn’t technically offer free business email, it is a popular option that includes a free 14-day trial. After the free trial, the monthly fee will be $10 per user, per month for a month-to-month contract or $6 per month on an annual plan. To get a business email account with Gmail, start by creating a Gmail account, adding your domain, creating your new business email, and confirming your choice to start a free 14-day trial.
Get started with your free 14-day trial with Gmail in four steps:
Step 1: Create a Gmail Account
Go to G Suite and click the blue “Get Started” button to begin the process of creating your business email address. Follow the new account registration steps, such as inputting your business name, company size, and your personal contact information.
Step 2: Input Your Business Domain
If you have already registered your business’ domain name, select the “Yes, I have one I can use” button. This will prompt you to input your business domain. If you do not have an existing domain, you can buy one by clicking the “No, I need one” button. Alternatively, learn how to get a free email domain.
Step 3: Create Your Business Email Address
On the next screen, enter the username for your business email address. Remember to choose an email format that you can use for all business email addresses in the future.
Step 4: Confirm Your Free Trial & Checkout
Confirm your free 14-day trial and continue to the next screen. Confirm your business details and input your payment information. You will automatically be charged on a monthly basis after your free trial period expires. However, you can cancel any time before that point if you choose to use a different business email provider.
5 Best Alternative Business Email Hosting Providers
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 cheap business email providers with ample storage and glowing reviews. These include G Suite, Office 365, Squarespace, DreamHost, and GoDaddy, which offer low-cost email hosting or free business email as part of their plans.
Here are five leading alternatives for affordable business email hosts:
- G Suite: G Suite is Google’s set of productivity tools, which include everything from word processors to professional business email. Plans start at $6 per user, per month and give businesses a robust and easy-to-use platform.
- Office 365: Similar to G Suite, Office 365 by Microsoft is a productivity platform that includes business email hosting on top of a laundry list of other features and programs. Plans start at $8.25 per user, per month with an annual contract.
- Squarespace: The leading site builder, Squarespace, includes a free domain name and a free year of business email with G Suite with its all-in-one website plans that start at $12 per month.
- DreamHost: DreamHost is a web hosting company that offers ultra-low-cost business email hosting with plans starting at just $1.99 per month with no contract. For this price, users get ad-free webmail with up to 25GB of storage per mailbox. It also offers free unlimited email accounts as part of its web hosting plans that start at $6.95 per month.
- GoDaddy Email Hosting: GoDaddy is one of the world’s largest domain name registrars, and it also offers email hosting for as little as $1.99 per month for 5GB of storage or $3.99 per month for 50GB of storage. The benefit of using GoDaddy for email is that it makes it very easy to connect a custom domain purchased through them.
Email hosting providers vary more than just by price and storage. Many offer additional inclusions such as spam protection, email forwarding, and email aliases. Learn more about the best cheap email hosting providers and find out which one is right for your business.
What to Look for in a Business Email Hosting Provider
There is a lot to consider before choosing a business 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.
Here’s what to look for when choosing a business email provider:
- Custom domain: A free business email address uses your company’s own domain name, so be sure your email provider allows you to choose or connect your own.
- Number of email addresses included: Some plans include only five email accounts, such as Bluehost, while others, like Zoho, include 25 addresses. Make sure you pick one that fits your business’ current needs and allows you to grow.
- Storage capacity: If you send a high volume of emails with attachments, you will want to choose an email provider with high enough storage limits—typically more than 10GB.
- Reliability: You don’t want to have to worry about your email crashing, so look for email providers that have uptimes of 99% or more.
- Business tools: When you’re picking an email provider, it’s common to find additional built-in business tools such as a calendar, video conferencing capabilities, and word processing tools. Consider these carefully when picking an email host.
We recommend Bluehost and Zoho for free business email. Bluehost web hosting plans start at $2.95 per month, which includes five free business email addresses. For $5.95 per month, they offer a hosting plan with unlimited free business email addresses. While you can get a free email address at Zoho if you have your own domain, paid Zoho plans with domain included only cost $1 per user, per month and include robust email marketing tools.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the most common business email address formats?
Typically, business email addresses use employees’ first name, last name, or some combination of first and last. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org uses only a first name, while email@example.com uses a first initial and last name. Businesses also often use a general inbox, such as firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I find an available domain name?
Choosing the right domain can be difficult as many are already taken. Use our Bluehost domain widget above to search for available domains; you will want to choose one that uses a .com and matches your business name. When this is not available, try adding keywords, prefixes, or suffixes to your business name to find a suitable domain name that is available. Get more information on how to get a free email domain.
What are the best business email providers?
The right email provider for you depends on your needs and preferences, though the best are reliable, easy to use, include a reasonable amount of storage, are affordable, and are feature-rich. We recommend Bluehost and Zoho as they are the most comprehensive. Learn more about these providers and more in our article on the six best business email providers.
Which is better: G Suite or Microsoft 365?
G Suite and Microsoft 365 are both leading productivity suites that include everything from word processors and cloud storage to business 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 G Suite vs Microsoft 365.
Bottom Line: Free Business Email Address
A free business email address gives you a way of presenting your business professionally by connecting your business domain name to your email. It helps make potential clients and customers feel more confident in your business because it builds brand awareness and solidifies a professional image. Given these advantages, all businesses should create their own business email address, preferably a free one to save money.
Creating a professional email address is a good start for your business. However, it’s equally important to have an attractive website hosted by a reliable web hosting provider like Bluehost. For only $2.95 per month, you can get a WordPress website, a free domain name, five free business email addresses, and more. Click here to get started.