Having an email address with your own website domain is an important step to improve your online credibility. Smith@YourCompany.com looks a lot more professional than Smith@Hotmail.com. This guide will explain how to get a free business email address, whether you have an existing website, or still need to create one. We’ll also show you how to connect your new company email to your existing inbox, so you don’t have to log into another email service.
How to Get a Free Business Email Address
There are two primary ways to get a free business email address:
If you don’t have a domain, Bluehost offers a free domain and business email when you pay for hosting (starts at just $2.95/month.) You can even create a WordPress website at no additional cost. If you need a domain, website, and email, this is the best option.Visit Bluehost
If you have a domain already, you can use Zoho to create a business email address completely free.Visit Zoho
Below, we’ll walk you through the exact steps you need to take, including instructions on how to connect your new business email with Gmail or Outlook. We’ll start with Bluehost, then move onto Zoho further down this article.
Option 1: How To Set Up A Free Business Email Account Using Bluehost
Bluehost is an all-in-one domain, hosting and email provider. This means you get all the ingredients you need to set up a professional business email AND website.
Bluehost provides free email AND a free installation of WordPress, which is a very strong website service. WordPress takes a bit of training to use, but you can consult an expert at Bluehost to help you set it up. Plus, you really can’t beat $2.95/month for a domain, hosting, business email and website.
For most small business owners, we recommend Weebly as an easy-to-use website builder, but it doesn’t include a free email, and costs slightly more than Bluehost, at $12/month for a Pro package. If you want to get set up right away with a website and free email, you can’t go wrong with Bluehost.
Step 1: Signup with Bluehost and Choose a Domain
The first step is to head over to Bluehost. Click “get started now” and select the subscription package you want. The basic plan should be sufficient if you don’t need more than 5 email accounts. If you need unlimited email hosting, you will only need to pay $2.50 more per month.
Next, you’ll choose a domain for your website. Once you’ve decided on a name, you can use the Bluehost domain search tool below to see if it’s available. You will be taken straight to the registration page if the domain name is available. If it’s not, you’ll get a message that says it’s not available for registration.
Check if your domain is available:
This is one of the most important steps, because your domain name will be the name of your business online. It will affect how people perceive your business. For example, it will be confusing if your URL name is different from your business name. Even worse, this will be confusing to search engines, and may affect your rankings on the search engine results page.
Here are some tips for when you’re coming up with your domain name:
- Stick with .com whenever possible – People tend to assume that websites end in .com, and are also more trusting of .com over other top-level domains (ex: .net, .co and .io).
- Include keywords (such as location) in your domain name – Adding your location not only increases the chances that the domain will be available, it also means there are more keywords in your URL that you can potentially rank for. For example, if your domain is www.maggiespizzanyc.com, when people conduct a search for “pizza nyc” you will have more keywords in your domain that match the search.
- Consider adding a prefix or suffix – If your current business name is unavailable as a domain, don’t give up too soon. You can add prefixes, such as “the”, “my”, or any short adjective, or suffixes like “”biz”, or “co” to increase your chances of finding an available domain that includes your business name. This will help people find you online. If people have heard of “Cornerstone Bakery”, and your domain is “bestcupcakesintown.com”, it will be harder for people to find you when they do a Google search of your business name.
For even more tips, check out our top 25 tips when choosing a domain name.
Next you’ll enter your account information and finalize the order. Pay attention to the add-ons under “Package Information.” You might want to consider Domain Privacy Protection to avoid spam in your mailbox. 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.
Step 2: Head to the Mail Manager
Once you’ve selected a domain and created your account, you’ll land on Bluehost’s dashboard. Scroll down to find the email menu, then select “Email Manager.”
On the following menu, select “Create An Email Account.” Then enter your new email name and password.
Tips for choosing your professional email address:
- Use a standard format for all employees. Examples of formats are using first name only, first initial and last name, or full name. The format you choose will depend on how many employees you have, the amount of privacy you want to maintain, and more.
- Create special email address(es) for your website. Giving visitors special email addresses to contact for support, sales, press, etc. looks professional and keeps your business better organized.
Learn more about how to choose the right email address for you in our article, The 3 Rules to Choosing a Professional Email Address.
Once everything looks good, click “save.” Repeat this step for each employee you want to provide an email address.
Each time you save an email address, Bluehost will also give you 3 inbox options (known as “clients”): Horde, Roundcube and Squirrelmail. We recommend using your existing Gmail or Outlook client, which we’ll show you how to set up further below. If you prefer to use one of Bluehost’s clients, however, Roundcube is the best option for a standard user-friendly email inbox.
Step 3: (Optional) Set Up Email Forwarding
You’ll also notice a “forwarding” option on the Bluehost email manager menu. Email forwarding sends a copy of all mail from one address to another.
This is helpful if you’ll be sharing an email address with other employees (say, a generic Contact@YourBusiness.com) and want messages to forward to each of your respective inboxes. Otherwise, it’s generally more appropriate to connect your Bluehost email directly with your Gmail or Outlook account, which we’ll show you how to do below.
CLICK HERE To Get a Handy Printable PDF of this Guide
How to Connect Bluehost Email with Gmail for Business
The first step is to 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) then select “settings.”
Select the “Accounts and Import” tab at the top, 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 password.
In addition to receiving mail, you can select to SEND mail from Gmail using your new company email address. When you send a message, you can which address you want to display on the “From” field.
On the following screen, Bluehost will ask if you want to set this up:
The process only takes a minute. First, you’ll enter the name you want to appear on outgoing messages. On the next screen, you’ll enter your email address and password once again (like before, be sure to enter your full email address, username + domain.) Lastly, you’ll confirm your new email address by copy/pasting a code.
Head back into your Bluehost account. Select “Email Manager” and click “View Inbox.” You should see an email from Google with your verification code. Copy/paste this code and enter it back into Gmail.
Once you’ve combined your accounts, you’ll be able to navigate between your professional and personal email addresses. Just choose which “From “address you want to use while composing your email.
Voila! Wait a little while, then send a message to your new email address. You should see it appear in your Gmail account, and have the ability to respond using your new address.
How To Use Bluehost Email With Outlook
To connect your new Bluehost business email with an Outlook account, the process is very similar. 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:
Option 2: How to Get a Free Business Email Address from Zoho
If you have a business domain and website already, Zoho is the last remaining service that offers truly free business email accounts without having to purchase any other parts of their service. In fact they offer up to 25 free business email accounts, each with 5 GB of data. That should be plenty for the average small business owner.
Step 1. Create a Zoho Mail Account
Head over to Zoho.com. Select “Business Email” and click “Continue. On the next page, choose the free plan on the far right side.
Enter your domain and account information, then click “Sign Up.”
CLICK HERE To Get a Handy Printable PDF of this Guide
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. If you want instructions for a different provider, just select your provider from the list and Zoho will supply directions below on the same menu.
The first step is to make note of the CNAME and Destination values, which will appear on the following screen:
Then, head over to Godaddy (or another domain provider) 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 following window that pops up, enter the CNAME and Destination Values you noted from Zoho before. Enter them like this:
Don’t forget to click “Save” when you’re finished!
Now head back over to Zoho and click “Verify by CNAME” at the bottom of the screen.
Step 3: Start Adding Users
In the next window you can set up as many as 25 free business email addresses. You’ll start with your own email address, which will also serve as your login.
Next, you can create accounts for your employees, and create email “groups” which forwards messages to multiple inboxes at once. You can make changes later, so don’t worry about setting everything up just yet.
Step 4: Head Back to Your Domain Provider
Now that your domain is verified, you need to head back and adjust the codes you entered into GoDaddy (or another domain provider). Head back to your domain and click the “DNS Zone File” tab.
Scroll down to the MX Records section and delete any MX Records listed:
Next, you’re going to add 2 new records. Scroll back up to the top and click “add record.” For record type, choose “MX (Mail Exchanger).”
Add the Following 2 records:
And then one more:
With that, you’re complete! It generally takes around 30 minutes for these changes to take affect, at which point you can head back over to Zoho and start sending and receiving email from your new business email address.
How to Forward Zoho Emails to Another Account
If you’re setting up a new email address for work, you may wish to forward messages to your current email address. This way you don’t have juggle multiple inboxes.
Setting up mail forwarding in Zoho mail is incredibly simple. Simply click the gear icon in the upper-right corner, then select “Email forwarding and POP / IMAP” in the lower left column.
In the next step, you’ll enter the email address you want to forwards messages to at the top. Zoho will send a confirmation code to that email. Simply click “verify” and enter the code.
Now you’ll receive messages sent to your new business address in your main email inbox!
CLICK HERE To Get a Handy Printable PDF of this Guide
Now that you have a business email address, you will want to think about what you should include in your email signature. This is prime real estate that many people don’t think to do anything with.
This is a great place to promote an upcoming event, include a sign-up to your newsletter, or add testimonials. If you email with prospective clients frequently, this is a chance to get their eyes on something you want them to see, without seeming overly promotional.
Check our 25 business email signatures examples from the pros to see even more awesome examples!
The Bottom Line
With that, you’ll be ready to use your new free business email address. Though creating a professional email is a good start for your business, it’s equally, if not more, important that you have a website for your local business. Plus, if you purchased a package through Bluehost for your email then you have already completed the first step! Check out our guide on how to create a WordPress website with Bluehost to get started.