Outlook, a part of Microsoft 365, is a professional email hosting service that has been one of the most popular email services for decades. With Microsoft 365 plans, businesses can get a professional email address that uses their own domain name, along with cloud storage and the Microsoft Office Suite, for as little as $5 per user, per month, when paid annually.
Microsoft 365 Pricing
Microsoft 365 starts at $5 per user, per month and goes up to over $20 per user, per month, depending on the plan. All plans include a professional business email address that uses your own domain name, as well as 50GB of email storage and 1TB of cloud storage via OneDrive. However, not all plans come with the Microsoft Office Suite—only the Business Standard ($12.50 per month) and Business Premium ($20 per month) plans.
Microsoft 365 Tiered Pricing & Features
Price per User With an Annual Commitment
Storage (via OneDrive)
Connect Your Own Domain
Video & Voice Conferencing
Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
24/7 via phone and online
24/7 via phone and online
24/7 via phone and online
Money-saving tip: Those who want access to the full office suite of productivity and collaboration tools in addition to business email will find G Suite to be a better deal, as all of its plans include business email and G Suite (e.g., Docs, Sheets, Presentations) for as little as $6 per month on a month-to-month basis. Learn more about using Gmail for business.
How to Set Up Outlook for Business in 5 Steps
Microsoft does a good job of making it easy to set up Outlook for business email. To start, head over to Microsoft and select a 365 plan that includes business email. Then, follow the prompts to input your information, connect your custom domain (or buy a new one), verify your domain ownership by updating DNS settings with your domain name providers, create your business email address, and complete your payment to finish the checkout process.
1. Go to Microsoft & Select a Microsoft 365 Plan
Start by going to Microsoft 365’s website. From there, review the available plans and select the one that fits your business email needs by clicking the corresponding “Buy now” button. Follow the prompts to complete your purchase, such as selecting whether you want to sign up for an annual commitment or monthly plan, and inputting your business and payment information.
2. Connect Your Domain (or Buy One)
Next, tell Microsoft whether you are going to connect a domain you already own or buy a new one. If you have a domain, select “Use a domain name you already own.” Then, input your domain name in the bar below and click the “Verify ownership” to begin the domain verification process.
If you don’t already own a domain name, you can purchase one directly from Microsoft. Alternatively, you can buy one from a domain name registrar such as GoDaddy, or get one for free with a web hosting plan with top providers such as Bluehost and DreamHost.
3. Verify Your Domain
After inputting your domain name, Microsoft will look up your domain and request that you verify ownership of it by adding your domain’s DNS settings. To do this, you’ll need to copy the provided TXT record information from Microsoft to your domain. To do this, navigate to the domain name registrar you used to purchase your domain (e.g., GoDaddy or Namecheap).
Then, find DNS settings. Note that this will vary based on where you got your domain name from. Copy the TXT value from Microsoft and paste it into your domain’s TXT value so that the two match.
After updating your domain name’s DNS settings with Microsoft’s TXT record, navigate back to Microsoft and click the “I’ve added TXT record” button.
Note: It can take up to 10 minutes to verify your DNS records. Once it has updated, you will be able to move on to the next step.
4. Create Your Email Address
Next, you will be prompted to input your email ID and password. If you’re not sure what to use for your email ID, learn more about choosing a professional email address format. After inputting your desired email ID and password, click the “Sign up” button.
5. Complete Your Purchase
After verifying your domain, you’ll be prompted to input the number of accounts you want to purchase. After doing so, click the “Next” button and input your billing information. When done, click “Next” again and input your payment information.
Once you’ve done this, you will be able to access your new account and create your business email address.
Tip: Still not sure if Microsoft for business email is right for you? Get the full breakdown on how to get a business email address, including Microsoft 365 alternatives.
Benefits of Using Outlook for Business
Outlook is one of the leading providers for business email for a variety of reasons. Outside of providing safe and reliable business email that uses your own domain name over a familiar email interface, it also comes with many features and tools, such as the full Microsoft Office Suite, admin control, a built-in appointment booking tool, inbox and calendar management, and even the ability to access email while offline.
- Email ownership
- Microsoft Office Suite
- Built-in appointment booking tool (with Premium plans)
- Use email offline
- Vast customization capabilities
- Numerous email sorting options
- Missing attachment notification
- Ignore conversations feature
- Advanced calendar features to share and delegate multiple calendars
- Customer support available 24/7
- Admin control over employee accounts
Money-saving tip: If your business website is built with WordPress, you may get free business email addresses through your web hosting plan. Learn more about how to get a free business email address.
9 Best Outlook Extensions & Add-ons for Business
Add more functionality to your Outlook business email by taking advantage of the numerous extensions and add-ons available. The majority of the top extensions are free and can do anything from helping you write better emails to converting leads to customers.
Here are the nine best Outlook extensions and add-ons:
- Grammarly: Unlike Outlook’s built-in spell-checking tool, Grammarly does a lot more than just check your spelling. It helps improve writing using artificial intelligence (AI) by checking for grammatical errors, sentence structure, and style.
- HubSpot: Turn your business email into a marketing machine with the HubSpot extension. It’s a sales tool that can help you grow your business through contact and lead insights (e.g., email open tracking) and it’s available for free.
- Zoom: Outlook comes with built-in video conferencing, though many still opt for Zoom as it’s a more widely used program and therefore more accessible to those outside of your company who may not use Outlook.
- WiseStamp: Take your signature into the 21st century with WiseStamp. It gives users a way to easily create modern, professional email signatures that not only look good but can help market a business by including social links and calls to action (CTAs).
- Translator: Those who work across multiple languages will find the Translator add-on a great way to automatically translate emails to different languages.
- Attach.io: Ever wanted to know which email recipients actually open and read your attachments? With Attach.io, you can find out not only who opens your attachments, but even how much time is spent viewing your attachments. This can be a great sales tool to see how interested a lead likely is.
- Trello: Those who use Trello will want to install its Outlook add-on, which enables you to manage Trello cards without leaving your inbox.
- Boomerang: Stay ahead of the game by writing emails now and scheduling them to send later using Boomerang. It also has extra features such as follow-up reminders, making it a helpful productivity tool.
- Citrix Files: Never see the dreaded “your attachment is too large” message again by using the Citrix Outlook add-on. It’s a good tool for businesses that frequently send large and sensitive attachments, such as businesses in the medical and legal fields.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What’s the difference between Microsoft 365 & Microsoft Exchange?
If you’re wondering what the difference is between Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Exchange plans, you’re not alone. With so many seemingly similar plans and recent branding changes, it can be difficult to tell which is which—and which is right for you. In short, Microsoft 365 plans include both business email and the Microsoft Office Suite, whereas Microsoft Exchange offers standalone email without the Office Suite, and is usually used by larger enterprises.
What’s the difference between Outlook for business & Gmail for business?
Though Outlook and Gmail both offer quality business email solutions at around the same price point, they’re very different email providers. Overall, the main difference is that Outlook looks and feels more corporate, with built-in tools such as inbox and calendar management, and Gmail looks and feels more modern with tools that are better designed for collaboration. Check out the complete comparison of Outlook vs Gmail.
What are the best Outlook alternatives?
Outlook surely isn’t the only business email provider available and it may not be the best depending on your unique needs and budget. Outlook’s top competitor is Gmail, though there are still many other great options such as Zoho, Bluehost, Rackspace, and 1&1 IONOS. Get the full details on the best email providers.
Outlook is a good choice for business email for those who want secure and reliable email over a familiar platform. It’s geared toward companies that want the Office Suite built in and need advanced user controls and features, such as the ability to manage other users’ inboxes and calendars and accept appoint bookings directly from email.