There are a half dozen reasons why you should have a professional business email address. If you are running a business you need it. But how? This article will help you in creating a professional and email account for your business. You may get a free business email account or a premium account on paid basis. In the process of creating a professional email id, you might have many difficulties. Some are non-technical and some are technical. In this article, I’ll guide you through the entire processes dealing with both non-technical and technical steps. But my better emphasis will be on helping you in overcoming the technical difficulties like configuring the mail server. The answers, I’ll provide you are:
- What is a professional business email address?
- Why you require professional email account for your business?
- How to get an professional email id for your business?
- How to configure your business email account?
What is a Professional Email Address?
A professional email address is the email address that you use to communicate with your customers, clients, partners and other stakeholders of your business. It provide you professionally branded status. It’s not an email id with a gmail.com or rediffmail.com domain, rather it’s associated your own domain, such as, email@example.com or your_designation@your_company.com. You can also use multiple professional email ids like info@your_company.com or care@your_company.com etc.
Importance of a Professional Email Address for A Business
Why you require a professional and custom email address? Can’t you use your gmail or rediffmail ids for business communication?
You require professional or business email addresses because of –
- It help you earn the trust of your customer as a legitimate business. An email from your personal email account can’t establish the legitimacy of your business. As a consequence, you can’t earn trust of your customers and other stakeholders.
- It can create brand reputation for your business. Without a custom email address you can’t establish branded communication with your customers. Each email you send from your custom email account with your domain name as suffix, each time it create brand awareness about your business and website.
- It help you in being professional both in sending and receiving email. Each time you send an email from the account associated with your domain name, customers get more impressed. People also love to respond professional emails for frequently.
- It can help you in more sales. With sets of custom email accounts for your sales, marketing, support teams, you can accelerate your sales.
- It’s secure. Professional email accounts with custom domains are more secure in comparison to generic email accounts. Mail server service providers take multiple measures to keep your account save and secure.
- It’s spam free. Most of the business email accounts are completely spam free so that your email will be delivered to inbox of the intended receiver, not in the spam folder.
How to Get an Professional Custom Email Account for Your Business?
Getting an professional email address is very easy. You can get it from a number of service providers including Google, Godaddy, BlueHost, NameCheap, Zoho etc. Beside Google, almost all hosting service providers and website companies offer email hosting services. Some offer it free of cost and some on paid basis. If you prefer to get paid services for the many premium features, you don’t need to pay heavy. The prices varies in between one dollar to three dollars per month.
In order to get a business email address, the only requirement you should have is a domain. Even you don’t need a website for the same. Just register a domain at the cost of seven to ten dollars annually and you can get your email address for your business. If you have a website, it’ll be an additional advantage for you.
When you proceed to create an business email account, you will ask for your domain name. Do you have one? If yes, you can connect the same with the your email id. If not, you require to purchase one. The page where you’ll be asked to connect your existing domain or purchase a new domain, normally looks like this:
After selecting an option, you’ll be redirected to sign in to your existing account or to create an account. The page will look like this:
After finishing few easy steps, proceed further to set up your professional email account.
How to Setup Your Business Email Account?
The setup part is to some extend technical. You need to learn few things so that you can seamlessly setup or configure your business email account and use it without any issue. Setup and configuration processes may varies from service providers to service providers, but there isn’t much dissimilarities. The steps are mostly similar in the following order:
- Verify domain ownership (if your domain is with another registrar)
- Configure email delivery
- Setup SPF
- Configure DKIM
- Additional Setup
1. Verify Domain Ownership
If you have a domain purchased from a different registrar other than the email hosting service provider, at the first step you need to verify that you own or manage the domain. If the domain registrar and email service provider aren’t different companies, you don’t need to follow this step. You’ll be just asked to specify your domain name.
There are three methods to verify the ownership of a domain, such as,
- TXT Method,
- CNAME Method and
- HTML Method.
Through TXT method and CNAME method, you need to add some records to the DNS of your domain. Through HTML method, you need to add some HTML code at head of the root directory of your website. If your website hasn’t be hosted yet or you are not able to access your root directory, you can prefer either TXT or CNAME method.
How to Verify Domain Ownership by TXT Record
When you select TXT record, you’ll be asked to provide the name of your domain registrar. In accordance to the domain registrar’s setup, you will be guided with few easy steps. With the steps, you will also get the TXT records to copy. The page will look like this:
Copy the text available at value/point to/destination field. At the next step, login to your account at the domain registrar’s portal. Find your domain and click on ‘DNS Management’. At the end of the DNS Panel, you’ll find a button to add new DNS records. Click on Add. Then select ‘ XT’ from the drop down menu. in the field for host/name /alias, put ‘@’ symbol or enter your domain name. At the field value/destination/point-to, paste the TXT value you have copied. Set TTL to custom and put minimum time, such as 600 seconds. The fields will look like this:
Click on ‘Save’ and return to your mail hosting panel. Click on ‘verify’. Note that DNS record changes may take time. If you receive an error message, after clicking verify, wait some time and again click on ‘verify’. Once you can verify the ownership of the domain, you’ll be get an success message like this:
How to Verify Domain Ownership by CNAME Method?
This method is very similar to TXT method. You just to add CNAME record to the DNS of your domain instead of TXT record. You’ll be provided with name/host/alias and value/destination as it is in the bellow image.
Copy the two fields separately. Go to the DNS panel. Paste the values in the intended fields as it is in the bellow image.
Set TTL to the minimum and click save. Return to your email hosting panel and verify ownership.
2. Configure Email Delivery
In order to configure email delivery, you need to add some Mail Exchange (MX) records to your domain property through DNS.
Just after verifying domain ownership, you’ll asked to configure email delivery by adding MX records to your domain. For example, if are creating your business email account with Zoho Mail, you’ll be asked to add the following MX records to your domain.
After getting the MX records from your email hosting service provider, copy the addresses one after another. Also remember the priority for each address. Go to your domain DNS panel. Click on ‘Add’ and select ‘MX Record’ from the drop down menu. It will look like this:
Put ‘@’ symbol in host field. Paste single address and put the respective priority value. Keep TTL to the minimum and click save. Repeat the steps till you haven’t added all the MX records to the DNS.
After saving all the record, refresh the browser window and return back to your email hosting panel. Click on ‘MX Lookup’ to check whether all the MX records are in your domain. The dialog box will look like this:
3. Setup SPF Record
SPF or Sender Policy Framework is a DNS record for a domain that identifies the email server that is permitted to send emails using a particular domain name. When the sender send an email using a domain, such as, firstname.lastname@example.org the recipient servers refer the SPF records to check whether the email sent from mail server is genuine or not.Mail servers may reject an email that from a domain that don’t have the SPF record in it.
Note that SPF records are added to domain DNS as TXT records. So you need to follow the steps that you have already familiar with in adding TXT records to the DNS. For a professional Zoho email account, the SPS looks like this:
Just copy the TXT value and paste it in your DNS property under new TXT record. Leave the host/name field blank or put your domain name or simply a ‘@’ symbol. Keep the TTL minimum and save the setting.
4. Configure DKIM
Domain Key Identified Mail (DKIM) is a record in your DNS property that authenticate and validate whether the email is generated from the authorized server. DKIM uses email encryption with public/private keys. So DKIM protect your mail from being delivered in the spam folder. Along with SPF, DKIM help you in better authentication of the mail sent by your domain
Like SPF record, DKIM is also a TXT record. Generally, The name/host of the DKIM TXT record contain two parts – first, a selector and second, the domain-key. You can create the selector by using any text. The second part will contain two strings – one ‘domainkey’ and the other is your domain name. For example, along with the selector, the name/host/alias of a domain key will be admin._domainkey.example.com. Using the host/name, your domain-key value will be created.
Copy both the the domain key name and value separately and paste the same in the respected fields for a DNS TXT record.
Apply all the processes you use to create TXT records. Save the configuration and refresh the window.
Normally, DKIM TXT records take more time to be updated. Therefore wait about an hour and verify whether the record is found in your domain.
5. Additional Setups
Now you are all setup to use your branded email account with your domain name to send and receive emails. However, you may need more email addresses for your business with your domain. While in free plans, you can create one or two business email addresses, in paid subscription you can create unlimited business email addresses associated to your domain name. The processes are very simple. Just click on ‘Add User’ or Create New Email’. Provide the details as you can seen in the bellow image.
After providing the details, click on OK. Your new email account is ready to use. Similarly, you can also create groups for the employees in your organization. For example, you have an email address like sales@your_company.com. The same email Id can be used with different members of the team with their personal name visible in the sender’s name. Different users can also have different passwords.