How to create a business email address for free

Having a business email address which uses your own domain name makes you look professional and credible. Did you know you could easily set one up for free?

NOTE – There are paid email service providers who provide business email addresses using your custom domain name, among which Microsoft Office-365 and Google G-Suite are the best options. Microsoft gives you a 50 GB Outlook mailbox starting from ₹ 125 / month. Google gives you a 30 GB Gmail mailbox starting from ₹ 210 / month. These prices are awesome for what you get. But if you’re like me and want to keep your startup extremely lean – purchasing services only when you absolutely need them – then read on!

To create a business email address for free, you first need to purchase a domain name. If you don’t have one, you can read my article on how to choose a great domain name and buy it for the cheapest price.

Why not purchase email from my domain registrar

If your domain name purchase came bundled with email hosting or webmail, you need to setup the email account with your hosting provider. You can visit these links for articles on how to do it with namecheap.com or godaddy.in.

I do not recommend purchasing email services from your domain registrar. As mentioned above, Microsoft Office 365 and Google G-Suite are the best paid email services and the prices are dirt cheap.

And there is one more option that is completely free.

Email forwarding

Emails are routed on the internet using the same infrastructure for routing web traffic to servers – the Domain Name System (DNS).

The DNS is basically a service that links all domain names to machines on the internet. The mapping of a domain name to a machine is called a DNS record, and these records are managed by your domain registrar (such as Namecheap or GoDaddy).

Your domain registrar lets you change the data in these DNS records for various uses, one of which is forwarding emails to the correct destination email server.

Email forwarding needs to be configured on your domain registrar even for Microsoft Office 365 and Google G-Suite, so that emails sent to your domain name can be forwarded to their servers.

How to setup email forwarding to a free email address

  1. Create free email account(s) for your business. You can use popular services like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. Make sure the email account name(s) you create are related to your business (I will explain why later).
  2. Configure email forwarding on your domain registrar. You can visit these links for articles on how to do it with namecheap.com or godaddy.in. It is a simple process that should not take more than 5 minutes to setup.

That’s all you have to do!

Advantages of email forwarding

  1. Use any email provider you want – I have used Gmail for startsmart.in, but it will also work with any email provider like Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.
  2. Up to 100 custom domain email addresses – Most domain registrars allow you to configure forwarding for up to 100 custom domain email addresses. So if you have team members with special roles like sales or support, you can create free email accounts for each of them while sharing professional email ids with your customers.
  3. Unlimited custom domain email addresses with catch-all – Domain registrars also allow you to specify a default email address for emails sent to any email address using your custom domain. This is very useful if you are a solo entrepreneur, or your team does not want to manage multiple mailboxes. Customers can still contact you at different business email addresses, but all emails will arrive in a single mailbox. This is what I am currently using at startsmart.in.
  4. Free of cost – Domain registrars do not charge for this service. Who doesn’t like free!

Disadvantages of email forwarding

  1. Works for inbound emails only. Customers can send emails to any email id with your business domain name, and will not be aware that there is a free email service at the other end. However when you reply back to them from your free email service, the email will be sent from your free email address.
  2. Some emails might not arrive due to spam filtering. Your domain registrar, who is forwarding emails on your behalf, needs to filter emails for spam before sending them to services like Gmail. If they don’t do that then Gmail may treat your registrar like a spammer, and all of their customers will not be able to forward emails reliably. So they filter your incoming emails for spam before forwarding them to your destination email address.

When to use email forwarding for your business email address

If you are starting out you probably just want to put a contact email address on your blog or website. You also want to register for other online services with an official email address instead of a personal or free id.

Email forwarding is very easy to setup and doesn’t cost you any money. You can worry about switching to a paid email service only when you actually hit a problem.

Email forwarding is a smart choice for super-lean startups to create a business email address for free.

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