How To: Set Up Business Email Accounts
by: Leo Welder | ChooseWhat.com
A business email account is necessary for effective, professional and convenient communication with customers, clients, and business contacts.
A business email account is distinct from a personal email account in that it offers you a branded email address.
A Branded Email Address uses your company’s registered domain in the email address: @yourcompanyname.com
A Non-Branded Email Address is any email address that does not use your personal domain name, such as @gmail.com, @me.com, @outlook.com, @aol.com, etc.
Before you set up business email accounts, you should:
Note: You'll want to name your business so that you can select a domain name that matches your business name. Registering your domain name is a necessary step in order to set up your email account using any of the following options.
G Suite (formerly known as Google Apps)- Option 1a
G Suite is our recommended choice for setting up your business email address. One huge advantage of getting your business email address from G Suite rather than the company that hosts your website is that you won't be tied to a hosting provider or domain provider and can switch registrars or hosts whenever you like with minimal disruption to your email account. In addition to Gmail, G Suite gives you access to a variety of other online tools, such as Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google Hangouts, and others.
Another significant advantage of G Suite is the extensive list of Gmail add-ons and extensions available to make your Gmail account into a far more powerful productivity and marketing toool. These add-ons range from e-signature services to calendar management to mail merge tools.
The only downside to using G Suite is that it is typically more expensive than getting a domain from your webhost or your domain registar. The G Suite "Basic" plan, which includes everything a startup would need for their business, will run you $5 / user / month. However, you'll get a lot of functionality and office tools for your money. You can start a 14-day free trial by visiting this page.
For instructions on how to set up your business email account with Google, read our STARTicle: 4 Easy Steps to Getting a Branded Business Email Address with Google Apps
Microsoft Exchange Online (or Office 365 Business Premium)- Option 1b
If you want to use Microsoft Outlook to manage your email and calendar, Microsoft's email soution through Microsoft Exchange Online is going to be a better fit than G Suite. Also, at $4/ user/ month, it's slightly cheaper than G Suite, but it does require an annual commitment. If you're an Office 365 Business subscriber or plan to become one, you can upgrade to Office 365 Business Premium for an additional $4.25/ user/ month (total of $12.50/ user/ month) to add Microsoft's email functionality as well as Skype HD video conferencing and Microsoft Teams to your existing account.
Microsoft Exchange is preferred to G Suite for Outlook users, because the two companies stopped playing nice with each other several years ago. Managing Google email through Outlook is simple enough, but synchronizing a Google calendar with Outlook requires a third party tool and limits the calendar's capability. Rather than fight an uphill battle, it's smarter to just pick the path of least resistance here.
Use the links below to sign up for a business email account from Microsoft:
Email Account with Your Hosting Service
If you are ready to subscribe to a hosting service in order to build a website, it will be convenient and inexpensive to set up your business email account with your hosting service. The main advantage of this option is that it can be cheaper than using a service like G Suite or Office 365. In many cases, when you sign up for hosting service you'll get a specific number of email addresses included with your account. However, email provided by hosting services will not include any of the additional productivity and collaboration features offered by G Suite and Office 365 and your email account will be tied to your hosting service, so switching domain service providers may be a hassle.
Our web hosting service of choice is HostGator. HostGator gives you unlimited email addresses with your web hosting plan.
Setting up and accessing your email account with your hosting provider is easy. Usually, they provide you with an admin interface (like cPanel or Plesk 10), where you can create and manage your email accounts. You can also access this email with an email client like Outlook, Thunderbird or Apple Mail.
You also have the option of setting up email forwarding with your web hosting provider, so you can check your email in an account that you currently use more frequently.
- Choose a consistent structure for your business email accounts (e.g. email@example.com), so if someone from outside the company has to guess your co-worker’s email address they will be likely correct.
- Create general email address accounts that forward to certain departments of your company. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org could forward to your entire front-desk staff and a manager. Or email@example.com could forward to every employee at your office.
- Set up Google Hangouts (G Suite) or Skype (Office 365) for your office. You can use G Suite's or Office 365's included IM services for intra-office communications and video-conferencing. Communicating to employees and colleages through Google Hangounts or Skype is convenient and helps increase productivity. If your're not using G Suite or Office 365, you can set up intra-office IM through any of a number of third-party chat programs or aggregators, such as Trillian or Adium.
- Check out these tips from our friends at FitSmallBusiness for choosing a professional email address.
- If you decide to set up your email with the company hosting your website, it may be difficult to change your web hosting company without disrupting your email service. Using a web-based email service like G Suite or Office 365 could help you avoid this problem. You could also make sure not to close your old hosting account before signing up for a new service and setting up your email.
- If you decide to switch email providers or web hosting providers, you might experience some downtime. Make sure you plan ahead for the switch to a different provider, and try not to make any sudden changes during peak business hours.