happy little biz

Tutorial: Need a professional email address?

Have you been using a free email address as your business email? Gmail, Hotmail, or similar? That can be a fine option, but your professional online presence can look a lot more polished if you have your own custom email address, using your own domain name. But how do you do that?

This question came in from one of the students in my Create Your Own Website with WordPress ecourse. She was wondering how to create an email address for her business. As a solo business owner, she doesn't have complicated email needs; really, she just needs one email address for folks to contact her. Additionally, she already has a gmail address and was wondering if she could have all of her email end up in one place.

In short, the answer is yes! There is a way to set up an email address for your domain name and have it work with your existing gmail account. It takes a bit of work to get it going, but once it's all set up, it works pretty seamlessly.

Don't have a domain name yet? You can register one quick and easy with Namespro (and they're Canadian!).

Important note: if you need more than one email address, it's better to set up a proper business email solution. Google for Work is great and very reasonably priced.

Setting up a business email account with Namespro and Gmail

Step 1: Requesting an email address from your domain registrar.

Some domain name registrars will include a free email mailbox, or include the service at a very low price. Namespro gives a free 100MB inbox for a single email address. Namecheap charges a very reasonable $12.77 a year for one email address. Check with your own domain name registrar to see what they offer.

It's important to note that you want a fully functional email address you can both send and receive email to. In other words, people will be able to send email to yourname@yourdomain.com and reach you, and you'll also be able to reply to them as yourname@yourdomain.com. If what you're looking at is a 'virtual email address' where you can only receive but not send, that's not the right thing.

The examples below will use Namespro, as that's my registrar, and we'll set up a new email address for my domain, happylittlebiz.ca.

From within your Namespro account, go to My Domains, then choose the domain you want to set up an email address for.

Scroll to the bottom and you’ll see a section for ‘email settings’. Set it to ‘Bonus 100MB mailbox - Free’ as shown below and hit ‘save’.

Namespro setup

Next you need to wait a bit. Namespro can take a few hours to email you your usename and password to set up your account. If you don’t receive it within 2 or 3 hours, just pop their support team a message. During business hours they usually reply very fast.

Once you receive the email from Namespro, look at the first section, “Administrative Area”. That’s where we’ll be setting up the email address. Take note of the fact that they ask you not to change the username for this. It is for administration only and is not going to be your email address.

Step 2: Creating your email address

Go ahead and go to the Administrative area URL as mentioned above and type in your username and password.

Once logged in, select “Mailboxes”.

It may take a moment to load. Once it does, you should see an ‘Add New’ button. Click that.

Next you’ll see this form to fill out. It should be pretty self explanatory. Towards the bottom you’ll see ‘Redirect mail to’ - this is where you put your regular gmail address you want email to forward to.

You also want to check the ‘Enabled’ box to enable the email.

Namespro mailbox setup

Once you select ‘Next >>’ you’ll get something like this:

Finalizing setup of mailbox

Just make sure that box is checked as showing above, then select Finish.

It’s always a good idea to make sure your email address works! So send yourself an email to the new email address. If you receive the email in your gmail inbox, you know you’ve set it up right.

Step 3: Setting up gmail to ‘send as’ your new address

In a web browser, go to gmail.com and open your gmail account.

On the right side you’ll see a little cog symbol. Click that, choose ‘Settings’, then choose ‘Accounts and Import’.

Scroll down to where it says ‘Send Mail As’ then choose ‘Add another email address you own’.

Fill it out as shown below, replacing my info with your own. You can choose to ‘Treat as an alias’ if you like (click Learn More to see what that does). Personally I prefer it not be an alias. Go on to the next step.

Gmail Send Mail As setup

You’ll see the following form. Fill it out as I’ve illustrated below, but changing your SMTP server to be for your domain (ie - smtp.yourdomain.ca) and username and password be the email address and password you just created in step 2. For Namespro, you need to use SSL and port 465. It may be different for other domain registrars - if you're really not sure, check with them. Once that's filled out, hit Add Account.

Gmail Send Mail As setup part two

If it’s properly set up, you should now see something similar to this under ‘Send mail as’:

Gmail Send Mail As setup part three

As you can see, you can also do a few other things if you want:

  • Choose which address should be the default (your gmail or the new email address)
  • Choose which address should be used when replying to mail

Last, try sending an email! You should see your new email address as an option in the ‘From’ box.

That’s it! You now have a functioning professional email address that sends to and from your Gmail inbox.

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