How to Create an Email


A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Your Custom Email Address

by and FirstSiteGuide team (Last updated: October 17, 2017)

Introduction

stamped envelope
In 1976, Queen Elizabeth II became the first head of state to send an electronic mail message
mailbox opened
Today, with 92% of US adults using email daily, it’s a channel to your audience that you can’t afford to neglect
zeppelin distributes mail
For acquiring new customers, research found email marketing to be nearly 40 times as effective as Facebook & Twitter combined

Email is widely used as an effective communication tool and it is one of the leading marketing channels for building connections and increasing conversions in the world of business. Since it enables instantaneous sharing of information with high efficiency, email is being used by people in everyday communication. It also is an integral part of marketing campaigns by many companies that realize its potential in communicating with their target markets.

With the popularity of social media and the ever-growing use of smartphones, it’s especially hard to imagine anyone not having an email now. Whether they use it for enriching their business with new customers and increasing their sales, or to register on various social media networks, or simply exchange information with their friends and family, it is certain that almost everyone has their own email address.

But, how about a custom email address? It might seem like a small detail in the large picture of branding, but it’s a detail that can provide you with great benefits.

Why Do You Need a Custom Email Address?

girl drives branded car With over 2.9 billion active users and over 4.6 billion email accounts in operation, email is the most important and widely used communications medium on the internet

It doesn't matter if you're a blogger or a business owner - a custom email address will set you apart from competitors. If you're looking for a job, a custom email address will differentiate you from other prospects. If you're a blogger, you'll want to use networking to create a strong brand image and build a distinguished online reputation. Having a personalized email address will help you accomplish this, as it will help you stand out from other bloggers in your niche.

american employees use email
Six in ten (61%) American employees who use the Internet say email is “very important” for doing their job
email subscribers
57% of email subscribers spend 10-60 minutes browsing marketing emails during the week
from field
68% of Americans say they base their decision to open an email on the ‘From’ name

The same truism applies when establishing your brand. A custom email address gives you instant credibility and shows that you're a professional. It's a great way to stand out among others in your industry who create unforgettable first impressions.

If you keep a generic email address, you risk appearing amateurish. Isn't it time to create your own custom email address and show that you're tech-savvy and serious about your business?

What's more, people are more likely to remember you, as they are used to seeing gmail.com, hotmail.com and other domains everywhere they look. Setting up a custom email will make you memorable. Think about it for a moment: how many times have you instantly forgotten what came before @gmail.com?

Verify your identity in an ultra competitive business world and turn your entire game around by showing off a unique and recognizable custom email address. It's an easy way to demonstrate your professionalism and that you have a real business versus a hobby.

How to Create Your Custom Email Address

custom email address

Creating your custom email address is actually simple and, even if you are completely new to the process, you'll get the hang of it in no time. Think of it as creating a website, since you begin by purchasing a domain name and choosing an email hosting provider. If you have a website for your business, then you already have a domain name of your own, in which case the best option is to use that domain name for your custom email address.

If you don't have a domain name, you have two different options when it comes to creating your personalized email address. Namely, you can purchase a domain name from a domain registrar and choose an email hosting provider afterward. Or, you can buy a domain name and create your custom email address with an email hosting provider of your choosing. Let's take a look at the steps you need to take for each option.

Option 1 – Choose a Domain Name Registrar Before You Decide Where to Host Your Email

Step 1: Purchase a Domain Name

There are many domain name registrars to choose from, but the most popular ones are GoDaddy, Namecheap, Hover and iwantmyname. GoDaddy is the largest domain registrar. It's ICANN-accredited (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and you should give it serious consideration. Nevertheless, all of these domain registrars offer great services, but they differ in price, so you should choose the one that you find most affordable.

How do you actually buy a domain name? Go to the website of the domain registrar you choose and you'll be presented with a textbox, in which you should enter your desired domain name. If you're not sure what domain to choose, click here.

Here's an example to help you get a clear picture of what your custom email address should look like: YourName@DomainName.com, for instance. You can choose other top-level domains, such as .org, .net or many others, but the top-level domain .com is the most widely used and the most memorable.

business email
The expected number of emails sent daily worldwide by 2019 will be 246.5 Billion. Nearly half of these will be business emails

After you've entered your domain name, choose a top-level domain and check if your desired combination of both is available. If not, you need to come up with another domain name, since you can't register a domain name that's already registered. When you find a domain name that's available, click on the combination of the name and top-level domain and add it to your cart.

Afterward, you will be asked to sign up for an account and enter your basic contact information and your choice of payment. After your account is verified and the payment is approved, your domain name will be registered.

Here's a look at the domain registrar iwantmyname, for example, and, as you can see, you can get your own domain name in just a few minutes.

iwantmyname domain registrar

email marketing
68% of marketers say that email marketing is core to their business

Step 2: Choose an Email Hosting Provider

When selecting an email hosting service, you need to choose one that will offer you the best email management solutions, storage capacity, technical support and, of course, offer you their services at an affordable price. You have many email hosting providers to choose from, such as Google (Google Apps for Work), Office 365 Business Essentials (including the entire Office suite and many online services), Zoho Mail, FastMail, ProtonMail, Pobox and Rackspace Email.

The process of creating your custom email address is pretty much the same with all email hosting clients. The next section will give you a closer look at the major providers, with all the steps you'll need to take, including buying a domain name without the use of a domain registrar.

email best practices

Option 2 – Create Your Custom Email Address Using an Email Hosting Provider

Google Apps for Work

Google Apps for Work is a premium service tool that costs $5 per month per user, although the price can vary by country. It also has a free trial period of 30 days, so you can take it for a test drive before you commit. What's great about this tool is that, by creating an email account, you are granted access to an entire Google Apps for Work suite, which includes the following applications: Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites and Hangouts. What's also amazing is that a basic subscription for a paid email account comes with 30GB of cloud storage.

Step 1: Go to the Google Apps for Work website and click on the green Get Started button.

google apps for work
targeted email
81% of online shoppers who receive emails based on previous shopping habits were at least somewhat likely to make a purchase as a result of targeted email

Step 2: Fill out the form asking for your name, your current email address, the name of your business organization and its size, as well as the country it is located in and then click on the Next button.

google apps fill out form

Step 3: Confirm the domain you want to use for your custom email address. You are presented with two options here: use your own domain or buy a new one, costing from $8 per year and including an automatic email setup.

google-business-domain-name-type

AMERICANS COMMONLY CHECK THEIR EMAIL:
while watching TV
70%
from bed
52%
on vacation
50%
while on the phone
43%
from the bathroom
42%
while driving (danger!)
18%

If you've already purchased your domain name, select the first option, after which a box will appear where you will need to enter your domain name.

already purchased domain name

If you don't have a domain name yet and would like to buy one from Google, select the second option, after which you will be presented with a box to enter your desired domain name and a list of top-level domains to choose from, along with the pricing for each. Just like buying a domain name from a domain name registrar, you will need to check your domain for availability.

buy a new domain name from google

CREATE COMPELLING CONTENT

The subject line always has been the most tested element in marketing emails; however, many other elements also contribute to your email's success

72
Subject line
61
Message / Content
50
Layout & Images / Call to action
46
Day of the week sent
39
Time of day sent
34
Personalization
32
Landing page
30
Target audience
26
"From" line
15
Mobile layout & Images

Step 4: Create your Google Apps account using your own domain name. You need to choose your username at this point, so think carefully about what you are going to use.

create google apps account

When it comes to the username for your custom email address, you can go with your first name, your last name or a combination of both. Then, choose a strong and secure password for your email account and click on the Accept and Sign up button.

to the point emails
64% of email recipients open emails based on their subject line, and 58% of emails with subject lines containing under 10 characters are opened
personalized email subject line
Personalized subject lines boost opening rates by 22%, so make sure that your emails are personalized based on recipient and industry
content overloaded emails
Keep your email body to 300-500 characters
call to action button
Including a call to action button instead of a text link can increase conversion rates by as much as 28%

Step 5: After the process of signing up is completed, you need to add team members to your Google Apps account before you can verify your domain and set up your custom email. Add people by creating accounts they are going to use at your domain. Here's what you will see after signing up:

set up google apps for work

By clicking on the Start button, you can start creating accounts by entering your domain, first name, last name and username for each of your team members.

create user accounts for your team

TEST YOUR DELIVERABILITY

You need to test the deliverability of your emails in three key areas to give your email the best chance of being read

responsive email design
Responsive design. Make sure your email displays correctly on all devices, including desktop, mobile, and tablet platforms
html text email formats
Format. Your email should have both HTML and TEXT formats to ensure readability in all email clients and platforms
spam analysis
Spam analysis. Run your email through a spam analysis tool to ensure your hard work won't wind you're in a spam filter

Step 6: Verify your domain and set up your custom email address.

This step is a bit more complicated than the previous ones, so you'll want to follow the instructions carefully. In order to verify your domain, you can either add a meta tag verification code to the header of your website, upload an HTML file to your website or add a domain host record.

However, in the Google Apps for Work verifying process, you need to add a meta tag verification code. This is what the step will look like:

domain verification at google

SEGMENT YOUR AUDIENCE

Segmenting allows you to match content to recipients' interests, creating a level of personalization that can achieve far greater results

email personalization
74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement
email geographic  personalization
Geographic. Adding a little local flavor to your emails can help give prospects the feeling that you know and understand their situation
email behavioral personalization
Behavioral. Segmenting based on behavior is another easy way to provide relevant and timely information to prospects
purchasing power
Purchasing power. Position within a company is another valuable way to segment your audience. It ensures that you are providing the right content to drive decisions.
Segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue

You can easily verify your domain by following the instructions from the screenshot above. Once you do, simply click on the “I added the meta tag to my homepage” button.

However, if you happen to have a WordPress site, there's another way to verify your domain. In order to add a meta tag verification code, log in to your WordPress dashboard. The easiest option for beginners is to use the Insert Headers and Footers plugin, which you can install by navigating to Plugins > Add New, then search for “insert headers and footers,” click on the Install Now button and then click on the Activate Plugin button. It will look like this:

domain verification at wordpress

So far, you have installed the plugin for adding a meta tag verification code, but in order to use it, you need to navigate to Settings > Insert Headers and Footers. Copy and paste the meta tag code into the Scripts in Header section and then click on the Save button. After that, go back to the Google Apps for Work and check the “I added the meta tag to my homepage” button.

Whichever option you choose for adding a meta tag, after you've added it, you will arrive at this step of domain verification:

verification meta tag

Going to the control panel for your domain enables you to configure your domain's MX (Mail Exchange) records. This will allow you to use the Gmail service with your custom domain and direct your mails to Gmail servers. In order to do so, you need to access your web hosting account.

GET YOUR TIMING RIGHT:

Best day to send email (percent of respondents reporting best open rates):

Monday
10%
Tuesday
47%
Wednesday
10%
Thursday
18%
Friday
5%
best time to send email diagram
Best time to send email (percent of respondents reporting best open rates):

If your web host doesn't have a cPanel, you need to go to the Domains section after logging into your web hosting account, then you can apply the following instructions for the MX records. All of the instructions below apply, except for the first step of going to the Mail section.

If your web host has a cPanel, log in to the cPanel, go to the Mail section and click on the MX Entry, where you will be provided with a drop-down menu from which you need to select your domain. After that, go back to the Google Apps for Work and check the “I have opened the control panel for my domain” box.

After checking the box, you will be presented with the new MX records:

email open rates tracking
TRACK, ANALYZE, AND ADJUSTWHAT TO TRACK: Open rates. How many people opened your email; Click-throughs. How many people clicked on your links; Bounces. How many emails are returned undeliverable

google mx records

You need to add each and every one of the records to the cPanel screen:

adding new mx record at cpanel screen

After adding all of the records, click on the “I created the new MX records” box on the Google Apps for Work setup screen. There will still be old MX records from non-Google servers in the cPanel, so you will need to delete them, after which you need to check the “I have deleted existing MX records” box and then check the “I saved the MX records” box. At this point, all that remains is to click on the blue Verify Domain and Set up Email button.

google verification complete

A BIGGER BUSINESS GENERATES SIGNIFICANTLY MORE ORDERS
Open Rate
Average number of orders
More than 50K
8,64%
34,69
20K-50K
12,82%
15,07
5K-20K
14,04%
10,01
Up to 5K
21,38%
2,76

Depending on your hosting provider, it can take 24 to 48 hours (sometimes even 72 hours) for Google to reroute your email, but after that brief waiting period, you will be able to use your own custom email address.

Note: If you register your domain with Google Apps, the entire verification process is automatic, including the MX records setup. All you need to do to start using your custom email account is to create users.

Zoho Mail

Zoho Mail is the top choice for many users, since you can have a completely free email account with up to 25 users and 5GB of storage per user. Just as with Google Apps, the process of creating an email account with your custom domain with Zoho Mail is pretty easy and straightforward and the steps are exactly the same. This is what the sign up screen, where you can enter your domain and create the username for your custom email address, looks like:

zoho mail

As you can see from the screenshot, you can also register your domain with Zoho Mail, in which case it will be pre-configured for use in Zoho Mail and the verification process will be automatic.

Office 365 Business Essentials

Microsoft's Office 365 Business Essentials offers an easy way to access your email using the Outlook application. It also offers a number of other web applications. You can easily create your custom email address in Office 365, but you first need to sign up for Office 365, when you will be given a user ID with an “onMicrosoft.com” domain.

You can then add your own domain by going to the Office 365 admin center, where you will be given steps to follow to complete your setup.

Step 1: Add a domain

Enter a domain name you have purchased and registered.

office 365 domain adding


Step 2: Verify your domain

After you enter your custom domain, you'll need to verify it. Office 365 will give you a verification code that you need to enter at your domain registrar. If you have registered your domain with GoDaddy, Office 365 will enter the code for you, as it will only prompt you to log in at GoDaddy.

office 365 domain verification


Step 3: Add users

This step is not required for you to be able to complete the process of creating your custom email address, so you can add your users later if you want to.

adding users in office 365


Step 4: Migrate email messages

If you have an email account with another email provider, you can choose to migrate your email and contacts to Office 365. If that's not the case, simply select “Don't migrate email messages”.

office 365 email migration


POP3 is usually used
through port 110 and
is unsecured pop3 scheme
IMAP is usually used
through port 143 and
is unsecured imap scheme

Step 5:

Set up your online services
This step includes DNS management and you have two options:

  • You can choose to allow Office 365 to update your nameserver DNS records and set up your online services for you.
  • You can choose to manage your own DNS records. In the latter case, you will be provided with a list of DNS records that you will need to add to your domain at your hosting provider.

set up online services in office 365


Step 6: Update your nameservers

This step applies to you if you have chosen to have Office 365 update your nameserver DNS records and set up your online services for you (the first option in Step 5). However, if your domain registrar is GoDaddy, you can skip this step, as Office 365 will set up everything for you. If you do need to update your nameservers, you can do so easily, as you will be provided with step-by-step instructions for changing your records.

update name servers in office 365

After you have completed this step, you will have successfully created your email address with your custom domain. Keep in mind that you may have to wait up to 72 hours for your domain provider to start rerouting your email.

FastMail
mobile email user
In 2016 worldwide mobile email users increased up to 730 million

FastMail, a very reliable email hosting service, offers three different plans: basic, standard and professional. You cannot use your own domain with the basic plan, so you will want to choose the standard or professional. Whichever plan you choose, setting up your custom email will be extremely easy, as you will see from the following steps. Also, Fast Mail offers a free trial period of 30 days, so you can try it out before making a final decision to go for it.

Note: You cannot register a domain with FastMail, as it does not sell domains. It is a service that only hosts emails, so you need to purchase and register your custom domain from a domain registrar before you can host your email with FastMail and create your custom email address.

Step 1: In order to start your 30-day free trial, you need to sign up for FastMail by entering your name, creating a username and creating a password for your new email address. fastmail sign up form
As you can see, the domain here is “fastmail.com”, but you can use your own domain by clicking the button below, after which you can enter your custom domain into the box. fastmail.com address form

Step 2: Add your custom domain in settings, so that FastMail can configure it for you and allow you to create your custom email address. Go to Settings > Domains > Add Domain and enter your domain name into the box. For example, it should look something like this:

fastmail custom domain

Step 3: Update your domain's DNS records by logging into the cPanel of your domain registrar and changing the nameservers for your domain.

Step 4: Add users for your custom domain, which are referred to as “aliases” in the FastMail settings. Go to Settings > Aliases and add as many new users as you want.

After this step, all that remains is to wait for the verification process to be completed. This usually takes up to a day, then you'll be all set to use your custom email address.

ProtonMail
email on mobile device
About 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices

The process of creating a custom email address with ProtonMail is exactly the same as with FastMail. As it also doesn't offer registering a domain name as a service, you need to buy your domain from a domain name registrar first. Next, go to the ProtonMail website to set up your custom email.

Step 1: Sign up and create your account with ProtonMail

proton mail sign up form

urgent email on a mobile device
35% of business professionals check emails on a mobile device

Step 2: Add your custom domain

You need to go to Settings > Domains and click on the “Add custom domain” button, where you will be able to enter your domain name.

Note: You must have a premium ProtonMail plan in order to be able to add a custom domain.

proton custom domain

After you've added your custom domain, you need to change your domain's DNS records in order to complete the verification process, after which you will be able to use your custom email address.

Pobox

Pobox is an email hosting provider that offers both domain registration and email hosting, so you can either register your custom domain with a domain name registrar first or register one with Pobox for an annual registration fee of $15.

Note: Pobox does not register domains for trial accounts.

If you have already purchased your custom domain, you need to sign up with Pobox before you can host your email with your custom domain.

Step 1: Sign up and create your Pobox email account

pobox sign up form

gmail on a mobile device
75% of Gmail's 900M users access their accounts via mobile devices

Step 2: Add your domain

After you've logged into your Pobox account, go to MyPobox > Set up a Domain, where you can enter your domain name into the provided box.

pobox personal domain

The next steps include changing your domain's MX records and adding new users for your custom domain, after which your domain will need to be verified. After the verification process is complete, you'll be able to start using your custom email address.

Rackspace Email

Rackspace Email is yet another very user-friendly email hosting provider that offers reliable and affordable services with great features. You can create your custom email address easily with Rackspace Email and you can also use it to register your custom domain.

This email hosting provider offers a minimum of five mailboxes, costing $2 per mailbox, per month. It also offers a 14-day free trial period, as well as the premium Microsoft services for improving your business.

When you go to the Rackspace Email website, click on the green Begin Free Trial button, after which you will need to complete five steps.

Step 1: Choose your apps. Here's what it will look like if you check the Rackspace Email box:

rackspace email account

deleting email on a smartphone
75% of smartphone owner say they are highly likely to delete emails they can't read on their phones

Step 2: Create an account

At this point, you need to create the username for your custom email address and, if you already own a custom domain, you need to enter your domain in the appropriate box and click on “I own this domain.”

rackspace sign up form

If you've not yet purchased a domain, you can do so by entering a desired domain name into the box and clicking on “I want to buy this domain.” Next, you will be given the price for the domain, after it has been checked for availability.

The next three steps include providing your account and billing information, as well as the confirmation of your new email account after your domain has been verified.

syncing custom email address

Syncing Your Custom Email Address with Third-Party Software

Some email hosting providers let you sync your custom email address with third-party software or an app of your choosing. This is a great option for those who prefer a particular user interface and want to consolidate different email accounts under one single inbox. This is referred to as email forwarding and you can set it up easily with every email hosting provider.

Email Forwarding

create and change email address

17% of Americans create a new email address every 6 months

30% of subscribers change email addresses annually

outlook email software
Outlook accounts for 56% of all desktop email opens and nearly 16% of total opens in any environment

Email forwarding refers to the process of forwarding emails you receive at one email address to another address of your choosing. Therefore, you can automatically forward all your incoming email messages to a particular email account, without the senders even knowing it.

Namely, people can send emails to your custom email address and you can use another email account to access them. However, when you use email forwarding, you cannot reply to the forwarded emails from the email address they were redirected to; you can only read them.

If your chosen email hosting provider uses POP3 (Post Office Protocol) or IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) protocols, you can easily sync your custom email address with the software of your choosing.

POP3 – Post Office Protocol

If you expect to receive a lot of emails, POP3 is your way to go, since it downloads and delivers all of your incoming emails to your device, while deleting them from the server's inbox. POP3 is a great option if you use a single device for checking your email, but the downside is that the download with POP is tied to a particular device, so you won't be able to view your emails if you try to access your inbox from a new device.

IMAP – Internet Message Access Protocol

IMAP is a lot more flexible than POP3, since it enables you to sync your emails across multiple devices. Therefore, if you want to be able to check your email from different devices, as well as integrate your custom email with webmail services, such as Gmail or Outlook, you should use IMAP to set up your custom email address.

However, one downside of IMAP is that it does not delete any messages on the server so, if you receive a lot of emails, you can exceed your storage space quickly.

How to Connect Your Email to Your Mobile Phone

connecting email to mobile phone

Whether you use an Android phone, Windows phone or iPhone, connecting your email to your mobile phone is an incredibly easy process, as you will see from the steps provided below.

Setting up email on your Android phone

  1. Open your email client.
  2. Select Add account.
  3. Enter your email address and password.
  4. Choose an account type (POP3, IMAP or Exchange). You should choose IMAP, so that you'll receive cached copies of the emails you receive, which will be stored on the server. If you choose POP3, all the received emails will be downloaded from the server and stored on your phone.
  5. Configure your desired account options, such as notification settings and syncing emails.
  6. Select Sign in.

Note: You cannot choose IMAP if your email was configured as POP3. However, you can change the settings for your email and enable IMAP access for your email account by logging into your account at your email hosting provider.

Setting up email on your Windows phone

  1. Open your email client.
  2. Go to Settings > Email & accounts > Add an account > Other account. You need to choose “Other account” in order to enter your custom email address (if you are using Windows 10 on your phone, the navigation is a bit different: Settings > Manage accounts > Add an account > Other account).
  3. Enter your email address and password.
  4. If your Windows phone doesn't set up your email automatically, you need to select Try Again. If it still doesn't connect, try using an advanced setup by selecting Advanced setup.
  5. Enter your email address and password.
  6. Select Internet email.
  7. Choose an account type (POP3 or IMAP).
  8. Enter the server name for your email provider.
  9. Select Advanced and then select the boxes Require SSL for incoming mail and Require SSL for outgoing mail.
  10. Select Sign in.

Setting up email on your iPhone

  1. Go to Settings > Mail > Add Account > Other.
  2. Select Add Mail Account.
  3. Enter your name, email address, password and a description for your account (Personal Account).
  4. Click Next and, if Mail finds your account settings, click Done. If it doesn't find your settings, you must add them manually by following the next steps.
  5. Choose IMAP or POP (depending on your custom email account settings).
  6. Enter your name, email address and a description for your account.
  7. Enter the Incoming Mail Server and Outgoing Mail Server information (host name, username and password).
  8. Select Save to finish.

Conclusion

If you're reading this, you have successfully learned everything about creating your custom email address. You may feel a bit overwhelmed at this point, but this guide will help you complete the entire process of creating a personalized email address. Just follow each and every step, and you will create your new custom email in no time. More importantly, you can proudly say that you did it all by yourself. You have to admit that will be pretty exciting.