Emailing has become the essential tool that we use to communicate as a professional, and there is nothing less professional than sending an important company email from your personal email address. Even if your email is: email@example.com – you have to know that your recipient is expecting firstname.lastname@example.org – or you’ve already set an image in your customer/vendor’s mind.
- Are they professional?
- Are they a business, or just a person?
- Do they know how easy it is to get a professional email set up?
How does a custom email address work?
When you purchase a domain – one of the ‘up-sales’ that your provider will try to sell you, is the possibility of setting up a business email address.
Going back to the analogy of your website being the ‘house’ on your ‘property’ (hosting account) – and your domain being the ‘street address’ of your home – the connection of your street address to your mailbox isn’t coincidental in this analogy.
Most times, your address is plastered right across your mailbox – letting people know that the mail doesn’t need to go all the way to the home itself (email doesn’t get uploaded to your website) – but it should stop right where it hits the street address (or the domain name). Technically, the mail person just brings your email right up to the address – and drops it in your mailbox (email account provider’s delivery system).
This is where the analogy takes a weird turn – as most email is now delivered from a server in the cloud…
So, until you ‘check the mailbox’ – there isn’t any mail inside. (Google: “Schrodinger’s Cat”) But, the process of getting up off your couch and opening your front door sends a signal to your email account provider’s delivery system. While you’ve been sitting on the couch, they are creating a photocopy of your mail, which is then grabbed fresh off the copier by the mail person – who teleports to your neighborhood (don’t ask) and comes screaming up the road with his mailbag, and by the time you open your mailbox – he’s just pushed it in when the mailbox opens. Boom. Mail delivered. The point, is that your mail is delivered when you want it – but it’s not stored on your computer or on your hosting account. Your mail provider archives the copies (in case your smartphone/laptop/desktop becomes unusable – and you should reconnect a new device), and delivers a perfect copy to your inbox.
Email provided by domain registrar
If you choose to purchase your email account at the same time as your domain name, you might be able to get it set up right when you purchase the domain! That would be the best-case scenario. Your domain registrar will connect your email – and provide you with the information to set it up in your email client.
An email client is a piece of software installed on your computer that helps ‘get’ your email from the internet. If you were terribly lazy, you could imagine sending your friend to get your mail, especially if his/her name was “Email Client”. There are many different options for email clients, but you will be able to recognize at least a couple from the list below:
- Android Mail
- Apple Mail
Office 365 / Exchange Server
If possible, my suggestion would be to use Office365.com for your email account – instead of the email being provided by your domain registrar. Microsoft bundles Word, Excel, Outlook and other helpful programs into a simple purchase by subscription. These accounts can vary between $7 and $20/month – but even the simplest packages come with Office365 Exchange email – which works marvelously, and you won’t have the issues of a POP3 or IMAP account setup for your devices.
These are two separate mail delivery ‘protocol’ that rely on older technology that will not save your email to a cloud server. Using the analogy before of the mailman making a copy and keeping one for the future, POP3/IMAP both send a copy – and if you didn’t receive it… oh well. If you deleted the email from your phone and it also deleted from your computer? Oh well. With an Exchange email account – you have the possibility of retrieving old emails when you connect to a new device. If you place a specific email into a folder in Outlook, it will also move on your smartphone or tablet. The organizational features alone make for a smoother experience, and the ‘backup’ copies on the server are a life-saver for small businesses.
When you have purchased your email address, the first thing you should do (other than testing your new account) – is to set up a ‘signature’, that will appear in the bottom of all your new emails. You can feel free to copy an email signature from online – but make sure to change the phone number, address, and other pertinent information.
An example of a good signature:
123 Smith St.
Elkton, MD 21921
Cell: (443) 555-5555
Since each email client is a bit different – you may need to rely on YouTube to get the instructions for your set up – but the reason behind adding this signature is to ensure you remain professional, and to keep your recipient informed of methods to reach you if they have any questions or feedback about the contents of the email. If the email has important, time-sensitive information – and your customer must reach you immediately, you want that information to be provided in the bottom of each of your emails.
Advanced Setup / Admin Accounts
If you have multiple users, it might make sense to have someone manage your account – unless you have an office administrator who has a little free time to help add/remove accounts, and is available to train new users on the proper use and set up for individual devices. If you have any questions about your situation, please don’t hesitate to contact me using the information showing on this website!