Today we are going to be talking about email — specifically branded emails. The types of emails that might say [email protected]_domain.com. Like mine is [email protected] which you hear me mentioned in this show a lot.
We’re going to kind of break down the different types of emails, why you might want a branded email for your business and some different options and costs and features of the different platforms out there that allow you to do this.
The first thing we need to understand is kind of how email works. Much like your website sits on a server somewhere, a computer somewhere, our email servers where all the email is stored and handled and transferred.
There’s a couple options you have.
The first option we have is a free email address and pretty much everybody in the world has one of these.
It might be one, you know your [email protected] or @yahoo.com or if you’re OG, it might be at Hotmail or ymail or one of the old school ones. But these email services allow you to get a free email on somebody’s platform. Of course you don’t have the benefit of it being personalized to your domain. You’re stuck with the at Gmail or at Yahoo.
The other option you’ll see a lot of businesses do is have a branded email address. So this way they can decide whatever they want the beginning to be like [email protected] and then the domain, ogalweb.com.
The free email addresses, of course, the benefit to those is they’re free. The branded ones do come with associated costs. Depending on exactly what setup you want and what setup you already have, you might actually have access to a branded email and not even know it.
We’re going to take a look at a few of those things to help you understand that.
Before we look at the options though, let’s talk a little bit about why you might want a branded email.
For me, the number one benefit is it just looks so much more professional. When I first started my business, I had a [email protected] which worked fine. Gmail service is great, but it definitely doesn’t give somebody the best first-impression of your business. Everyone knows that that’s a free email address. Now, it still works and it still functions the same, but it’s a little bit more about appearance.
It looks more legitimate when you have a branded email. It makes you look more professional, it makes you look more like you have a legitimate company that’s put together.
The other benefit I like about this is I still operate a free email for myself personally and then I have a work email, which is my branded email. By having those two different emails, I can separate work stuff from personal stuff because there’s nothing worse than having all your personal emails intertwined with work or work emails going in with your personal emails. It’s really hard to separate those two things.
By having a separate one for work and a separate one for personal that makes all of that a whole lot easier. Of course I really don’t care if my personal email if it’s branded or not. But for my work email one, because of the professionalism, I definitely want that there.
The other side benefit to this is it clues people into your website. So you might be emailing a prospect is kind of that first point of contact. They may have never visited your website, but they’re going to see the @your_domain in your email address.
I will often go to their website based on seeing that in their email so you can actually generate some more traffic to your website by having that branded email. It just lets people know, “Hey, we are online”.
I definitely think if you’re a business and you want to be seen as professional, having a branded email address is definitely a must have in today’s world.
What about costs and features?
There are some different costs and features associated with the different services that make all this possible. We’re going to go over a couple here. What might be free or you might already be paying for and not know it, some cheap services, and then what I think is actually the best service for this.
Where I’m talking about you might already be paying for this is a lot of website hosts offer free email options. Many web hosts will let you actually run your email through your web server. This is nice because if you have a website, you’re already having to pay for hosting anyways. So you can actually add all those email addresses in there. Typically, in every system I’ve seen, you can add an unlimited amount of email addresses.
You’re going to be limited to some size, like how much you can store on your server— but for the most part you should be able to add as many as you want.
If you already have your website hosted, there’s a chance you already have access to these free emails. Of course everything kind of comes with the catch, especially free things. The email service that comes with your website hosting is not super reliable for email. And the biggest reason for that is that your website is probably hosted on what’s called a shared account, or a shared hosting server.
This means that there’s other websites also being hosted on that account. Well, you know how much spam we get in our inbox every day… and as people mark those things as spam emails, domains and servers get a grade from these email services.
If a email server is sending out a lot of spam, it will start marking everything on that email server as spam. So if you happen to have your website hosted on a server that also has a bad actor on it, your emails could start going to spam just because they’re sending spam emails, which obviously isn’t something you want. If people aren’t getting your emails, they’re going to think you’re ignoring them.
While it is free in the sense that you’re already paying for hosting, you’re going to run into issues with it. I’ve never seen somebody successfully do this for a long period of time without some kind of deliverability issues.
If you want to go beyond that, there are some cheaper services that allow you to do this and have some better deliverability rates. So one of those that I’ve tested is Zoho.
Zoho does a lot of different things, all kinds of things. But one of the things they do is have email hosting for branded email addresses. Now their plans, I believe start at $2 a month per email address, which is super cheap. I found the deliverability to be better than website hosted email addresses, but still not great.
The other downside to these is because they’re cheap, they’re actual features inside the inbox aren’t really great. So if you’re used to using Gmail, their platform isn’t going to look or function anything like that. It looks a little bit more low quality, I guess that’s a nice way to put it.
So if you’re looking to save some money, you’re going to be better off with Zoho rather than one of the free ones or one of the website host ones. Keep in mind you might not love the interface and you could still experience some deliverability issues.
That takes us to the final one, which is my recommendation, which is Gsuite.
Gsuite is run by Google and it basically runs off of the same system as Gmail. So if you’ve used Gmail before, if you’re used to Gmail, this will be a really easy transition for you because everything’s set up the exact same. You can just use your branded domain now they, their plans start at $6 per email address per month.
If you have a really large corporation, those costs can add up pretty quickly. But if you think about all the things you do with your email, all the business gets conducted through email.
Spending $6 on that a month really isn’t too bad. I think we’re just so programmed to think of email as a free service that sometimes can throw people off. But if you can afford the $6 a month, you’re going to get top of the line service and your deliverability rates are going to be great.
The software, the user experience of all of it is going to be pretty much the best in the business if you ask me.
That’s the way I recommend all my customers go as well. That’s what I use for my own [email protected].
That covers pretty much the gist of branded emails. And when I think if you have a business, you should definitely be using a branded email because it just looks so much more professional and you have a few options now on how you could go about getting that done. As always, I’ll leave links to all of these inside the show notes and if you have questions or need help getting all this set up, you can email me at [email protected] which I’ve said about 20 times this episode..so you have memorized now.
If you have any questions or topics you’d like me to cover, make sure you email those to me as well. And I’ll be glad to cover in future episodes.