Did you find out you need a custom email address to set up your shiny new mailing list? Or do you simply want to have a professional, easy-to-remember email address to use in your author business?
You’ve come to the right place!
There are a few ways to set up a custom email address, but I’ll go with the three most popular methods and explain what the pros and cons of each are. Then we’ll work on setting it up for you!
Make sure you have a domain name
The first step of setting up a custom email address is having a domain name to set up a custom email address with.
If you haven’t bought your domain name just yet, we have a tutorial for you on how to buy your first domain name! Once you have purchased your domain name, keep reading this tutorial 🙂
Option #1 – Forward all emails to another inbox
For this method, all we’re doing is setting up a simple forward. What that means is that all emails that go to email@example.com will end up in another inbox, like firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a great option if you already have an established inbox and want to keep costs low.
- Free (usually).
- Easy to set up.
- No way to send emails using your custom email address.
- Emails are all in one inbox.
Set up email forwarding
To set up an email forward, log in to the account where you manage your domain name. It’s usually either where you purchased your domain name or where your site is hosted (if you have connected your domain name to a website).
If your domain name doesn’t have a website attached to it, find the settings of your domain name.
There will usually be a setting called “Forward Email” where you can add the email address you want to forward and the email address you want to forward to.
If you happen to have a website set up already, you’ll need to manage your domain name where your website is hosted.
Log into your hosting account and go to your hosting dashboard for that specific site. You’ll usually see a tab called “Email” somewhere on the page. The settings might all be on that page, or you’ll find a tab called “Forwarding” or “Forwarder” where you can set up your email address. Simply add the email address you want to forward and the email address you want to forward to and click “Create”!
Obviously, the exact steps are going to vary based on where you purchased your domain name or your hosting. If you’re having trouble setting it up, I highly recommend reaching out to the support staff of your host/domain name provider and they’re usually more than happy to help you. This isn’t something that is very hard for them to set up for you, so take advantage of their support! And if you want to do it by yourself, you can usually find tutorials if you search for “Email forward [company name]” on Google.
Once the forward is set up, try sending an email to your new custom email address and see it land in your regular inbox!
Option #2 – Import the emails into another inbox
If you want access to your shiny new email address to receive and send messages, this is the easiest way to do that (and the most cost-effective). The import method only works if you already have a website attached to your domain name though, as it will be using your website server to store and send messages.
If you haven’t purchased hosting yet for a website, you’re better off going with option #3.
The main downside of this method is that it’s slightly less reliable. Since you’re sending emails from a (usually) shared server that isn’t optimized to send emails, it’s possible you’re going to end up in the spam folder.
It’s a bit like having an apartment in a shared building. Your neighbors might be doing shady business, so nobody wants to come to your building because it has a bad reputation. Whether you’re doing shady things or not, your building might be labeled as “bad” and you’ll have a hard time getting people to trust you.
- Free (provided you already pay for website hosting).
- Able to send and receive emails.
- Can be less reliable.
- Requires website hosting to be able to set up.
Set up email importing
To set up email importing, there are two steps to the process. First, we need to create an inbox on your website server and second, we need to link that inbox to your current email provider.
To create the inbox, log in to your website host account. Navigate your way to find your site dashboard and options. You should see a tab called “Email”. For this setup, we need to create an inbox, or also called an account.
Add the account name you’d like to have for your new email address and set up a password for it too. Once that’s done, you’ll have a new inbox within your host that you can visit at any time!
But if you’re like me, you don’t log into your hosting account very often and it’s not the simplest way to check your emails. So we’ll want to connect that new inbox to where you currently check your emails.
Import with Gmail
To import emails into an existing Gmail inbox, go to Settings > Accounts and Imports. Under “Check mail from other accounts”, click “Add a mail account”. Add your new email address and select the POP3 import method.
The information to connect to your inbox will be located in your hosting dashboard. It will look something like this:
Add the information that Gmail is requesting and you’ll have incoming emails set up in no time!
To be able to send messages, go back to Settings > Accounts and Imports and under “Send mail as”, click “Add another email address”. Follow the prompts again to connect your account. With this step, you’ll need to click on a link to verify that you want to grant yourself permission to send emails, so it’s good to make sure you can get the verification email (like mentioned above) before setting up this step.
Import with Apple Mail
Apple Mail is the second most requested integration I’ve seen from authors, but unfortunately as I’m not a Mac user myself, it’s a bit hard for me to give an exact tutorial on how to add your inbox to Apple Mail.
I did want to point out that most hosts will have a quick configuration file that you can download and add to Apple Mail to set it up.
Here’s an example of what it looks like on my end:
If those quick configuration files don’t work for you, here is a detailed tutorial on to set up Apple Mail with a custom email address.
Option #3 – Set up a custom inbox
Whether you want to keep your brand new email address separate from the rest of your personal email or you don’t have any website hosting to piggyback from, a custom inbox is the solution for you!
While this method does cost a little bit of money, it also comes with the peace of mind that you’re buying a solution that is custom-made for emails. That means you don’t have to worry about your emails ending up in the spam folder. Also, if you were to ever change your website host, you don’t have to worry about migrating your email inbox over because your emails are already hosted somewhere else entirely.
This is a great solution for people who want to use their new custom email address on a daily basis. It will give you the most control and the most freedom.
- Dedicated inbox.
- Able to send and receive emails.
- Very reliable.
- Harder to set up at the beginning.
- Monthly/yearly fee.
There are a few companies that you can decide to host your email inbox with. The most popular are:
- Google Workspace (by far my favorite and the one I use for all my business emails)
- Zoho Mail
- Namecheap Mail
The thing I love the most about Google Workspace as an email solution is that is also comes with the full Google suite like Drive, Meet, Calendar, etc. So if you enjoy the ease of use of Gmail and having access to other Google tools, I do recommend going with Google Workspace.
Set up Google Workspace
Go to https://workspace.google.com/ and click on the “Get Started” button. Follow the prompts and add your business information. If you’d like to get 10% off your first year, shoot me an email at email@example.com and I can provide you with a discount code!
Once your account is created, you’ll have to make sure to connect your domain name to Google Workspace to make sure you can send emails properly. You can follow this tutorial by Google to connect your domain name properly.
If you run into any issues, I highly recommend reaching out to either your domain name provider or your website host. Their support team can help you make sure that everything is connected seamlessly.
If you have any questions about how to implement a specific step of this tutorial, feel free to ask about it in the comments or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be more than happy to help you out! (And possibly add that step to the tutorial)
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