As someone committed to protecting and building brands for authors and publishers it pains me to see so many using email addresses from Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, Hotmail, Me, iCloud, etc. When you use these email addresses you are promoting that company, not yours. This makes no sense!
Authors need to use email addresses that match the domain name of their website. No website? Buy a domain name (~$15/year) and use it for your custom email address.
Here is how to stop promoting these other businesses, and begin building or reinforcing your brand.
5 FAQs about custom email vs. free email
- What is a custom email vs. Gmail (for example)? email@example.com is my custom email because it ends in the domain name of my business. Free emails end in the name of the provider such as [name]@gmail.com. Companies like Google offer these free as a way to promote their brand!
- Do you need a website to have a custom email address? No. In fact you can have multiple websites but decide to use an email address that matches just one.
- Is there a cost? Maybe, because it can also be included is some other services you are paying for, like hosting. Regardless, consider this a marketing expense. It is one of the best marketing investments you can make.
- Can I access my custom email from any web browser? Yes.
- Do I have to buy this custom email service from the same company that hosts my website? No. For example: you can use Godaddy to buy a domain, another company to host your website, and yet another company to host your custom email. Every domain record (in this example located at Godaddy) allows you to “point” to a service at another provider by changing a setting. For email hosting it is called an MX record.
So if custom emails make so much sense, why do people continue to use the free email addresses? Two possible reasons are cost and the hassle of setting it up. (Could it also be that you didn’t realize it was so easy?)
- Costs: as noted below these can range from free to a few dollars per month depending on the features and services you need. Again, consider this a marketing expense.
- Hassle: this is a one-time set-up that the service provider can help you with, or your webmaster can assist you.
First, a word about POP vs IMAP
About the only thing you need to know before you begin shopping is the difference between POP and IMAP. IMAP is designed work with multiple computers, tablets, and smart phones. POP is for those that spend most of their time using a single computer. You can still use POP with other devices, like your smartphone, but activity there won’t sync with your computer like it does with IMAP. But keep in mind that IMAP can be more expensive depending on the mail service. Here is some good info on this topic.
Options for Hosting Custom Email
There are dizzying arrays of options for hosting custom email addresses, so many in fact that there is no excuse to keep using the free options. To keep things simple I’ll divide options into three buckets and provide a few examples for each.
Custom email from big web companies
Note that each of these offer more features than a custom email and consequently cost more. These can be good choices if you use or plan to use the other services. Links may change so search for custom email and the name of these providers if the link doesn’t work.
Custom email from domain name resellers
These can be good choices if you want to keep things simple. They usually offer telephone support which is helpful because the one-time setup can be confusing for some people. Also, in the case of Godaddy, you should call them because they offer other email services (as of this writing) that are not shown on their website.
Custom email from hosting companies
If you have a website your plan might already include one or more free custom emails. Using your hosting provider can also be easier since they already host your website. Here are three popular hosting companies that provide custom email support with their hosting plans, as well as a standalone service.
There is no excuse to keep promoting another company
There is no question that switching emails can be time consuming, and you need to tell all your contacts. But even this is a marketing opportunity, right?
Don’t delay. Use an email that promotes you, or your business. Not some other company.
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