A professional email address is a must if you want to make a positive and lasting impression on your clients. Using your private contact details for business-related communications doesn’t tend to look legitimate, nor does it help your work-life balance.
Fortunately, creating a professional email address is straightforward. Many providers come with intuitive setup wizards, which will guide you through the process. Plus, you’ll benefit from additional collaboration tools, which you can share with your team or use on your own.
This article will show you how to set up a professional email address with Office 365, Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), or Gmail. Let’s go!
Table of contents:
- How to set up a professional email address with Office 365
- How to set up a professional email address with Google Workspace / G Suite
- How to set up a professional email address with Gmail
How to set up a professional email address with Office 365 (in 3 steps)
If you like working with Microsoft tools, Office 365 might be an excellent way to manage your emails and other business-related tasks. This suite comes with all the popular desktop apps such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Of course, you also get access to Outlook, which is its well-known desktop email client.
Besides that, Office 365 comes with 1 TB cloud storage and an extra 50 GB towards a mailbox for each user. Note that to connect your custom domain, you’ll need to opt for at least the Business Standard license, which starts at $15 per user per month.
Step 1: Add and verify your domain name
First, log into your Microsoft 365 dashboard and follow the setup wizard to configure your Office 365 account. Under Add Domain, select Yes, add this domain now. Enter your domain name, then click on Use This Domain:
Next, you’ll need to verify your domain. We recommend the Add a TXT record to the domain’s records option, unless you already have a live website on that domain. In that case, you can also choose to add a text file to your website:
Next, you’ll see TXT values that you’ll need to copy. Head on to your domain registrar or web host, log in to your dashboard, and find your Domain Name System (DNS) management settings. Then, locate the section where you can add or edit a custom DNS record. It will likely look similar to this:
Select TXT and enter the values that you’ve copied previously. Note that this change might take a few minutes to process, and you can delete the record once the verification is complete.
Next, head back to your Office 365 setup wizard, and click on Verify. If the verification is successful, you’ll be able to proceed to add other users, such as firstname.lastname@example.org, or continue to the next step.
Step 2: Set up your DNS records and online services
Next up, you’ll need to link your domain to Microsoft servers and configure your online services. If you’ve registered your domain with one of the following providers, Microsoft will complete this step automatically:
Otherwise, you’ll need to manually set up your DNS records, which we’ll discuss in a moment. If you are using one of the above providers, we recommend you choose the Set up my online services for me option, which will populate all the fields automatically. Then, click on Continue:
On the next screen, you’ll be asked to Import DNS Records, which will download your relevant information. Alternatively, you can click on Add Record if you prefer to input it manually:
You can find these details back in your domain registrar dashboard. They’re usually located under Domains or a similar setting.
Adding DNS records manually
If your registrar doesn’t support Domain Connect, you’ll have to add your DNS records manually. Navigate to your registrar or web hosting control panel, and find the section where you can create custom MX records. It’s typically located under Mail → Custom MX or similar:
Next, follow the instructions relevant to your domain registrar and fill in the fields as appropriate. If your provider is not on the list we’ve linked to above, you can also replicate these generic instructions.
Delete any other existing MX records, then save your changes. This way, your email will be delivered to Microsoft servers.
Now, add CNAME and SRV records by navigating to Domains. It should be the same area where you've added your TXT records earlier. Click on Add a Custom DNS Record (or similar), select CNAME, and add values as per these instructions. Repeat these steps to add SRV records.
Step 3: Update your nameservers
Finally, go to Domains in your registrar or hosting dashboard and locate the section where you can add or edit nameservers. Then, update at least two records with the ones provided to you by Microsoft. You can find them back in your Office 365 setup wizard:
Note that the changes might take around 30 minutes to process. Then, return to your setup wizard and click on Continue. This should complete your professional email address configuration.
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How to set up a professional email address with Google Workspace (in 3 steps)
Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) is another powerful collaboration and business management platform that’s particularly well-suited to users who prefer remote, cloud-based working. It comes with the full range of Google apps such as Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more. You’ll also be able to use the familiar Gmail interface (minus the ads) to manage your emails.
All Google Workspace plans allow you to register your custom domain name. Pricing starts at $6 per user per month for the Basic plan, which gives you 30 GB of storage.
Step 1: Set up your account and add users
Log in to your Google Workspace account and follow the email setup wizard.
You’ll be asked to configure some basic settings and specify whether you already have a domain name.
Click on Yes, I Have One I Can Use, then enter your details:
Enter a secondary email so that you can recover your account in case something goes wrong. Next, enter your new username and password. Click on Agree And Create Account, then Go To Setup.
Once you’ve completed this step, you can add other users. Otherwise, check the box that says I added all user email addresses… and click on Next.
Step 2: Verify your domain name
On the next few screens, you’ll see instructions on how to verify your domain name. Similar to the Microsoft 365 setup, you’ll need to add a TXT record to your domain registrar or web hosting account.
Navigate to your domain registrar or web host, log in to your dashboard, and find your DNS management settings. Google Workspace provides detailed instructions on how to accomplish this task and what values to enter, so make sure to follow all the prompts.
Step 3: Add MX records
Finally, it’s time to add your MX records so that Google Workspace can handle emails on your behalf. Once again, you’ll need to head to your registrar or web hosting control panel and find the section where you can create or edit custom MX records (usually under Mail → Custom MX or similar).
If you registered your domain name via a cPanel hosting provider, you might be able to automatically set this up with a Set Google MX button or similar. Otherwise, delete all existing entries and replace them with the details provided to you by the Google Workspace wizard.
Once you’re done, navigate back to the Google Workspace interface and click on Verify Domain And Set Up Email. You should then see a success message confirming that your professional email address is up and running.
How to set up a professional email address with Gmail (in 2 steps)
If you’re a solopreneur, you probably don’t need to invest in robust collaboration tools such as Office 365 or Google Workspace. In that case, you can save money and connect your professional email address with your existing Gmail account for free.
Step 1: Forward emails from your domain registrar to your Gmail account
First, log in to Gmail as you usually would, then navigate to Settings, which is located in the top left-hand corner of the screen (the gear icon). Click on See All Settings.
Then, go to Accounts and Import and scroll down to Check mail from other accounts. Click on Add a mail account:
Enter your custom email address that you purchased from your registrar or web host, then click on Next.
Now, provide your email username, password, and POP3 details.
You should be able to locate them in your domain registrar or web hosting account dashboard (usually under Email Accounts → Connect Devices, or similar).
Once you’ve found your POP server address, fill in the details in the Gmail set up screen and select the correct port. We recommend that you also check the following boxes:
- Leave a copy of retrieved message on the server
- Always use a secure connection (SSL) when retrieving mail
- Label incoming messages
Then, click on Add Account.
Step 2: Enable Gmail to send from your custom email address
Now, check Yes, I want to be able to send mail as (your email address), and click on Next. Fill in your details, such as the name that should be displayed when you send your emails, and specify whether you want to use it as an alias. Once you’re done, click on Next Step.
On this screen, you’ll have to enter your SMTP details. You can find these back in your domain registrar or web hosting account dashboard. They should be listed in the same area as your POP3 details:
Once you’ve entered your SMTP information, click on Add Account. You should now receive a confirmation link. Open it to finalize the process. You will then be able to use your new professional email address via your Gmail account.
Using your private email for business communications is often a necessity when you’re just starting out. However, eventually, you’ll need to invest in a custom domain name and professional email address. Fortunately, you can easily configure one with an email interface of your choice.
In this article, we’ve shown you three methods you can use to create your professional email address:
- Office 365: Best if you prefer Microsoft tools and a desktop email client.
- Google Workspace: Excellent for remote team collaboration.
- Gmail: Free option for solopreneurs.
Do you have any questions about setting up a professional email address with any of these tools? Let us know in the comments section below!
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