Are you using free email addresses for your business? Not to scare you, but you could be harming your business reputation without knowing it.
That’s because free email addresses are really easy to obtain. Just sign up, and you’re now the proud owner of one at no cost.
But because of that, they’re a popular option for scammers who want to steal others’ hard-earned money. You definitely don’t want to be associated with such bad actors.
At the same time, free email addresses simply don’t look very professional.
Imagine if you received an email from Nike, with the sender being email@example.com. Would you think highly of Nike? Probably not—you’d likely think the email to be a scam instead (see the previous point).
The better approach is to invest in professional email hosting and get email addresses that reflect your website domain. Read on as we cover what professional email hosting is, how it compares with free webmail and how you can get started with it.
What is email hosting and how does it work?
Email hosting is a service that hosts your email inbox on email servers, allowing you to send, save and receive emails. With email hosting, you’ll also be able to get a customized email domain matching that of your website.
For example, if your website domain is www.lifeisgreat.com, then you can create email addresses ending with @lifeisgreat.com.
When you sign up for email hosting, your email host will set aside server space for storing your incoming emails. This is similar to how web hosts will dedicate server space to you when you register for website hosting services.
In fact, web hosting providers will often also provide professional email hosting as a separate service. There are pros and cons of using the same hosting provider for your website and email address (which we’ll cover later on!)
For example, you can benefit from security features for keeping spam out of your inbox. Nobody has time to read emails from Nigerian princes or dodgy online stores hawking Viagra pills!
In addition, you stand to enjoy ad-free email.
If you’ve used a certain popular free webmail provider (we won’t name names), you may have been annoyed by its inbox ads. This is probably how it keeps its email service free, but then you have to put up with extra inbox clutter.
Why are email hosting and professional email important?
If your business is new, then you may be able to get away with using a free email address. But as your business grows, you should strongly consider investing in a professional email address.
Here are some reasons why:
1. Build trust with your customers
Using a free email address can make you look unprofessional, leading to judgment on the legitimacy of your business.
For instance, let’s say your website domain is www.sweetbakery.com. However, you’re sending your emails from the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, which you obtained from a free email provider.
The problem is that anyone else could have also gone to Email.com to sign up for such a free email address. How would people know whether emails that they receive from “email@example.com” are legit?
Less trusting customers might assume the email address is a scam, and refuse to do business with it (i.e. you).
What happens after that? You lose out on sales and revenue. This can hurt especially if most of your transactions with customers take place over email communication. (Freelancers and eCommerce store owners, we’re talking about you here.)
2. Assign dedicated email addresses to your staff
In a similar vein, if you employ multiple staff for your business, then you can’t be letting them use email addresses like:
The smarter and more professional approach is to invest in email hosting for business purposes. You can then have email addresses for each staff member, and/or for specific business departments. Such as:
Your email addresses will look cleaner and more professional this way. They can also be shorter and hence easier to remember. This benefits not just you and your staff, but also your customers.
3. You can’t send email marketing campaigns otherwise
The importance of professional email hosting also becomes clear if you intend to send email marketing campaigns.
For anti-spam purposes, many free email providers will block mass emails sent through their domain. In other words, your emails will never reach your recipients’ mailboxes—not even the dreaded spam folder.
If so, then all your hard work in crafting your email will have gone down the drain.
For this reason, email marketing platforms typically discourage their users from sending marketing emails with a free email address. You’ll need to get a professional email address for sending emails from instead.
4. Protect sensitive information
Would you like it if someone pried open your physical letterbox to read and even steal your mail?
Probably not. And all the more so for your emails, which might contain sensitive business data. If such data ends up in the wrong hands, it could be used for illegitimate transactions. It could even be sold on the Dark Web to other parties. Who knows what your data might be used for then?
Professional email hosting services implement robust security practices to keep their clients’ inboxes safe.
These measures work round-the-clock, ensuring that you never even see dubious emails that could contain phishing links or malware. As an example, GoDaddy filters out over 300 million unwanted and potentially dangerous emails every single day.
Even if shady emails still manage to slip past a professional email host’s defences, these emails still typically end up in the spam folder. From there, you can use the host’s features for marking such emails as spam.
This helps the email host know that such emails are spammy, so that it can detect and block similar emails in the future.
How much does email hosting cost?
In Singapore, email hosting typically costs between S$1 to S$6 per user per month. In particular, with GoDaddy, you can get started with professional yet cheap email hosting starting from just S$1.99 per user per month!
This is under the Individual plan, which includes:
- Email that matches your domain
- Up to 10GB of email storage
- Mobile-friendly web mail
- A calendar, contact book and task list
The Individual plan is a strong choice for solopreneurs getting their business off the ground. But as your business grows, you might find yourself needing more email storage or team collaboration features.
In this case, the Team plan might be up your alley. Costing S$2.49 per user per month and up, the Team plan includes everything in the Individual plan, plus:
- Up to 25GB of email storage
- Task assignment to your team members
- The sharing of calendars and contacts with your team
Whether you go for the Individual plan or the Team plan, you will also benefit from:
- A modern and attractive web mail portal
- 256-bit email encryption
- Ad-free email
- 99.99% guaranteed uptime
- Award-winning, 24/7 human support
- World-class data security and spam filtering (as mentioned, GoDaddy filters out over 300 million potentially dangerous emails every day!)
Also, if you’re using Microsoft 365 tools like Word or Excel for your business, don’t pay for these separately.
GoDaddy also offers professional email plans that come bundled with Microsoft 365. For instance, the Online Business Essentials plan costs just S$9.99 per user per month and up for:
- Professional email
- Cloud versions of popular Microsoft 365 apps
Separately, the S$15.99+ per user per month Business Professional plan gives you email and the installation of Microsoft 365 on up to five devices.
These email and Microsoft 365 plans also include a whopping 1TB of online storage for email and documents. You’ll have plenty of storage to tap on as your business scales!
Can I host my website and email separately?
Yes, you can.
In other words, you can use one host for your website, and another for your professional email. Let’s look at the pros and cons of this approach:
Pros of hosting your website and email separately
You can take advantage of better deals
Some hosts may have great deals on web hosting, but charge an exorbitant price for email hosting—and vice versa.
Hence, if you’re budget-conscious, consider shopping around for the best deals for both web hosting and email hosting.
These web and email hosting deals may not necessarily come from the same hosting provider. And if this is the case, it might be worthwhile to host your website and email on two separate hosts.
You decouple your hosting providers
You may have fallen in love with one hosting provider in the beginning. Over time, however, you find the hosting provider’s standards start to slip. Alternatively, they’ve raised their prices astronomically.
Whichever is the case, it may be time for you to move on to a different hosting provider. But if you’ve hosted your website and email with the same provider, then migrating both can be more tedious.
In contrast, if you’ve separated your web and email hosts, then “breaking up” with either one will be much easier.
Cons of hosting your website and email separately
Web and email hosting management may become more troublesome
A main disadvantage of hosting your website and email separately is that you’ll have to manage these on separate platforms.
This can involve:
- Remembering separate sets of login details, and adding to the list of things you need to remember
- Learning how to navigate separate client dashboards, especially if they have very different user interfaces
- Paying separate bills for web and email hosting, and possibly during different times of the month or year
Consider if such additional hassle is worth it. If you’d prefer a more streamlined approach to web and email hosting, then host both with the same hosting provider.
You can enjoy this convenience even if you’ve purchased web and email hosting from the same provider on different dates. Check with the provider if it can sync your billing dates to help you pay for both services together.
Free email hosting vs paid email hosting
As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Similarly, you don’t get what you don’t pay for.
So although there are plenty of free email services, what are you missing out on if you use them? Are there benefits to choosing free email hosting over paid email hosting?
Let’s weigh the pros and cons of both options.
Pros of free email hosting
- It’s free: The benefit of this should be obvious!
- You can change email providers anytime: Decided that you don’t like your current email provider? Then you can just switch. You don’t need to wait for your current email hosting plan to expire before doing so.
Cons of free email hosting
- No custom email domain: You won’t be able to set up branded email addresses for your business. As a result, your credibility may take a hit.
- Expect ads in your inbox: If the email provider isn’t charging you for its email service, then it must get its revenue from elsewhere, right? Well, this could come in the form of selling ad space in your inbox.
- Limited storage space: Free inboxes likely include a storage cap, which you’ll need to pay a fee to remove. But if you have to fork out money, then why not upgrade to a professional hosted email service instead?
Pros of paid email hosting
- Get a custom email domain: Instantly boost your credibility and professionalism with a business email address.
- Assign dedicated email addresses to your team: Give each staff member their own inbox, personalised with their name, so they can handle emails more efficiently.
- Save your email from the spam folder: Emails from free web mail addresses are more likely to be blocked, unlike emails from a custom domain. This is especially true if you’re sending mass emails.
- Remove inbox ads: No ads in your inbox = a cleaner, more enjoyable email experience.
Cons of paid email hosting
- It isn’t free: But given the benefits of professional email, might paying the fee be worth it?
Is a customised email included with your domain plan?
Some hosting providers include customised email with their website domain plans. Hence, when you purchase a domain name from them, you’ll also get professional email hosting thrown in for free. However, this can inflate your domain name bill if you don’t intend to use such email hosting.
GoDaddy offers email hosting separately from domains as an optional add-on. This way, if you need email hosting, you can get it together with your domain for the low price of S$1.99+ per user per month as mentioned above.
Or if you don’t need professional email at this time, then you can purchase just a domain from GoDaddy first. You can always sign up for GoDaddy’s professional email hosting plans later on.
Get started with professional email hosting
As should be clear by now, having professional email hosting is pretty much a must.
It doesn’t cost a lot, but can significantly pay off in building trust with your customers.
When you invest in professional email, you’ll also benefit from top-notch email encryption and security.
Will your free web mail provider be willing to go that distance?
So set your business up for success with the power of professional email services today! GoDaddy offers an excellent email service for large and small business users alike, with great features such as:
- A custom email domain
- Generous storage space
- 99.99% guaranteed uptime
Microsoft 365-bundled email hosting plans are also available if you regularly use apps such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint. If you have questions, get in touch with GoDaddy’s friendly support team. They’ll be happy to help you find the perfect email hosting plan for your small business!