One of the things I am often asked to provide when creating a website or digital marketing package for a new client is a custom domain email.
What is a custom domain email?
Custom domain email is an unofficial term used in my business for email addresses that use the business website’s domain name. For example, a custom domain for this website would be ‘email@example.com.’
Don’t try to use the above email I just used as an example; it might not go through.
If you can’t already tell, I’m not a big fan of custom domain emails for most small or starting businesses. In this post, I will explain why I discourage others from seeking out custom domain email so you can make the best decision as to whether this feature is a good fit for your business.
With custom domains, it’s less likely that your emails will be sent/received.
While most assume that the inner workings of email are simple, sending messages through the internet is quite complex. Every message you receive in your inbox has gone through thousands of filters and tests keep others from harming you.
One of the most significant considerations taken by email providers is the sender’s domain. New domain names are considered a risk from an email provider’s perspective. In comparison, free email provider like Gmail seem safe. Thus sending an email from an unestablished domain name like hello@—-.com will put email providers on alert.
In summary, messages from a new domain are less likely to be received. It takes time and effort to establish credibility with email providers. Thus if you want your emails to go through, there are options to make it work, but it ultimately takes more time and money than is initially predicted. Thus, it’s an important consideration early on and likely isn’t worth the bother.
Domain Emails require a connection to an active domain and email service provided, which tend to get neglected.
If payments are not made, for whatever reason, the email will become inactive. While cost is a definite concern, we will discuss that later. First, I want bring the dozens of possible logistical problems to light.
Lets set up a very common scenario.
What if your Instagram had 100k followers? You spent a decade building this audience. One day, your account is unexpectedly hacked, and Instagram requires you to reset your password with an old email. This is where the problem arises. The associated email address is no longer accessible because you no longer own the associated domain. You do a Google search to find who is using your past domain. They are based out of Vietnam.
After tracking down a translator and spending months and money to get ahold of them, they agree to give you access to your old email for 2000 dollars. You pay it and are able to recover your Instagram account. You have to rely on the foreign company’s honestly and hope that no-one in their business will try to access accounts associated with the old email. The list goes on.
You may be asking why I have such a detailed hypothetical scenario to tell. This example is not theoretical. I lived through it—our primary business email shoulders many responsibilities. We can’t afford to lose access to it because it will effect our bottom line. Thus, I strongly recommend using a free email account for all business accounts: banking, payments, accounting, website, email, etc. Attach all of these things to an email account that you will NEVER lose access to, or you are at risk of tremendous losses.
Custom domain emails generally cost more than free emails.
So I mentioned earlier that we would talk about the cost. Well, my preferred service for custom domain emails is Gmail. Gmail costs about six dollars per month per account (when this post was written). This service is currently referred to as Google Workspace. The service offers additional cloud storage and other great perks, but it’s not free. The six dollars add up over years and years. That 72 dollars year becomes 720 dollars in ten years.
I know there are some cheaper options, but I would argue that it’s not even worth bothering with less expensive alternatives unless they are already included in another service package you are already paying for.
Custom domain email addresses are not necessarily seen as a sign of establishment.
Many old-timers think it will impress prospective clientele now that they have custom domain emails. I have never once heard a customer say that using a customized domain email inspired their confidence in a business. I have heard business owners say so, but they are doing the selling, not the buying.
I think this is an excellent opportunity to point out that digital credibility can be attained in unlimited ways these days. I push gaining Google Reviews for those who have worked with me. I also try to grow your social media following and engagement. When people see a business with 10k followers on Instagram or 100 five-star reviews on their Google business listing, it means much more than a custom domain email.
Is there a point in which it makes sense to use custom domain email?
There is a point at which custom domain email is practical. If your business has a staff to take care of admin tasks like email management it will work great. Just understand, that custom domain emails are not something that can be passively managed. Domain names are like bitcoin and can appreciate in value. You don’t want to lose such a valuable assets because you forgot that a credit card expired.
So in short, if you are a business of less than five, maybe don’t worry about the custom domain emails yet. If you are a bit bigger, weigh some of the pros and cons. Either way, use a free email provider that’s safe to manage important accounts like: banking, domain, website hosting, accounting, billing, etc.
Mahalo for reading!
Thanks for checking out my blog. I hope this post was helpful. It means so much to me that you would take a minute to hear what I have to say. Please check out some of my socials or sign up for my newsletter. Also, if you would like to get ahold of me, install Discord and join my server. I would be happy to discuss this topic with you further on Discord.