If you’re running a business, it’s smart to obtain an email domain that’s consistent with your branding. Using a personal address to communicate with your customers doesn’t look professional and might undermine your credibility. However, finding a free email domain can be tricky.
Many web hosting companies offer free email domains if you purchase one of their plans. Some of them are a real bargain, and you can easily connect them to your Gmail account. Alternatively, if you don’t want any associated costs, there are other solutions that might better suit you.
In this article, we’ll discuss three methods you can use to create a free email domain, with or without purchasing web hosting or your own domain name. Let’s dive right in!
Method 1: Get a free email domain with Mail.com
If you want a 100% free email domain without needing to purchase your own web hosting and/or domain name, this is your best option.
This method won’t enable you to create a custom email domain, so it may not be the best solution for established businesses. However, if you’re a freelancer or just starting out and don’t mind using a generic domain name, it could be optimal for you.
Mail.com enables you to set up an industry-specific email account that’s completely free. You can pick from a variety of domain names such as “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Simply sign up for an account to get started:
Once you’ve filled in your details and chosen your password, click on I agree. Create an email account now. Then, click on Activate your account now, and you’re done:
Note that, unfortunately, this option won’t allow you to send and receive emails via Outlook or Gmail. You’ll have to log in to Mail.com each time you want to use it.
Method 2: Create an email domain with Zoho Mail
If you already have a domain name (e.g. for your website), you can use Zoho Mail to set up a matching email address for free. This email service offers a variety of plans, including a Forever Free Plan with access for up to five users, 5GB of data, and a 25MB attachment limit.
If you don’t already have your own domain name, you can purchase a domain name for about $10 per year.
If you want to avail of more advanced email features such as offline access or various calendar integration options, you can upgrade for as little as $1 per month. Note that the free version gives you web access only, so you won’t be able to use another email client.
To set up your free email domain, go to Zoho Mail’s pricing page and scroll down to Forever Free Plan – the Forever Free Plan is near the bottom and Zoho Mail makes it much less obvious than the paid plans. You’ll have the option to choose between Zoho’s generic domain or your own:
Select the first option, then click on Add. Next, enter your web address:
Then you’ll land in your setup area, where you’ll need to verify your domain using either the TXT, CNAME, or HTML method. Zoho Mail’s detailed setup guide gives you step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish this:
Once you’ve verified your domain, you’ll be able to create your first email address, which will also become the primary administrator account. Click on Create Account, then Proceed to Add Users if you wish to add your team members. Each will receive a unique email address and a password they can change once they log in.
Next, it’s time to configure your email delivery. You’ll need to log in to your web hosting portal, head to the DNS manager, and locate the section with your MX information:
Here, you’ll need to add a new record, specify the value as
mx.zoho.com, and set the priority to
10. Depending on which company you use, the exact steps might differ, so contact your domain registrar or web hosting provider if you’re unsure. You can also check out Zoho Mail’s setup guide for a configuration tutorial using GoDaddy.
Once you save your new MX record, it might require around 30 minutes to take effect. After that, you can log in to your account via Zoho and start using your new business email.
Method 3: Receive a free email domain from Bluehost
This method requires you to purchase a web hosting plan, so it’s not entirely free. However, if you need to host a website anyway, you can use an affordable option such as Bluehost and get an email domain as part of the deal.
First, head to Bluehost and choose your plan. The cheapest option starts at $2.95 per month, which is still more affordable than purchasing a domain or a dedicated email hosting service.
Once you’ve selected your plan, you’ll be able to register a website domain. If you’re unsure which name to choose, you can use a domain name generator that will give you suggestions and confirm their availability.
Once you’ve finished setting up your account, log in to your Bluehost dashboard and go to Advanced > Email Accounts. From here, you’ll be able to configure your email domain.
There are several ways you can start using your new email domain. For instance, you can use Bluehost’s webmail interface, or connect to a popular email client such as Outlook, Thunderbird, or Gmail. Some users prefer this solution as it’s more convenient, as you don’t have to log in to your hosting account to check your inbox.
Communicating with your customers using your personal email address doesn’t help your credibility. However, you probably want to avoid additional expenses associated with professional email domains. Unfortunately, free ones are hard to come by, but you do have some options.
To recap, here are the three methods for acquiring a free email domain that we’ve discussed in this post:
- Mail.com: The best option if you want a completely free email domain and don’t mind using a generic address.
- Zoho Mail: Free or affordable plans for those who already have a domain name.
- Bluehost: Ideal if you need web hosting and a custom email domain.
If you’re willing to pay a small monthly fee, you can also use Gmail with your own custom domain name via G Suite. You can learn more in our full G Suite email tutorial.
Do you still have any questions about how to create a free branded email address? Ask us in the comments!
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