Custom Email Domain: 6 Reasons You Should Get One in 2024

custom email domain

Ever wondered how people get those fancy custom email domains? Tired of being stuck with a generic “@gmail.com” address?

Then you’ve come to the right place! In this guide, we will explore everything you need to know about custom email domains, from purchasing your first domain name to setting it up with your email provider.

So without further ado, let’s explore.

Mailfence - Get your free, secure email today.

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Mailfence - Get your free, secure email today.

4.1 based on 177 user reviews

What is an Email Domain?

Before going into custom domains, let’s define what an email domain is first.

An email address typically has a format like yourname@mailfence.com. Let’s break down each part.

Different sections of an email address
Different sections of an email address

The email domain is located after the @ symbol. In this case, the domain is “mailfence”. The domain basically identifies to which server emails need to be routed. When somebody sends an email to an @mailfence.com address, the email provider knows to route the email to Mailfence’s servers.

Right before the @ symbol, we have the username. This identifies the recipient of the email within those servers.

Finally, the “.com” section is called the Top Level Domain, or TLD. This could be .com, .org, or country-specific TLDs such as .be, .co.uk and more.

What is a Custom Email Domain?

Now that we’ve identified what an email domain is, what is a custom email domain?

When you create an account with an email provider, you get their default email domain.

Want to create a Gmail account (we advise against it btw)? That will be “johndoe@gmail.com”. Want to create a Mailfence account? By default, that will be “yourname@mailfence.com” (even though we let you set your own email domain, more on that later 😉).

However, you have surely seen people using email addresses such as “johndoe@johndoecompany.com”, or “janedoe@doefamily.com”. That is precisely what a custom email domain is.

Example of a custom email domain
Example of a custom email domain

A custom email domain is basically your own personalized email domain. You are still using Gmail or Yahoo or Mailfence, but you are simply replacing their default domain with your own.

But how do you get your custom email domain? Where do you get it? Do you need to pay for it? Let’s answer all of these questions.

How Do I Get My Own Custom Email Domain?

A custom email domain must be bought to possess the right to use it. This means there are two steps you need to follow before being able to use a custom email domain:

  1. Step 1 – Registering a domain name
  2. Step 2 – Setting up that domain name for your email address

Let’s explore both these steps.

Step 1: Registering a domain name

Before you can create a custom email address, you’ll need to register a domain. This is the address that a visitor might type into their browser to access your website.

For example, let’s say your business is called Flying Donuts.

Your goal would then be to buy the domain “www.flyingdonuts.com”. You can then use that domain for your custom email address (for example, “john@flyingdonuts.com”).

To register a domain name you’ll need to:

  1. Find an ICANN-accredited domain name registrar (popular choices include GoDaddy and BlueHost)
  2. Search for an available domain name (meaning no one is already using it)
  3. Choose your domain name suffix (.com is the most popular choice, but there are also .net, .io, .co, etc.)
  4. Purchase your domain name (the price will depend on the registrar, but on average it will cost you around $10-15 per year to get a domain name. If your domain name is sought after (like one-word dictionary names), it will cost you more.
  5. Finally, add WHOIS privacy. WHOIS is a public “address book” of the Internet, which means that anyone can find out that you own a specific domain. If you don’t want that, check if either your domain registrar or the hosting provider has a domain protection plan.

Let’s come back to Flying Donuts. I’m going to check on GoDaddy if the domain name is still available:

Example on an unavailable domain name
Example on an unavailable domain name

Unfortunately, that domain name is no longer available 😔

However, if we go to www.flyingdonuts.com, we are redirected to a page telling us the domain is actually for sale:

Example of a domain name for sale
Example of a domain name for sale

The only question now is do we want to spend USD 995 for this domain name. Otherwise, Bluehost shows us other TLDs for which this domain is available:

A list of alternative TLDs that are available
A list of alternative TLDs that are available

Once you’ve registered your domain, it’s time to set your custom email address.

Step 2: Using your domain for a custom email address

Once you’ve purchased your domain name, it’s time to link it to your email address.

Each email provider will have different steps that configure your custom email domain. Let’s look at a few.

Custom email domain with Mailfence

To configure your custom domain address in your Mailfence account:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Messages > Email domains > Add an email domain.
  2. Enter your domain name, and proceed to the verification.
  3. Set up DNS SPF & DKIM records.

For a detailed step-by-step guide, check out this Knowledge Base article on custom email domains.

Note that you will need a paying subscription.

Custom email domain in Gmail

To set up your custom email address in Gmail, follow these steps:

  1. Create your Gmail account.
  2. Open the Google Workspace setup tool.
  3. Add the MX records for Gmail to your DNS console in your domain dashboard. 

For more information, check out this guide here.

Custom email domain in Outlook

To set up your custom email address in Outlook, follow these steps:

  1. Create your Microsoft 365 account.
  2. Go to the admin setup page and navigate to “Get your custom domain set up” > Manage > Add domain.
  3. Enter your domain name, then select “Use this domain”.
  4. You will then need to log into your hosting provider (GoDaddy for example) and verify your ownership there.

6 Reasons to Get Your Custom Email Domain

Having an email with a personalized domain has many advantages. When you launch a business, you need to create a new brand and its name is a big part of it.

Having your own domain for your email address is a way to make you look more professional and trustworthy.

Even for personal purposes, a customized email address can create a sense of belonging, such as for family members.

#1: Build trust

A custom email domain is part of your branding process.

People will tend to trust you more, as a personalized email address is more professional than a generic one.

Would you open an unsolicited email from an email address that could belong to anyone? If you have studied our email security and privacy awareness course, we guess you wouldn’t! As you cannot change first impressions, you might want to pay attention to this. Moreover, generic-looking addresses with the domain of your provider such as sales@mailfence.com or info@mailfence.com are likely to be already taken.

#2: Consistency

A custom email domain is also a way to create consistency, which is vital for your brand to thrive. Indeed, with a personalized domain, all your employees’ email addresses can be set as, for example, firstname@mydomain.com. Therefore, it makes it easier for your clients to contact any employee just by knowing their name.

#3: Simplicity

In case someone wants to email you without knowing your exact email address, one could simply send an email to anything@mydomain.com. Indeed, if you have set up a catch-all address, all messages sent to any invalid email address with the right domain will be received.

However, this can only be done if you have your own custom domain.

This means you will never again miss requests from potential clients!

#4: Control over your data

With a custom email domain, you have more control over your email data and privacy. You can choose your hosting provider and ensure better data protection and backup practices.

This also means that if the email provider shuts down, you won’t lose your email address.

You can simply find another email provider, and set up your custom domain there.

#5: Uniqueness

A custom domain makes your email address unique and easier to remember, distinguishing you from the crowd of generic email addresses and helping you stand out.

#6: Avoid complicated email addresses

With a custom email domain, you avoid complicated email addresses such as john345672@gmail.com. Instead, you can have a simple address like john@johnscompany.com.

Final Tips on Custom Email Domains

That’s it for this guide on custom email domains! Hopefully, you now have a better grasp of how they work, and how to set up your own.

Before we wrap things up, here are a few tips to follow when setting up your own custom email domain:

  • Keep your domain name short and simple. Just use your company name as an email domain. This is not the place for advertising, or describing your product, even if you think it’s the best product ever created.
  • Keep it professional. If you’re using a personalized email domain for professional purposes, keep it this way! Avoid using it for personal reasons. For instance, don’t use it to register on social networks.

Got any questions? Feel free to drop us a line at support@mailfence.com.

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