Lately, I’ve been trying to make my “brand image” more cohesive, and one of the tasks on my list was to get a branded domain email. A branded email address is one that’s hosted at your website name, as opposed to a gmail.com or icloud.com email. With a branded email, you can make a better impression on your audience, whether it’s through a contact form or a business card. So you know you want a branded email, but how do you get one? I researched and tried a lot of different options to come up with the simplest solution possible. The best part is it integrates with gmail (or whatever other mail service you currently use for your business) so you don’t have to learn how to use a new mail app!
Out of all the services I tried, improvmx.com was by far the best. Their support team responded quickly when I had a question, and their service is very simple to set up. Here’s how it works: you enter your website name and your current email address, and they provide a free alias email. What this means is you get a new email, for example email@example.com, that you can receive mail at, and those emails will be automatically forwarded to your existing email address. There is no separate inbox for the new email, and no complicated forwarding setup. ImprovMX does all the heavy lifting for you! The steps I used to set up my new domain email are below.
Step 1: Go to www.improvmx.com and enter your website address and current business email in the box. The email you enter will be the one your new alias forwards to, so make sure it’s the address you want to receive and send email at!
Step 2: Follow the steps to add the MX records for your hosting provider. This is the service you bought your website from (GoDaddy, Bluehost, Namecheap, etc). This probably sounds really technical, but I promise it’s not! ImprovMX has guides to help you through the process.
Step 3: Once everything is set up, go to your dashboard and create your first alias email. I entered my name in the box, so my new email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Next, click the “test” button to make sure you can receive email at your new address. Check your inbox for the email address your alias forwards to. If you got an email from ImprovMX, you’re good to go!
Now that you can receive email at your new address, you need to set up your existing email account so you can send email from your branded address as well. This post will assume you use gmail, but the setup process is similar for most email services. ImprovMX provides an easy to follow tutorial, which you can see here: https://improvmx.com/guides/send-emails-using-gmail. After you have followed all of the steps, go back to the “Settings” > “Accounts and Import” page in gmail and change your default email address to the branded address you just added. This will make this the “from” address when you send emails.
And that’s it! You can now send and receive email with your new domain email address. If you want to add more aliases to receive emails (for example email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org), you can create up to ten for free in your ImprovMX dashboard. You don’t need to set up these ones in gmail unless you want to send email from them as well. The last thing you’ll want to do is change any public-facing mentions of your email address. This might include contact buttons on social media, mentions in your patterns, your customer support email for Ravelry or Etsy, or even your business card. You don’t need to worry about changing the email for all of your accounts or re-subscribing to every newsletter, since no one will ever see your old email there.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to creating a branded domain email address! We all know that branding is essential, and my goal with this post is to help other makers by sharing the simplest (and least expensive!) way to professionalize an area of your brand that you might not have thought about. If you run into any issues, please feel free to comment or email me at my ~fancy~ new email, email@example.com, and I’ll be happy to help!