Picking a custom domain email service (and why to never use your host!)

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The Life Coach's Tech Roadmap

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Hey there

It’s Jennie Lakenan, certified life coach & consultant for your web design strategy needs. Over the last handful of years I’ve designed dozens of websites for coaches. My mission is to get more coaching into the world and help elevate the quality of life of humans at large by delivering expert custom website design and strategy to coaches.

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The Life Coach's Tech Roadmap

The only 5 pieces of tech a coach needs to set up an online business without overwhelm.

5 simple website fixes to get more coaching clients

Five sure-fire ways to increase the number of clients you sign from your coaching website.

In this post, you’ll learn why you need a custom domain email service, and why keeping that email inbox separate from your hosting account is so important.

You’re getting set up in your business, and you want to start doing all the online business things. That includes building an email list of interested leads and marketing to that list to convert those leads into paying clients.

But what are all the moving parts to doing that? Do you need a professional email set up to start building a list, or can you simply use your Gmail account?

Setting up a custom domain email is important

Setting up a domain email (yourname@yourwebsite.com) is important for several reasons.

Having that email is a credibility booster. It shows that you’re serious about your business. If you don’t have one, potential clients might wonder if you’re trustworthy (or if you’re just too cheap to purchase one, or too lazy!).

You only get one chance to make a first impression — don’t let questions like those hurt your first impression with potential leads!

Domain email is required for list building

If you want to build an email list, you pretty much have to set up a domain email. Most email providers (like Gmail or Yahoo) issue a block whenever any bulk email is sent from their domain.

That means if you set up MailChimp to send bulk email, but you’ve set that account up with a Gmail address, it’s likely your subscribers won’t be getting your MailChimp emails.

In fact, most bulk email services these days require a domain email (@yourwebsite.com) to even create an account. This includes Mailerlite, which is the bulk email marketing service I recommend (more on why here).

So, moving forward, it’s best to use your own domain email to ensure your email list leads are getting your emails!

Most web hosting comes packaged with domain email

If you’ve already purchased hosting for your website via the likes of Bluehost or Siteground, then you may already have a domain email inbox set up. You may even have done some fancy magic to forward emails sent to that domain email to your private @gmail.com inbox.

What’s wrong with that set up? Why not just keep the web host’s domain email inbox? Is there any real benefit to switching over to G Suite or some other domain email provider?

Don’t rely on web hosts for domain email

Using your web host to house your website AND your domain email isn’t best practice. Here’s why:

1. If your host is down, your email is down.

Using your host for domain email is putting all your eggs in one basket. If the host’s servers go down for any period of time, that also means any emails being sent to your domain email inbox aren’t going to come through. That’s bad news if you regularly use your email to interact with clients, like I do.

2. Migration is a breeze.

Migrating your website from one host to another is much, much easier if you don’t have your domain email tied up with the host. You don’t have to migrate your email AND your website. 

If you have a domain email with your host, and you want to switch, it’s quite a pain to try and move over all your old emails to a new host inbox.

3. It’s more secure.

Keeping web hosting separate from domain email is more secure. That’s simply because there are more credentials a hacker has to figure out.

If your email is on your host, it’s likely a hacker only needs your host login to access your domain email inbox!

(I also recommend using a password manager to store those passwords — here’s why.)

4. Deliverability is better

If you set up a third party email service like Google Workspace instead of keeping domain email on your host, your emails are more likely to actually be delivered.

Those third party email providers go to great lengths to ensure emails you send actually hit inboxes instead of bouncing and going to spam.

5. The interface is better.

Web hosting domain email inboxes are usually really clunky. This is in severe contrast to the awesome interface of Google Workspace, which is comparable to Gmail. If you’re used to Gmail, then you should know that Google Workspace is no different!

Here’s an example of a domain email inbox with the web host, Bluehost:

And here’s an example of a domain email inbox with the third party email provider, Google Workspace:

In short, it pays to pay for a separate, 3rd party email service. I don’t recommend using your web host.

Here’s how to set up a 3rd party domain email

Google Workspace is the third party domain email I recommend. I recommend it because:

  1. You’re probably already familiar with it. If you’ve ever used Gmail, then your Google Workspace inbox will look exactly the same.
  2. It’s inexpensive. Google Workspace is $6 a month for a single user at the time of this writing. That’s super reasonable for the quality of deliverability you get with Google Workspace.
  3. It’s easy to set up. Google Workspace actually has a really handy set up wizard. More on that in a minute.

Are you ready to set up Google Workspace?

The first step is to sign up for a basic account here

And yes, that is an affiliate link. But only after referring at least a dozen of my clients to Google Workspace as well as using the service myself for over two years. I recommended it long before I set up any affiliate relationship with Google Workspace.

Then follow the Google Workspace set up wizard here.

It’s a pretty straightforward process with Google’s set up wizard. The tricky part will be editing MX Records with your domain registrar. The good news is Google Workspace’s set up wizard will guide you step by step through that process. So press forward, and when in doubt, Google is your best friend.

Now you know why keeping your email separate from your web host is so important, and how to go about setting it up with Google Workspace.

I hope that was helpful!


P.S. Setting up domain email for your business is really important, especially if you’re planning to do any list building.

Most web hosts include domain email in their packages, but it’s best not to rely on that for security, deliverability, and convenience.

You can sign up for a 3rd party email service via G Suite here (BIG SCARY affiliate link!).

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