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.
There are plenty email providers on the market, but none of the most popular solutions offer free business emails. The thing to consider here is that you need a separate business email address even if you’re a small business owner. For instance, you’d expect from a big ecommerce store when they confirm your purchase to have one, so you can assume your customers will expect the same from you.
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 suit you better.
In this article, we’ll discuss four 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!
👉 FAQs in relation to free email domains
What’s an email domain?
In simple terms, an email domain is the part of the address that comes after the
@ symbol. For example, if your email address is
[email protected] then the email domain in this case is
What’s great about email domains is that they allow you to have a completely custom email address that features your business name or any other unique phrase that you want to use – and not the usual endings, associated with big companies.
Method 1: Get a free email domain with Mail.com
If you want a 100 percent free email domain without the need to purchase your own web hosting and/or domain name, you may want to consider using Mail.com. This service provider 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 a new startup and don’t mind using a generic domain name from a ready-made catalog, 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 protected] or
[email protected]. 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, select 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 into 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.
To set up your free email domain, go to Zoho Mail’s pricing page and scroll down to Forever Free Plan. You’ll find it near the bottom of the page and it’s less obvious than the paid plans.
Next, you’ll need to add your existing domain or buy one through Zoho. You can purchase a domain name for about $10 per year:
Select Add Now beneath Add an existing domain. Then, fill out the information in the popup window:
Once you click on Add, 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 can create your first email address, which will also become the primary administrator account. Click on Create.
Next, it’s time to configure your email delivery. You’ll need to log into 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. The exact steps might differ between companies, 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 into 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 a custom domain email address as part of the deal, as well as a free domain name for a year and a free SSL certificate.
This is an excellent choice if you want to establish a professional online presence. It’s easy to set up, works seamlessly with WordPress websites, and gives you many tools to start your first website.
First, head to Bluehost and choose your plan. The cheapest option starts at $2.75 per month, which is still more affordable than purchasing a new 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 into your Bluehost dashboard and in your control panel 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 Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird, or Gmail. Some users prefer this solution because it’s more convenient, as you don’t have to log into your hosting account to check your inbox.
Bluehost offers excellent support documentation, including tutorials on how to connect your Bluehost email to Outlook. You can also follow the instructions on how to set it up via Gmail.
Method 4: Get a free email domain from DreamHost
DreamHost offers a custom and free email domain with some of its hosting plans. Again, this method isn’t completely free. However, if you’re also in the market for a hosting provider, this could be a cost-effective solution.
Note that the email domain isn’t free with all of the hosting plans. For example, you’ll need to pay extra for an email address if you choose the Shared Starter package. Therefore, we recommend selecting the DreamPress option, starting at $16.95 per month.
Once you fill in all your details and pay for your hosting package, you’ll be able to choose a custom email domain address. You can do this by heading to your DreamHost dashboard and navigating to Mail → Manage Email.
Next, select Create New Email Address and enter your details. You’ll need to type in your chosen professional email address, password, and how much storage space you’d like to assign your inbox.
From here, you can respond to emails directly from your DreamHost dashboard. Alternatively, you can integrate your new address with a third-party platform such as Outlook. It’s that easy!
Frequently asked questions about free email domains
We’ve just provided a few different ways to get a free email domain. Now we’ll answer some of the lingering questions that you might have.
Currently, the only close-to-100% free email address with domain name is offered by Zoho, which has a forever free plan for small businesses. Keep in mind that while you’ll be able to get a domain name email for free, that you’ll still need to purchase the domain itself, which will set you back about $10 per year if you buy it through Zoho. Also, the plan does have limitations. It’s good for up to five users, with 5GB allocated for each user’s inbox, and email hosting for a single domain. If your email needs grow beyond that, you’ll have to upgrade to continue using the domain email address and the service. The good news is that even their premium services are highly affordable.
With many free email domains, you are not able to choose the exact domain. You’ll need to use a branded address or choose from a list provided by the company. However, if you receive a free email domain through your hosting provider, you’ll typically have full control over the domain name.
A free email domain can be worth it if it reflects your website’s domain name. If you have to choose a random email ending, it will do little to distinguish your address from “hotmail.com”, “yahoo.com”, “gmail.com” or similar. Therefore, we recommend checking to see if your website hosting provider enables you to fully customize your domain and retain your company branding.
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 four methods for acquiring a free email domain and free email account 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.
- DreamHost: Suitable for users who want reliable web hosting with 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 Google Workspace (formerly G Suite). You can learn more in our full Google Workspace 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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