Think of meeting someone new, whether in a personal or professional setting. In addition to physical attributes like a smile or an outfit, the all-important handshake goes a long way toward shaping a first impression — a firm, solid grasp is a sign of confidence and competence. However, some would argue that the limp-wristed, weak handshake can be a sign of submissiveness or an overly delicate nature.
Similarly, the email address you use for business helps consumers gauge how much they should trust your brand. Sure, a Gmail address is free and easy to set up, but 75% of consumers think having a custom email that matches your website is an important factor for customer confidence.
Luckily for small business owners, a free domain with email hosting is a common feature included with most plans. Learn how to pair your mailbox with your domain name and which companies make the brand experience enjoyable for both you and your email recipients.
Best Overall for Free Domain and Email Hosting
Simply put, customers flat-out expect your business to have a domain name and a website. Even if you run a brick-and-mortar shop, customers will turn to your online presence to learn about your brand’s location, hours, products, and prices. An email address that uses your domain name instead of the generic Gmail, Yahoo, or — gasp — Hotmail domain echoes your branding and oozes professionalism. A custom domain shows you’re serious about your company and that it’s not just some part-time hobby in which you’re unwilling to invest modest amounts of time or money.
Registering a domain name typically costs about $10 to $15 per year. However, the vast majority of hosts will include the first year of your custom domain as a free perk for signing up for a long-term plan. When shopping for a new email hosting provider, be sure to keep an eye out for this feature.
Our clear favorite company that provides the perfect balance between email hosting services and free domain management tools is Bluehost. The well-known provider has long built a reputation as a WordPress host, but any company powering more than 2 million websites has to know what it’s doing across the hosting spectrum.
For an affordable rate, Bluehost gives customers unlimited email and forwarding accounts, and three webmail solutions, plus supports POP3 and IMAP secure protocols for retrieving and accessing messages. In addition to boosting your credibility with a custom domain name and professional-grade email hosting, Bluehost is a trusted partner to help your business grow online. Read through and click on our review of the company below for more information:
Monthly Starting Price$2.95
- FREE domain and unlimited emails
- 1-click WordPress install and FREE site-builder
- $150 in advertising credits with Google, Bing, and Yahoo!
- Google app integration available
- POP3 and IMAP secure email, with 3 WebMail solutions
- Get started on Bluehost now.
See other top email hosts »
Best “Cheap” Email Hosting With Free Domain
Of course, starting up a new business means there will be some lean times as you establish a customer base and steady profits. But just because you need to save money doesn’t mean you have to accept shoddy and unreliable products. Because fast and secure email services are so critical to your business, don’t sacrifice features or performance when selecting a host.
Whether you’re communicating directly with customers about individual orders or using it to power ambitious email marketing campaigns, look for a professional email host that emphasizes performance, security, and reliability. What’s more, many top and affordable providers combine email and web hosting into one plan, further streamlining your investment into your online presence.
You’ll want to measure hosts based on their virus and spam filters, number of accounts, amount of storage space, and the ability to create aliases and forwarding accounts. Free migrations are always helpful, and IMAP support means you’ll be able to access your messages from any device. As a bonus, look for compatibility with familiar programs like Office 365 or G Suite; incorporating your custom domain name with familiar software will help you work and communicate more effectively. Of course, the final cherry on top of the email hosting sundae is friendly, personal support. Look for a company that provides a thorough and helpful knowledgebase, as well as 24/7 support via live chat, phone, and email tickets.
For us, no one checks all the boxes for a more affordable price than 1&1 IONOS. The highly regarded provider matches customers with a personal consultant who can provide knowledgeable advice and assistance specific to your needs. By seamlessly pairing custom domain names and robust email hosting features — along with scalable and high-performance web hosting — 1&1 IONOS is a great full-service option for those on a budget.
Monthly Starting Price$1.00
- FREE domain included with signup, or transfer existing domain
- Create up to 500 email accounts with $0.99/month plan
- Scale to more than 500 accounts with $4.99/month plan
- Web hosting package includes quick and easy email setup
- 24/7 support with performance and security extras
- Get started on 1&1 now.
See other top email hosts »
Best “Business” Email Hosting With Free Domain
Although social media and texting have surpassed email in terms of popularity and staying in touch with friends, email remains an essential top choice for communicating about business and transactions. Well-crafted emails are a great way to communicate with your customers or potential clients, all around the world. Phone calls can be daunting, labor-intensive, and tough to schedule, while social media is often too fleeting and unprofessional. Email messages introduce a level of sophistication and importance, and allow recipients time to absorb and act upon the information when it’s convenient for them.
Although email may seem outdated when compared with newer communication strategies, technologies, and platforms, entrepreneurs can act more efficiently and see much greater success. Numerous studies tout the effectiveness of the email marketing channel in building sales and customer engagement. According to the Direct Marketing Association and Demand Metric, email carries an average return on investment of 122% — more than four times higher than other marketing formats like social media, direct mail, paid search, and online display ads. Another study discovered that, while many businesses designate about 16% of their marketing budget to email campaigns, the messages contributed to 23% of total sales.
As your brand becomes more established and your messaging starts to resonate with your customer base, you’ll need larger storage capacities, more email addresses, and more tools for collaboration and productivity. Fortunately, several top-tier email hosts remove these restrictions for customers from the get-go. No matter which plan you choose with our favorite business email hosting provider, InMotion Hosting, you’ll receive unlimited email accounts and storage — and, of course, a free domain name. The company’s helpful support teams will seamlessly transfer your contacts and messages to their servers for free, and InMotion’s proprietary SpamSafe filtering service saves customers time and money by weeding out junk mail. Learn more about InMotion in our review, below:
Monthly Starting Price$3.99
- FREE domain for new and existing transfers
- 1-click app installer and over 300 apps available
- Business-Class hardware and eCommerce-ready options
- Unlimited SPAM Safe™ email with IMAP
- SSD storage, plus FREE data backups and SSL security
- Get started on InMotion now.