Email Automations for Business

If you are starting a business and launching a new website, you probably want to have a professional email address to go with it, something like or And if you’ve never set up anything other than a free Gmail or Yahoo email address, you may be questioning how this all works. It’s okay to be confused, but today’s post will help.

What is email hosting?

Email hosting is a service that rents out and manages email servers. These servers store, send, and receive emails for your domain name. It’s different from free email services like Gmail or Yahoo in a few ways:

  • Professionalism: With email hosting, you get a custom email address that includes your domain name, such as “”. This looks more professional than a generic email address.
  • Features: Email hosting providers typically offer more features than free services, such as increased storage space, spam filtering, and mobile access.
  • Control: You have more control over your email with a hosting provider. For example, you can create multiple email addresses for your domain and set up custom rules for managing your inbox.

What does email hosting cost?

The cost of email hosting can vary depending on several factors, including:

  • Provider: Different providers offer various pricing structures and features.
  • Plan: Most providers offer different tiers of plans with varying storage, features, and user limits.
  • Features: Plans with additional features like advanced security or larger storage capacities will cost more.
  • Number of users: If you need email hosting for multiple users, the cost will typically increase per user.

Here’s a general breakdown of email hosting costs:

  • Free: Some web hosting providers offer free email hosting as part of their web hosting plans. However, these plans often come with limitations like storage space and features and in my opinion, are often harder to set up on devices if you aren’t well-versed in email settings.
  • Basic: Basic email hosting plans typically start around $1-2 per user per month. These plans offer basic functionality like email sending and receiving, with limited storage space and features.
  • Standard: Standard plans usually cost around $3-6 per user per month. They offer more storage space, additional features like spam filtering and mobile access, and sometimes even basic collaboration tools.
  • Premium: Premium plans can cost $15-20 or more per user per month. These plans cater to businesses with advanced needs, offering features like enhanced security, large storage capacities, and advanced collaboration tools.

Things to consider when choosing an email host

How tech/device savvy are you?
I probably get more questions about email than almost any other topic even though setting up email is generally not a service we offer. But I always want to help. So my first question is, how good are you at some of the tech savvy stuff that is required when setting up email? Do you need to set it up on your computer, phone, and tablet? Do you prefer just a web based email program? How easy do you need it to be?

What devices will you use it on?
One of the biggest issues with email is getting it set up and synced across devices. Different devices have different settings. Are you using an iPhone or Galaxy? A Mac or Windows? Consider what email platform will work best for your devices.

How much do you want to pay?
Professional email addresses can range from free to $20 a month. What is your price range? And why pay if you can have a Gmail address for free? While Gmail is perfectly suitable for personal use, there are several compelling reasons to consider using a professional email address instead, especially for business purposes:

  • A professional email address ending in your domain name conveys a sense of legitimacy and professionalism compared to a generic Gmail address. This can help establish trust with potential clients, customers, and partners who may perceive a free email address as less reliable or associated with personal use.
  • Every time you send an email, your professional email address acts as a subtle form of advertising. It reinforces your brand and domain name, increasing brand awareness and recognition. This is particularly beneficial if you have invested in building a strong brand identity.
  • With professional email hosting, you often have greater control over your email accounts and data. This may include the ability to create custom email addresses for different departments or individuals, manage user access, and implement stronger security measures compared to free services. Additionally, some professional email hosting providers offer enhanced security features like spam filtering and malware protection.
  • Many professional email hosting plans offer additional features and functionalities beyond what basic free services provide. These features might include increased storage space, calendar and contact management integration, mobile syncing capabilities, and even collaboration tools, enhancing your overall communication and workflow efficiency.
  • Using a professional email address ensures consistency across your entire organization. This creates a more professional and cohesive impression, especially when dealing with external parties. It also simplifies communication internally by eliminating confusion arising from using various personal email addresses.

My Top Recommendation: Google Workspace

As a general rule, when asked about professional email, I recommend Google Workspace. And is my list of reasons why:

  • You are probably already using Google products, so adding in email makes sense. Using Google Analytics? Google Drive? Google Business Listing? Why not email? Google Workspace integrates with all your other Google applications like Drive, Docs, Sheets, Calendar, and Meet, creating a unified and efficient workflow. This allows teams to collaborate on documents, share files, schedule meetings, and communicate directly within the ecosystem, streamlining communication and collaboration.
  • It’s easy to set up on your devices. Once you’ve activated it and it’s working, it is super easy to add it to all your devices because almost all devices are preconfigured for Google email. You just pick Google, enter your address and password, and boom, it works.
  • Google Workspace has robust security features like two-factor authentication, data encryption, and spam filtering, safeguarding your business email communication from potential threats.
  • Google guarantees 99.9% uptime, minimizing email downtime and ensuring consistent business operations.
  • It’s affordable, starting at just $6 a month.

Prefer Microsoft Products?

If you have a Windows based computer and are used to using Outlook, then you may want to look into Microsoft’s email platform. Microsoft 365 might be a great solution for you. It’s a little bit more expensive than Google Workspace, starting at $10 a month. Here are some benefits:

  • Businesses heavily invested in the Microsoft ecosystem, particularly those utilizing Microsoft Office applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, benefit from seamless integration with Exchange Online. This streamlines workflows, allowing users to access emails, edit documents, and collaborate within a familiar environment, potentially increasing productivity and reducing the need for context switching between different platforms.
  • Microsoft 365 prioritizes security, offering advanced threat protection, data loss prevention (DLP), and multi-factor authentication. DLP helps prevent accidental or malicious sharing of sensitive information, while advanced threat protection safeguards against malware, phishing attempts, and other cyber threats.
  • Many businesses and individuals are already familiar with the Microsoft Outlook interface used for accessing Exchange Online emails. This reduces the learning curve for new users and potentially minimizes onboarding time compared to adopting entirely new platforms, leading to quicker user adoption and smoother transitioning.

Looking for a cheaper professional email?

If you are limited by budget, another option for your email is Zoho, starting at just $1 a month per user. Zoho Mail offers several advantages tailored specifically for businesses, including:

  • Increased storage space: Zoho Mail’s free plan provides 5 GB of storage, significantly more than what most free services offer.
  • Enhanced security features: Zoho Mail prioritizes security with features like two-factor authentication and data encryption, which are often absent in free services.
  • Collaboration tools: Zoho Mail integrates with various collaboration tools, fostering efficient teamwork and information sharing, which is generally unavailable in free services.
  • Professionalism: Using a custom domain email address with Zoho Mail projects a more professional image compared to free email services.

What about cPanel email that comes with your web hosting account?

cPanel email refers to the email hosting service included within the cPanel web hosting control panel. It allows website owners and administrators to manage email accounts associated with their domain name. Here’s what cPanel email typically offers:

Management of Email Accounts:

  • Create, edit, and delete email accounts for your domain.
  • Set passwords and storage quotas for each email account.
  • Manage email forwarding and autoresponders.

Webmail Interface:

  • Provides a web-based interface similar to Gmail or Yahoo Mail to access and manage emails directly through the cPanel dashboard. (Although definitely not as user-friendly as those.)

Email Client Integration:

  • Allows you to configure email clients like Outlook, Thunderbird, or mobile apps to access your cPanel email accounts using POP3 or IMAP protocols. However, is typically more complicated and confusing to set up if you aren’t familiar with this type of email set up.


  • cPanel email typically comes with limited storage space compared to dedicated email hosting services.
  • It might require technical knowledge to configure and manage email accounts compared to user-friendly free email services.

Overall, cPanel email is a convenient option for website owners and administrators who already use cPanel for web hosting and want a basic email solution for their domain. However, it may not be ideal for users who need advanced features, large storage capacity, or prefer a more user-friendly interface.

Getting Started

Once you’ve decided on and signed up for your email hosting platform, there is some configuration that’s involved to make your email work with your domain. Just because you buy the email platform, doesn’t mean it will automagically work with your domain. There is some configuration to do.

Basically, this involves pointing your domain to your email host, so it knows where the emails should be going. And if you use a third-party platform like Google Workspace, then your email host is a different host than your website. This will involve editing your domains DNS records and can be a daunting task for those unfamiliar with DNS records. Some web hosts/domain registrars will offer you automatic configuration of your DNS records for Google, and this is a great option.

Resources for getting started:

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Amy Masson, Web Developer

Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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