The 8 benefits of owning your own domain for email

The 8 benefits of owning your own domain for email

There are tons of benefits to having your own domain. I'm going to give you 7 benefits why owning your own domain for e-mail is better than just owning public "free" e-mails.

All e-mails and domains used in this article are fictional, any resemblance with reality are purely coincidental.

1 Get a professional Look

How many times haven't you seen some kind of "professional" who uses an gmail, yahoo, hotmail or another free provider for his/her e-mail address?
I don't know about you. Yet each time I see such a "professional" I'm having second thoughts.
He may be a true master at what he does yet it strikes me odd that (s)he won't go an extra mile to personalize his branding and professional look.

It's obvious that if you where given the choice, you'd rather do business with fred@friendlyplumber.com than with fred.friendlyplumber36@gmail.com

If Fred owns his own domain and even has a website the chances increase tenfold of doing business with your FriendlyPlumber.
Tech tech savy consumer will want to do business those who have a brand than an unknown person posting something on a forum.

Branding and marketing for small businesses can be with some simple tools.

A .com/.info/.net/.org domain name should cost anywhere between $15 and $20 per year + something extra for whois protection.
This is an extremely low investment which boosts your branding.

2 You control the name

This may sound trivial but you control the domain name. Which means that you can be creative and choose the part before the @ (at) and the part after it.
If you're feeling fancy you can even buy different domain names to target different types of customers. This is extremely useful in creating a Personalized Marketing Experience.
Read on and you're about to find out a trick on how to consolidate them all.

Big companies buy multiple domains to target even customers who might msipyte mistype.
In your case, as a small business it's always better to chose a domain name that has a low chance of being mistyped.
Thinking of the domain name is an important task as it will simplify many things.

The .com version is already taken ?
Don't worry, you can buy your own extension.. There are thousands of extensions available.

Take a look at which domains are available and order one today from Name.com.

3 You can reset your own password

Who hasn't had a bad password reset experience?
Nowadays all the big companies keep asking for all your personal information so they verify you.
Security problems are common. Unauthorized malicious people always trying to get access to your account. They can lock you out of your own account.
Working as a tech support in the past i've had numerous experiences of people telling me their stories.
Some where on vacation and they needed to go on their e-mail so they could get their passport copies and print their plane tickets!
They where locked out due to the fact that they where from an unauthorized IP location.
This meant that they where screwed and couldn't get their data. Imagine getting critical information and being locked out of your e-mail address.

Never again! With your own domain you can just reset your password easily.
Unless you've forgotten the main password for your Administrator Panel. Then you might have a small problem.
Even then, I'm confident the hosting company will be able to help you recover your data easily.

4 Extra Security layer

Public e-mail addresses are attacked every day. It's no secret that public e-mail addresses are EXPOSED and there is a growing list of e-mail addresses and common passwords.

Head over to https://haveibeenpwned.com/ and take a look. One of your "free" accounts might be there. Why? The more people who use a free service, the bigger chance there is for that system to be hacked.
When it's hacked, data is being leaked, so all your online identities might be compromised. A solution is
I had an old yahoo e-mail address. Yahoo had a leak. I used the same e-mail with 000webhost dropbox and other sites. They all had breaches. On the dark markets they consolidate all those databases.
So it's pretty easy to target someone only based on his/her e-mail address. I've since then decided to go with a private e-mail address AND use aliases.

I've talked about Password security before and it should be taken seriously. Use KeePass to generate strong passwords and to keep them encrypted on your computer.

With the system I will reveal you'll be able to have an extra layer of security and control the data.

5 You get to control who owns the data

I've talked about owning your own VPS for your domain in previous articles. I believe that the more control you have over your hosting, domain name and e-mail the more flexible you can be.
You're also not going to get fixed into going with a certain provider. No Internet service provider, no domain or hosting provier. Not even a e-mail provider. Flexibility means having options.
There are many people who host their e-mail with a certain Internet provider.
If you ever change your provider then you'll have a lot of issues. Especially when you have to change the domain or your e-mail address. You might lose customers.
Having your own domain and hosting for email means that even if you do change Internet or hosting provider you e-mail stays the same.

If you want the extra privacy and security then a VPS with your own MailServer is the way to do it. Although It adds extra privacy why not consider a small service for e-mail with your own domain like Mxroute?
I've given some reasons to why you might not want to run your own mail server on your VPS. Some include the overhead of maintainability and again, securit

6 Forward! Fight Spam at Unprecedented levels

You can fight spam at unprecedented levels by owning your own domain name.
It's extremely easy to do so. All you need to do is create one or multiple mailbox(es) which you will use on a daily basis.
info@yourdomain.com maybe contact@yourdomain.com or yourname@yourdomain or even something else like your favourite hero?

The next step is easy.
You create forwarders that automatically send your e-mails to those mailboxes. There are two types of forwarders I'd like to differentiate:

  1. Important Forwarders are the ones you use for certain accounts, customers, etc.
  2. Throwaway spammies.

If you're using your own VPS like I've talked about in Cloud Hosting, VPS, Shared, or At home Website Application Hosting Guide for aspiring Developers and Small Business Owners then you can create an unlimited amount of forwarders. Depending on your hosting this might or might not be the case for you.

These throwaway spammies help you fight spam and avoid certain security breaches. You know I've talked about the extra security layer, well this is one of them.

You can create one per year, month. Or even just a random name. andrei2018@domain.example.com
spammynovember2018@domain.example.com

Think about all the free stuff you can download by giving this e-mail address away.. and once you don't need it you can just delete the forwarder!
Just like magic.

Although It would be best if you unsubscribe from all places you used it so the other people don't get bounces nor complaints. Some providers might forget to unsubscribe you or even give your e-mail to other people
So these spam forwardres can help.

What I'd recomment

I only have 1 e-mail address. The rest are forwarders. The basic rule here is to ONLY give this e-mail address out to important people and accounts.
For the rest, use the forwarders or even a throwaway forwarder.

7 Catch them all with your e-mail address

First thing's first. A catchall e-mail address means that you can setup your domain to redirect all mails sent to your domain to one e-mail address.
This means that even if you haven't setup a mailbox nor a forwarder you will receive all mails sent to your domain to a certain e-mail address which you provided.
I personally don't use this as I'm not interested in non targeted e-mails.. I know of several businesses that do since it's easier than setting up a forwarder each thime.

If you're a business and want to receive e-mail on any e-mail address even weird ones then a catchall is for you.
The biggest benefits is that if someone mistypes the portion before the @ of your e-mail address then you'll going to receive the e-mail anyhow.

This is a big plus especially if you have a complicated name or if you've just made some new businesscards and there's a typo.
I've seen this in the past with a small business owner who sold me a workstation. Lucky for Him I already knew his e-mail address so it wasn't such a problem.

The downside of a catch all - Extra Spam

The downside of using catch all e-mail is that you'll probably get extra SPAM and unsolicited e-mails.
With the advent of SpamAssassin this might not be such an issue.

8 You can do some fancy stuff

I host my domain on my own VPS at Linode.
For a long period of time I've setup mail servers on VPS'es for myself and for other people including customers.
This has all the benefits you'd ever want.
There are also some downsides which i've explained of hosting your own e-mail on your vps.

What I've done is simple. I have my domain on my own VPS. You can do this on your own hosting provider.
Then I've setup DNS to split my hosting from my mail servers which are hosted at MxRoute.

To make it even more crazy I used to host my newsletters with Mailchimp but I do it now with Sendy, a cool newsletter software.
Sending bulk mails for certain apps was done with MxRoute but it's now goes via Amazon AWS's Simple Email Service (SES)!

All this is made possible thanks to the fact that I have my own domain name! Otherwise it would have been more complex.

What do you chose?

At the end of the day even if you enjoy using gmail, consider getting a domain and setup a forwarder to your gmail/yahoo/hotmail.
This way you can gather all your e-mails in one place.

Leave a comment and let me know what works best for you. Subscribe to my awesome newsletter containing tips and tricks to automatize your business.
In case you have issues, questions or want to start setting up your own domain name but don't know where to start contact me and I'll help you out.

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