Getting The Most Out Of Your Business Email

One of the most important considerations you’ll make early in the website creation process is what email you’re going to use to conduct business. It may not be obvious at the moment, but you will often have to employ many different services to provide your website with rich features and interactivity. And like everything else, these services will require an email address. So you’ve got to do some hard thinking and decide which email address you’re going to use to coordinate all this activity. (You can decide later, but it can be a pain migrating emails to a different inbox.)

In this article, I’m going to walk you through the differences between business email and personal email, and maybe help you decide which path to take.

tl;dr: Business email costs money and personal email is free. One looks more professional and one less so. You can do whatever you want. It’s your privilege and your pleasure.

Business Email and Personal Email

There is some overlap between these terms, so I’m going to break it down as simply as possible.

I define business email as any email address that uses your business domain name. Some people may call this “email with a custom domain,” but it means the same thing. For example, if your business is called Example Corporation, your business email address might be

I define personal email as free hosted email uses Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Proton, or other email hosting services. In this example, your personal email might be something like

Pretty basic stuff! The difficult question is: Do you need a business email or can you get by with a personal one?

Why does it matter?

Business email is preferable for the following reasons:

  • Appears more professional
  • Unique to your business
  • Can be hosted privately
    • Necessary for certain businesses
    • Increased security

But, of course, email hosting costs money. It’s not a crazy amount of money, but it might be more than you’re willing to spend. Depending on your budget, you can get some of the same advantages of business email without the costs.

1. Google Workspace

“Google owns my ass,” says a good friend of mine. What he means is that he hosts his business email with Google and using other Google Workspace services like documents, calendars, and spreadsheets. All of this work is archived at Google.

There are pros and cons to this approach. Among the pros are:

  • Google email hosting is excellent. You can pretty much guarantee that everything you need will hit your mailbox.
  • Google’s spam reduction is among the best in the industry.
  • The Gmail interface is top-notch, with great search, so you are unlikely to lose anything.
  • Managing your own email server is notoriously difficult and time-consuming.

The cons are:

  • Google scans your content, so there are privacy issues that might be relevant to you or some of your associates.
  • Google might end up “owning your ass”.
  • Added hosting costs.

If you decide to opt for Google Workspace (or another email hosting provider) I would recommend using as few emails as possible because you can forward as many emails as you like into your main inbox.

2. Email Forwarders

Most domain registrars let you add free email forwarders to your domain. (This is one of my favorite little email tips.) It means you can create virtually unlimited email addresses with your domain name and forward them to any inbox you like. But note: these are not hosted mailboxes; which means, you can’t use them the same way as a fully hosted mailbox.

Let’s use me as an example. Let’s say my primary business email address is This would be a fully functional hosted mailbox I use to send and receive emails and conduct business. But, let’s say I want a special email address just for non-business inbound communication. For example, let’s say whenever someone wants to send me an interesting link or YouTube video I want them to send it to This way, I can receive links to fun stuff from other people, and I can set up my main inbox to filter messages sent to this address and put them in a special folder called “Fun Stuff!” This helps keep my main inbox clean by reducing clutter, and I don’t have to pay for email hosting for

You can also set up email forwarders through your host’s cPanel. But I’d recommend doing this through the domain registrar (if they offer it) because you will more likely switch hosts over time than you would a registrar. (I currently use Epik.) And why have to move all your forwarders?

Also of note, if you decide to use a personal email instead of a business email box then you can still take advantage of email forwarders that use your domain name. You can simply forward and filter these inbound messages to your Gmail or Proton account. It’s your privilege and your pleasure.

3. Using WordPress For Email

This is a bit of a lazy workaround, but if you’re committing to NOT paying for email hosting, it might be a good option for you. You can have your WordPress site send emails to you, or out for you, without email hosting. There are many different ways to do this, so I might revisit this topic in the future. So stay tuned.

3.1. Sending In WordPress Without a Business Email

The WordPress content management system provides email services out of the box. For example, if I want a notification from every time someone fills out a contact form on my site, I can have my WordPress site do that and simply forward it to a free Gmail account.

Email forwarding! As you can probably tell, I really like email forwarding.

However, you still need to connect the WordPress email services to some sort of email provider. (Often, your web host will take care of this. But if you’re using your own private server, probably not.)

There are two important types of email services you will want to consider with WordPress:

  • Transactional
  • Marketing

Transactional emails are one-time single-user messages, like password reset requests, system notifications, etc.

Marketing email involves mass email campaigns like newsletters. These often require additional parameters to avoid spam.

In both cases, transactional and marketing, you will want to use third-party email providers.

For marketing, Mailpoet is a WordPress-specific solution for all marketing-type emails. Also, if you don’t want to use Postmark, Mailpoet can handle all of the transactional email as well.

If you only need transactional, I like to use Postmark. They have a WordPress plugin that connects to their API, so it’s very easy to set up. This is one of the first things I do when I set up a new site. And, because of email forwarders, I can have any domain I manage send me emails from WordPress so I never miss important system notifications (unless I simply neglect to check my main inbox).

3.2. Ticketing System (Mostly Free) and CRM (Mostly Paid)

In recent years, I’ve been interested in seeking alternatives to conventional email systems. Email is an older technology than most people realize. With so many better options available now, it makes you wonder why email lingers. But it does!

I’m not saying we need to burn down the system! 🔥

But if you’re interested in sending and receiving from your WordPress site, without expensive hosted email, there’s an option you might want to consider.

There are support ticket plugins available for WordPress that will allow you to send and receive from any email account you control without an actual inbox. All of the conversations will be saved in your WordPress database for later review.

As you will recall from above, you can use a tool like Postmark (which is free up to a certain number of email transactions) to handle transactional email from WordPress. The ticketing system allows someone to open a ticket on your site to begin communication, and then you can reply from within WordPress, and the user who sent the initial request will get an email reply with a link to continue the conversation via submission form on your website.

Now, this is not normal email communication and is generally reserved for support-related questions. But think about it. This could be a good way for you to keep an ongoing dialog with your customers and keep them on your website.

Very unconventional, but I mention it as something you might consider as an alternative to conventional email messaging.

Note: there are also customer relations management (CRM) software packages that work similarly.

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