When it comes to creating your business presence online, one of the most important things you can have is an email address hosted at your domain.
Having a domain email service lends a professional appearance to your business, which immediately goes a long way with potential customers. Because of this, many web hosts include free email hosting with the purchase of a domain and hosting package.
However, if you signed up for a web hosting provider that doesn’t include email service with a domain, there are a number of excellent free email hosting providers available to get your professional email set up.
For your convenience, I’ll highlight five of the best free email hosting solutions with a custom domain for your business:
- Zoho Mail (Versatile email service with user-friendly mobile app)
- GMX Mail (Support for extra-large email attachments)
- Yandex Mail (Includes unlimited mailbox space and integrated cloud storage)
- Migadu (Offers unlimited email addresses at your custom domain)
- Gmail with ImprovMX (Gmail-based solution for individual owners)
1. Zoho Mail
Recommended for: Small businesses with up to 25 employees.
Zoho Mail is one of the most popular free email hosting providers because it provides a wide range of services and is highly user-friendly.
Zoho Mail is ideal for small businesses in particular because it allows you to create up to 25 different email addresses at a single domain for free. In addition, each user gets up to 5 GB of storage space, completely free.
The Zoho Mail email client is very easy to use and resembles the interface of major email clients like Microsoft Outlook and Gmail. Importantly, there’s also a mobile app and browser-based client so you can access your business email from anywhere. All versions of the client allow you to organize your mail into folders and categorize messages with tags for easy searching later.
Finally, Zoho Mail makes it easy to control your business email. The administrative dashboard allows you to easily create new users and to set rules for delivering different types of mail to different sub-sections of your inbox. If you want, you can also use POP or IMAP to forward your mail to another address or email service.
It also has Out Of Office message feature, you can set up automatic-reply for a specific account, duration, or contact list. Still, there are a few downsides to using Zoho's free email service.
The first is that there's no way to import your contacts from social media, so you'll need to enter them manually. Secondly, there are no saved searches or smart filters that automatically categorize emails into folders.
- Up to 25 email addresses
- Mobile app available
- Each user gets 5 GB of storage space
- Excellent administrative interface
- No contact importing from social media
2. GMX Mail
Recommended for: Extra-large attachments.
GMX Mail is an extremely powerful free custom domain email hosting solution. This service offers unlimited inbox space and attachments up to 50 MB, which beats out nearly every other free email hosting provider.
However, the price for all of this data space is that the web-based email client is heavily clogged with advertisements.
The interface is divided into multiple boxes, many of which are simply ads, so it can be hard to get used to sifting through the client to access your emails at first.
In contrast, the mobile app displays fewer adverts and is much easier to use. For that reason, GMX Mail is best for businesses that are okay with running largely on mobile devices or with forwarding to another email provider.
GMX Mail does offer a number of useful features for keeping organized, including a calendar that automatically reminds you of upcoming events. You can also set auto-responses that are triggered when a customer sends an email, such as to your support email address. While the client doesn’t automatically create contacts when you send and receive emails, you can automatically import contacts from Facebook.
- 50 MB email attachments
- Mobile app has few advertisements
- Auto-responses available
- Able to import contacts from Facebook
- Web client has many advertisements
3. Yandex Mail
Recommended for: Integrated email and cloud storage.
Yandex Mail offers a number of incentives to use it for your business email, including the ability to create up to 1,000 individual accounts at your domain. Better yet, all of those accounts get unlimited mailbox storage and 10 GB of free cloud storage space. Attachments are limited to 25 GB, although much as for Gmail, attachments larger than this size are automatically uploaded to the cloud and sent as download links.
The Yandex Mail client is clean and customizable with a number of different themes, which makes it easy to tailor your inbox to what is most comfortable for you to sort through. If you don’t like the Yandex client, you can use IMAP or POP to forward your business mail to any other major email platform.
Another very helpful feature of Yandex Mail is the ability to send messages later, using a built-in timer. You can also combine multiple Yandex Mail accounts into a single inbox, which is useful if your business has multiple support email addresses.
The only downside to Yandex Mail is that the options for filtering are somewhat weak. That makes it difficult to automatically categorize incoming mail into different sections of your inbox or automatically assign labels.
- Up to 1,000 accounts
- Unlimited mailbox storage
- 10 GB free cloud storage space
- Few options for filtering mail
Recommended for: Unlimited email addresses at your domain.
Migadu’s plain-text website doesn’t inspire confidence, but don’t let that stop you from taking advantage of this highly adaptive free email domain hosting service. Migadu offers an unlimited number of email addresses at your custom domain, so you don’t have to worry about switching services as your team grows.
In addition, because the web client is relatively bare-bones, it loads much more quickly than many competing services’ web clients. Migadu also offers a responsive customer service team and is continuing to roll out new services.
Setting up your email is easy thanks to Migadu’s built-in domain nameserver. And, unlike with other free custom domain email hosting solutions, you don’t have to worry about your data being shared with third-parties or in-client advertisements. Migadu also offers advanced spam filters that make it simple to ensure your inbox is not cluttered with junk.
The main disadvantage of using Migadu is that all inboxes are limited to just 1 GB of storage space. That’s not a problem if you’re primarily sending text-only emails, but if attachments are common that space can disappear quickly. While emails forwarded to another account won't count towards your quota, Migadu warns that the company will ask you to upgrade if you abuse this workaround.
Also note that Migadu doesn’t offer accessory features like tasks and calendars, and there is no mobile or desktop application to access your email. That means you'll have to use the stripped-down web client version or opt to forward your email to another account.
- Unlimited email addresses
- Data remains private
- Advanced spam filters
- No mobile or desktop applications
- Mailboxes limited to 1 GB of storage each
Recommended for: Sole proprietors who want to use Gmail.
If you’re in business for yourself and would rather have business emails sent to your personal Gmail account rather than sign up for a free email hosting service, you can use ImprovMX.
This service uses aliases to automatically forward email sent to an address at your domain name to your existing Gmail account.
Getting setup is easy through ImprovMX, which walks you through the process of adding the necessary domain nameserver addresses to your domain name account. Once that’s done, all you need to do is add your new alias email address in Gmail under ‘Settings > Accounts and Imports > Send mail as:’. Just remember to also update your email signatures and 'Send from' settings in Gmail so that you aren't responding to business mail with your personal account accidentally.
Note that while your mail is showing up in Gmail, sending and receiving is still dependent on ImprovMX’s servers. Thankfully, ImprovMX boasts a 99.99% uptime and offers 24/7 free support via live chat.
- Integrates with Gmail
- Easy setup
- Free 24/7 support live chat
- Limited functionality for multiple users
- Incomplete RoR installation guide
Finding the Right Free Email Hosting Option
Having a professional email hosted at your domain name is an extremely important component of appearing professional to potential customers. While you can often get free email hosting through your website host, there are a number of services available that offer free custom domain email hosting.
Here's how the five free email hosting options I reviewed stack up:
- Zoho Mail is a versatile business email with a mobile app available
- GMX Mail supports huge 50 MB email attachments
- Yandex Mail includes unlimited mailbox space 10 MB of cloud storage space
- Migadu offers an unlimited number of email accounts at your domain
- Gmail with ImprovMX allows you to use Gmail with an email address at your domain
Did this guide help you choose the best free email hosting provider for your business? Let me know in the comments below!
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