Outlook and Office 365 are the gold standard for business email—but the annual fee isn’t always in the budget. Below is a simple process to use Outlook’s interface with your own, custom, email@example.com email address.
Basically, you’ll just forward all the mail from firstname.lastname@example.org to the Outlook account, and change a setting so outgoing mail says email@example.com too. That’s it!
In the long run, I do recommend signing up for Office 365. It’s just as cheap as G Suite, and you get Microsoft Word, Excel, Skype, and the rest of the Office suite with it. But anyways, let’s jump in.
1) Create a Microsoft account
If you’ve used Skype, Xbox Live, MSN, or bought a Windows computer, you probably already have a Microsoft account. But since this account will be for your business or nonprofit, it’s best to keep things separate. Signing up is simple and will save some headache long-term.
Here’s how to make the account:
- Visit the Microsoft sign-up page and click “Get a new email address” towards the bottom of the white box.
- Pick a new Outlook email address. firstname.lastname@example.org usually works well. Don’t fret about it too much, only you will ever see it.
- Follow the rest of the steps to add your name, birth date, and a recovery phone number. It will come in handy if you ever forget your password.
- Afterwards, you’ll be brought to your account admin screen.
2) Enable Outlook to receive mail at your custom address
Chances are, when you registered your domain your web host also included email hosting, or at least email forwarding. This method uses your webhost’s mail or forwarding to enable Outlook to receive email at your custom address. Below are the instructions for a few common webhosts.
If you’re hosted by GoDaddy, 1&1, Bluehost or Hostgator, you definitely have email hosting. If you use a different host, look at the Hostgator instructions–chances are your host uses the same interface.
If your host does not offer email hosting or forwarding, it’s a good idea to just subscribe to Outlook premium.
3) Enable Outlook to send as yourdomain.org
This step will allow you to send email as email@example.com using Outlook’s SMTP servers.
- Go to https://outlook.live.com to access your account.
- Click the gear icon in the top right, then Connected Accounts.
- Click Manage or choose a primary alias at the bottom of the page.
- Click Add email under the Account alias heading.
- Select Add an existing email address and type the custom address you wish to use.
- Outlook will send an email to verify your custom address. Since it’s set up to forward to your Outlook inbox, just return to https://outlook.live.com to find the email and click the link.
- Clicking the link will return you to the “Add email” page. Click Make primary next to your custom email to finalize the change.
4) Final Configuration
- Send a friend an email to test outgoing messages are marked with your custom email address
- Have them send you a message to confirm incoming messages are forwarded correctly.
And that’s it! You can now use Outlook’s interface with your own domain for free!
If you have any issues, comment below and I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction.