We have covered the advantages of using a domain email address in another post. The first step to doing this is to use an email forwarder. You set up firstname.lastname@example.org to forward to a different email address (often hotmail or gmail). This works for incoming email so you can publish the domain email address on your website or leaflets.
Sending from an email forwarder
The big limitation on forwarders is that you cannot normally or easily send from them. There is a good reason for this: there is no way of proving that you have a right to do it – so anyone could send from them. Email providers carry out a range of checks designed to make sure emails only come from the right places in the fight against spam. This means that even if you manage to send the email, it may well be stopped as spam or junk by the recipient’s email server.
The only reliable way to send from an email address is to have a mailbox. That way the emails get sent from a consistent place. Apart from the cost of the mailbox, the down side is that you have another account to link up to in your mail client or a different webmail to log into. The upside is that it separates your personal mail from your business mail.
There is an additional benefit for organisations where the officers change on a regular basis. As all communications to e.g. membership secretary are in that mailbox, you can pass the whole mailbox on when someone else takes over. Separating correspondence from private or other business emails is also good for GDPR. No more going through your inbox and sent items before you hand over!
The place for email forwarders
Even when you have mailboxes on your domain, there is still a place for forwarders.
- You may want emails from certain sources to go to more than one person. For example, use contact@ on your contact form and forward it to both the chairman and membership secretary. They can respond from their own email address.
- You can set up forwarders to committee@ to send emails to everyone on the committee without having to remember every name, or keep a local list up to date.
It is not too late to change
If you already have forwarders, you can change these into mailboxes. Your web hosting may include mailboxes (but check the sizes) or you can buy them separately. We recommend Clook email hosting for small organisations where you need multiple mailboxes, but do not have a large throughput. Otherwise, we would suggest you start by looking at what your hosting provider offers. It generally makes for an easier setup and reduces the number of companies you are dealing with.
Although you can run a business or organisation using forwarders, mailboxes are a good investment as they look professional and help you organise your email.