Online stores are numberless and, unfortunately, so are scam online stores. You clearly know that you need to stand out and gain customers' trust, in order for them to place their initial order on your store, recommend your store to their friends & family and buy again from your Shopify store. One of the simplest things you can do towards this direction is to create a business email account.
GoDaddy conducted a survey amongst 1,000 US small business ecommerce customers, investigating factors that make customers trust an online business. Having a business email address ranked 4th!, right after online reviews, amongst 10 trust factors. What’s more, online reviews outranked having a business email account by just 1%. You can easily understand why having a business email address is as important as online reviews for building trust with your potential store customers.
Here are some more findings that you shouldn’t overlook:
33% of respondents distrust the trustworthiness and legitimacy of an online business with a personal email address
So, having a business email address is of great importance for your Shopify store, as there is an underlying sense of credibility and trust for your potential customers. It’s your first attempt to show your customers that you look and are professional and earn their trust. Moreover, you will be able to use a variety of email marketing & SEO tools that require a business email address to register. Last, but certainly not least, your customers will be able to easily identify your email by your brand name, so not to mark your communications as spam.
In this post, we will walk you through creating a free business email with Zoho. We’ve made every effort to write this post in a plain -as plain as possible- language, so that it is a practical guide for Shopify store owners with little or no technical knowledge.
Zoho Mail is an ads-free email service for hosting your business email accounts, offering a secure, encrypted and privacy-guaranteed solution. There is a Forever Free Plan, which allows you to create email addresses for up to five users and offers 5GB of storage per user, 25MB attachment limit, two-factor authentication for signing in with an additional secure code, e.g. received via sms and many more features.
We do not affiliate in any way with Zoho nor does this post contain any affiliate links.
Important: You need to have a custom domain name for your Shopify store, instead of the myshopify.com one.
Go to https://workplace.zoho.com/orgsignup.do (see notes below if you prefer to create an account with data storage in EU), fill in your domain name (or buy a domain name if you don’t already own one) and click "Add":
You will be presented with a summary of your information and, as long as everything is correct, you should now click on the "Sign up" button to create your account:
At the very next step, you will be asked to verify your mobile phone number by entering the verification code sent:
After you’ve verified your phone number, you will be asked whether you want to enable two-factor authentication. You can simply click "Remind me later" and check this out at a later time.
After enabling or skipping two-factor authentication, you will be redirected to Zoho Mail control panel, where you will be firstly asked to verify the ownership of your domain. Zoho offers three ways to manually verify your domain: CNAME, TXT record and HTML methods:
In this post we will go through the CNAME method. If, for any reason, this doesn’t work for you, visit Domain Verification in Zoho instructions for applying the TXT record or HTML verification method.
In Zoho Mail control panel > Verify domain, select your DNS hosting provider from the dropdown menu, e.g. Shopify, GoDaddy, Bluehost, wherever you bought your domain name. This is your DNS Manager.
Then, click on the CNAME tab to generate your unique CNAME record and copy your record along with the starting "zb" letters.
If you have purchased your domain name through Shopify, open a new tab in your browser (do not close the Zoho Mail control panel tab) and login to your Shopify admin account, go to "Online store" and click "Domains". Under "Shopify managed domains", locate and click on your domain. Then, in the “Emails hosting service” section, click "Use third-party hosting service", select "Zoho Mail" as your provider, enter / paste your CNAME record and click on the "Save" button.
If you have a different DNS hosting provider, open a new tab in your browser (do not close the Zoho Mail control panel tab) and login to your DNS Manager. Locate the section where you can update your DNS records (usually Domains > Manage DNS). Click to create / add a new CNAME record and paste your CNAME to the relevant field: "Name", "Host", "Alias" or "CNAME" (naming of the field varies among DNS Managers). Then, go back to the Zoho Mail control panel tab, copy the "Points to" value and paste it in your DNS Manager too ("Value", "Points to" or "Destination" field). Save your created record.
Now that you have created your CNAME record in your DNS Manager, go back to your Zoho Mail control panel tab (do not close the DNS Manager tab) and click "Proceed to CNAME verification" to complete the process. If the verification fails, just wait for your CNAME record to be propagated, as it may take up to an hour and try again later to complete the verification of your domain. You may type zb******.<yourdomain.com> at https://mxtoolbox.com/CnameLookup.aspx to check if your domain’s CNAME value has been properly propagated.
After your domain is verified, you can start creating your email account, email addresses for your users and group emails.
Tip: Create group email addresses, instead of users, for e.g. contact, support, returns, info@<yourdomain.com> etc, so you can access them all through your created email address and not having to login to several email accounts.
After having created your email account(s) and your group emails and, you need to add the MX records [mail exchanger records] to your DNS Manager, in order to be able to receive emails. MX records designate the email servers that will be receiving incoming emails for your domain.
If you have completed your CNAME domain verification process through Shopify, then there is nothing more for you to do, as the MX records are created automatically when adding your CNAME record. If you have a different DNS Manager, here is what you should do next:
Go to Zoho Mail control panel > Configure email delivery to find your MX records. Then, go to your DNS Manager tab, where you created your CNAME record, and click to create / add a new record of MX type. Copy the "Host name", "Address" & "Priority" values of the first MX record from Zoho Mail control panel and paste them in your DNS Manager in the respective fields. Save the record and repeat for the rest MX records.
The MX records for an email account created with Zoho .com server are:
And the MX records (priority - address) for an email account created with Zoho .eu server are:
Go back to Zoho Mail control panel > Configure email delivery and click on the "MX Lookup" button at the end of the page. If everything has been set up correctly, you will see an OK status next to each MX record. If something is wrong, make sure that the correct MX records are added in your DNS Manager.
You are now all set to start sending and receiving emails through your business email address.
Last, but not least, it’s of great importance to secure your business email address against spoofing and ensure your emails do not end up in the spam folders of your recipients.To do this, you need to add two last records in your DNS Manager: SPF [Sender Policy Framework] record and DKIM [DomainKeys Identified Mail] signature.
You may be tempted to skip this step. You are strongly advised not to do so. Keep in mind that some email servers will not deliver your emails at all, if there is no valid SPF record for your domain.
So, go to Zoho Mail control panel > SPF/DKIM to find your SPF record and copy it. Go back to your DNS Manager tab, where you created your CNAME & MX records, and click to create / add a new record of TXT type. Paste the copied value "v=spf1 include:zoho.com -all" (for Zoho .com server) or "v=spf1 include:zoho.eu -all" (for Zoho .eu server) in the TXT value field. If your DNS Manager asks for a host name, simply enter @ in the relevant field. Save your record and you are done.
Let’s create now your unique DKIM signature. Go to Zoho Mail control panel > Email authentication > DKIM and click the Edit symbol next to your domain.
Click "Add selector", create a selector name of your preference, e.g. zoho and click "Save". On save, you will be presented with a TXT record value that contains your unique DKIM signature. Copy this record.
Go to your DNS Manager tab, for this one last time, and click to create / add a new record of TXT type and fill in the two fields with the following values:
and save your entry.
Lastly, simply go back to your Zoho Mail control panel tab, click on the "Verify" button, found right under the DKIM record, and you are all done!
- The region in which your data is hosted depends on which domain you register for the Zoho Mail admin account: sign up at https://workplace.zoho.com/orgsignup.do or https://workplace.zoho.eu/orgsignup.do, if you prefer your data to be stored in US or EU-located data centers respectively. If your store deals with EU citizens and needs to comply with the GDPR, you should know that both choices are fully compliant with the EU Data Protection Law and Zoho has also certified its compliance with the EU-US & Swiss-US Privacy Shield Frameworks with respect to the transfer of data to US.
- If you need to create / delete / edit user emails or group emails, this can be done through Zoho Mail control panel (https://mail.zoho.com/cpanel/), where you need to sign in with the administrator credentials.