domain email

How to Switch from a Free Email Provider to Your Own Domain Email?

There are a bunch of good reasons why you switch to a domain email from a free email provider. You may want to look more professional, enhance your branding, or you’re simply looking for a robust, personalized email provider. 

However, migrating to your own domain email can pose some challenges. And if you haven’t done it before, it could even seem intimidating. 

Common issues like content duplication and business downtime can arise. And companies lose roughly $26.5 billion in revenue each year due to IT downtime. 

Thankfully, there’s an easy way to switch to a custom email provider without running into many issues. Let’s jump in.

Register your domain email with an email provider

First, you’ll need to sign up for a domain email service. Chances are that your web hosting provider will have an email hosting service, as well. So, you can simply sign up for the domain email package. 

Sometimes, web hosting providers don’t offer email services. In addition, hosting your website and email with the same host has a few disadvantages. 

You can, therefore, opt for custom domain email providers, like Eltris.

Keep your old email address for as long as possible

Emails are a pivotal part of communication in business. The role of email in your organization can vary, depending upon how it fits in your business strategy. If your customers primarily rely on email to contact you, abruptly switching your email address won’t be a good idea. To make sure the change happens smoothly, try to keep your old email address for a while.

This way, your customers would be able to reach out to you. If they contact you on your old email, you can answer them, and also notify them that your email address has been changed.

Forward emails to your new email address

Sometimes, you may not be able to use your old email address for long enough. In such cases, email forwarding can help. You can forward your messages to your new account while retaining a copy with your old service. Contrarily, you can forward your messages and delete the copies on your old email service.

How to enable email forwarding?

Setting up email forwarding can vary in different providers. In Gmail, for example, you can “Add a mail account” in the “Accounts and Import” to enable forwarding. Outlook, on the other hand, offers a “Sync email” feature.

Import your contacts to the new email provider

If you’ve been using your old email address as your primary email, you’ll certainly have an address book. Creating a new email account means you’ll lose access to your old contacts. To avoid this, you’ll want to import your old contacts to use them with your new account.

First, you’ll need to export your contacts from your current provider. The process of exporting also varies from provider to provider. In Gmail, for example, you’ll need to head to the “Export” section and download your contacts to a CSV or vCard file. 

In Outlook, you can export contacts by clicking on the People icon, then on “Manage,” and then on Export contacts. Other providers like Yahoo and Hotmail also have a similar export procedure. 

Once you’ve exported all your contacts, you can import them to your new email account. The process of importing can also vary with the provider, but the process is more or less similar. 

Some custom email providers like Eltris offer free migration assistance to help you import your contacts easily and quickly.

Tell everyone about your new email address

Once you have your new email up-and-running with your new contacts, go ahead and tell people about the change. You can do this by simply sending an email to your contacts, telling them that you’ve changed your email. 

You can also use the Bcc feature in the address bar to mention your email address. Adding a signature that calls out your updated email can be a decent option, too.

Some domain email migration challenges you might face

Email migration from one domain to another consists of a few easy steps, as discussed above. But sometimes, a few challenges or errors can arise. The chances of errors are high when you’re doing full account transfer of all accounts in your organization. 

Here are some common email migration challenges you might encounter:

  • Connection issues
  • Specified object not found in store
  • Server can’t service this request now
  • SMTP address has no associated mailbox
  • Server cannot service this now
  • 401 unauthorized
  • Unable to connect to the remote server

Tips for a smoother domain email migration process

Most email hosting providers offer migration assistance. In addition, here are a few tips you can follow for a hassle-free migration process.

  1. Opt for online email migration

For flawless email migration, choose a fully automated migration tool. Nowadays, several cloud-based migration tools are available. These tools fully automate your migration process, thereby eliminating any aforementioned hurdles. 

  1. Conduct full account transfer in parts

You might be tempted to transfer all your business email accounts to the new domain at one time. While this may save you time, issues like content duplication and non-synchronized transfer are likely to arise. To eliminate these hurdles, transfer your email accounts in parts. 

  1. Ensure zero downtime

When planning for migration, make sure the process doesn’t cause any business downtime. As discussed earlier, try to keep your current email address for as long as possible. Also, enable email forwarding once your new account is up-and-running.

  1. Change your MX records

When you set up your new email account, change the MX records. This will eliminate the risk of losing emails during an outage and will help you receive emails quickly. To do so, navigate to your email domain registrar and change your MX records and DNS settings. For effective migration, opt for a service like Eltris that allows you to transfer your mail data as per the latest changes reflected in your MX records.

  1. Look for IMAP and POP 3 support

To ensure secure and seamless transfer of your source emails, find an email provider that supports the industry protocols. These protocols include POP 3, IMAP, and SMTP. Compliance with these protocols guarantees safety from migration-related challenges like data loss and hacking issues.


Email migration can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t have the right tools or experience. By following the above steps, you can ensure a smooth email migration process with zero downtime.Check out Eltris for custom email hosting with effortless migrations.