How To Set Up A Domain & Mailbox For Cold Email (2024)

Updated April 2024

If you don’t set up your domain and mailbox correctly, then your cold emails will go to spam.

In this article, I will show you the 4-step process that I use to set up my domains and mailboxes (email accounts) when sending cold emails:

Step 1: Create a Google Workspace account & buy a domain
Step 2: Set up your domain (SPF, DKIM, DMARC & domain forwarding)
Step 3: Set up your email account (profile picture, name & signature)
Step 4: Connect your email account to Emailchaser

Important Note: Before you send your first cold email, I recommend that you read my other article Should You Send Cold Emails From Your Primary Domain? This will help you understand why you need to set up other domains and mailboxes (and not send from your primary domain).

Step 1: Create a Google Workspace account & buy a domain

When sending cold emails, it is very important to send from a professional email account.

You should never use your personal email account (such as @gmail.com) to send cold emails. People won’t take you seriously if you email them from a personal account.

You need to buy a domain, and set up a professional email account on that domain, such as [email protected]

image of four different email addresses on four different domains

I recommend that you only buy .com domains when creating email accounts to send cold emails from. You can learn more about this in my article What Is The Best Domain Extension For Cold Email?

You should buy your domain while setting up your Google Workspace account.

Google Workspace is where you can create a professional email account with Google (Gmail). During the Google Workspace account sign up process, they will ask you if you already have a domain. You should answer “no”, and then you will be able to purchase your domain as you are signing up for your Google Workspace account.

screenshot of google workspace homepage

The main reason that I recommend that you use Google Workspace to buy your domain and set up your professional email account is because your deliverability will be better.

Gmail (Google Workspace) is the most popular email service provider in the world. Most of your leads will also have Gmail accounts. When you send an email from a Gmail account to another Gmail account, your email is more likely to go to the primary inbox (not spam) compared to if you are sending from an external email service provider (such as Cloudflare, GoDaddy, Outlook etc). Google trusts emails that are sent from their own servers more than emails that are sent from external servers that they don’t control.

Below is a video showing how to set up a Google Workspace account:

Google Workspace recently updated their pricing so that by default, they place you on the most expensive plan. After signing up, you should downgrade to the lower-priced plan:

I recommend that you only create one email account per domain. You should create a new Google Workspace account for each domain. This reduces the risk of having your domain “burned” (blacklisted) and will help you maintain good deliverability long term.

You can learn more about this topic in my article How Many Email Accounts Can You Create Per Domain For Cold Email?

One issue that some people face when creating multiple Google Workspace accounts is that they will struggle to verify new accounts as they don’t have enough unique phone numbers to verify each new account. You can see the solution to this problem in my article How To Create Multiple Google Workspace Accounts With One Phone Number.

Step 2: Set up your domain (SPF, DKIM, DMARC & domain forwarding)

It is very important to authenticate your domain before you send cold emails.

This will improve your deliverability, and will make your emails land in the primary inbox.

If you don’t authenticate your domain by setting up SPF, DKIM & DMARC, then your cold emails will go to spam.

It will take a few days to fully set up your SPF, DKIM & DMARC records because you need to configure your SPF and DKIM records first, and then wait 48-hours before turning on your DMARC record. Slow and steady wins the race.


SPF
If you are using Google Workspace, then you can follow this guide to set up the SPF record on your domain.

In the past, if you bought your domain through Google Domains while setting up your Google Workspace account, then the SPF record would be automatically added to your domain’s DNS.

However, since Squarespace acquired Google Domains in 2023, you should manually verify that your SPF record has been added (don't add it twice if it is already added). Most likely the SPF record is still added by default.

Below is a video showing how to set up the SPF record on your domain:





DKIM
You can follow this guide to set up your DKIM with Google Workspace.

As explained above, the DKIM record used to be added automatically if you bought your domain through Google Domains while setting up your Google Workspace account. However, now that Squarespace acquired Google Domains in 2023, this may not be the case anymore.

You need to make sure that your domain has the DKIM record added correctly (and make sure you don't accidentally add it twice).

This article from Google shows you how to verify if you have set up your DKIM correctly. You can verify if your messages (emails) pass DKIM authentication following the steps in this article. This is my preferred method for verifying my DKIM authentication.

Below is a video showing how to set up DKIM on your domain:





DMARC
Important: You need to set up SPF and DKIM before you set up DMARC. After you set up SPF & DKIM, you should wait 48-hours before you set up DMARC. SPF & DKIM need to authenticate messages for 48-hours before you turn-on DMARC.

You should follow this guide to set up DMARC with Google Workspace.

When you are adding the DMARC record to your domain, I recommend that you set the following variables as described below:

p=quarantine
v=DMARC1

3 minutes and 10 seconds into this video discusses why setting up your DMARC record this way is important. Additionally, at 18 minutes and 45 seconds into the same video, they discuss further why you should set your DMARC to p=quarantine.

Google also discusses how setting your DMARC to p=quarantine can be beneficial for deliverability in this article.

You can then use this website to verify that your DMARC is set up correctly.

Below is a video showing how to set up DMARC:





Verify that your records were added correctly:
Before you move further ahead with this guide, let’s make sure that you have correctly added your SPF, DKIM and DMARC records to your domain.

I recommend that you verify these records by following the method in the below Tweet:

The above method requires you to send an email from your email account to another email account (do not send yourself an email). Then, click "Show original". You will see "PASS" next to SPF, DKIM and DMARC if you have added the records correctly.

If it doesn't say "PASS" next to SPF, DKIM and DMARC, then you can fix them by going back to this guide and making sure that everything is set up as I explained above.

Below is a video showing how to verify that your records were added correctly:





Domain forwarding
Now you need to forward the domain that you bought to send cold emails from to your main domain.

I already explained earlier in this article why this is important, but long-story-short, if a prospect enters the domain that you send cold emails from into their browser, you want the prospect to see your company’s real website.

For example, if my company’s website is https://www.emailchaser.com, but I bought the domain "emailchaserhq.com" to send cold emails from, and I created [email protected], then I would want to forward emailchaserhq.com to https://www.emailchaser.com so that when the people that I send cold emails to enter emailchaserhq.com into their browsers, they see my company’s real website (https://www.emailchaser.com).

Below is a video showing how to forward your domain:


Regarding email forwarding (not domain forwarding), I recommend that you don't set up email forwarding for your sender email accounts.

If you send your cold emails with Emailchaser, then all responses that you receive will appear in the Sales CRM page inside of your dashboard.

So even if you are sending cold emails from 30 different sender email accounts, any responses that you receive will appear in the same Sales CRM page inside of Emailchaser, and you will then be able to respond to these responses from this single page without having to log into your individual email accounts.

You do not need to forward incoming emails to a primary email account when using Emailchaser. In fact, I recommend that you don't forward emails because it can cause issues with creating confusing email chains between multiple different email addresses and also can create deliverability issues.

It is best to keep email responses with your leads in the original email chain. For example, if I email a lead from [email protected], and they respond, I should then respond from the original email account that I sent my first email from ([email protected]) and not a different email account.

Emailchaser allows you by default to respond to leads from the original email account that you emailed them from.

Step 3: Set up your email account (profile picture, name & signature)

It is very important that you add a professional profile picture to your email account.

screenshot showing an email profile picture

Adding a profile picture to your email account will improve your deliverability, and will increase your response rate as people will trust you more.

To be clear, I am not talking about adding a picture to your signature.

Below is a video that shows how to add a profile picture to your Google Workspace account:


It is also important to add a signature to your emails. This will improve your response rate as it builds trust with your prospects.

You can learn how to add a signature to your emails with Emailchaser in my article How To Write A Professional Email Signature.

Finally, it is important that you log into your newly created email account and make sure that your first and last name are added correctly. This ensures that your recipients will see your name displayed correctly in their inboxes. This is something that you must do inside of your Gmail (Google Workspace) account in the settings section (you cannot do this inside of Emailchaser).

Step 4: Connect your email account to Emailchaser

I recommend that you send your cold emails through a specialized cold email software like Emailchaser.

Emailchaser ensures that your cold emails land in the primary inbox (not spam).

To learn how Emailchaser prevents your cold emails from going to spam, check out our article 10 Ways That Emailchaser Prevents Your Cold Emails From Going To Spam.

screenshot showing Emailchaser's dashboard

To be clear, when you create an Emailchaser account, you are still sending emails from your email accounts that you created in Google Workspace. You are simply connecting your email accounts to Emailchaser, which allows you to use all of the features that Emailchaser offers which Gmail doesn’t offer.

The emails are still being sent from Google’s servers (not Emailchaser’s servers).

Frequently asked questions

Do you need a domain for cold email?

Yes, it is very important that you buy a domain and create a professional email address. You can buy a domain when setting up your Google Workspace account.

How much does it cost to set up a domain and email account?

It costs around $12 per year to register a .com domain. It then costs an additional $12 per month for a Google Workspace email account.

Final thoughts

If you follow the steps in this article, then you will have no issues setting up your domains and email accounts.

I recommend that you use Google Workspace to create your professional email accounts. Google Workspace has the best deliverability.

Check out my article How To Safely Scale Up Your Cold Email Outreach.

You may also enjoy my article 10 Cold Email Best Practices & Tips.

picture of George Wauchope

Article by

George Wauchope

Founder of Emailchaser.

I have been working in the sales & marketing industry for nearly a decade.

When I’m not working on my business, I enjoy eating sushi & doing jiu-jitsu.

About the author