What's a Domain Name? How to Use One to Build Your Business

Learn how to choose the right domain name for your business and start using it with your Mailchimp emails and landing pages.

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A domain name is more than just the internet address where people can find your website—it’s the online identity of your business. And whether you’re just starting out or you've got an established business that you’re ready to take online, you should invest in one.

Domain names are affordable and easy to register, and give you the power to unite your website, email address, and landing pages under a single, recognizable name. You’ll look more professional and gain instant credibility with your audience.

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of selecting and registering a new domain name, and highlight the benefits of connecting your new domain to Mailchimp.

Choose the right domain name

An effective domain name makes it easier for your existing audience to find (and recognize) your brand online, and it’ll help define your brand to new audiences, too.

As you’re choosing your domain name, keep these guidelines in mind:

DOs

  • Keep your domain name short and pronounceable, so it’s easy for your audience to type, spell, and remember.
  • Consider including keywords in your domain that will help people find you when they search.
  • Select a few backup options in case your first choice isn’t available.
  • Check the availability of your domain name on social media. A unified brand name and identity across all of your channels can help increase your reach.
  • Research the history of your domain to make sure it doesn’t come with any baggage that you’ll have to deal with later, like trademark conflicts or awkward foreign translations.

DON'Ts

  • Select a domain that contains intentionally misspelled words or words that can have multiple spellings.
  • Use a name that people might associate with another business.
  • Include numbers or hyphens in your domain name.
  • Use trendy, regional slang terms. Set yourself up for long-term success with a domain name that grows with you—instead of a name that ties you down to a certain time period or location.

Need a few more tips? Check out these helpful resources from Inc, Forbes, Foundr, and Moz.

A unified brand name and identity across all of your channels can help increase your reach.

Register your domain

After settling on the perfect domain name, you’re ready to enlist the help of a domain registrar—like Google Domains or GoDaddy, for example—to buy your domain. On the registrar’s website, you’ll be able to perform a quick domain name search to see if your preferred domain name is available and how much domain registration will cost for your business.

Not sure how to choose a registrar? This article from Google highlights the things you’ll want to look out for when buying your domain.

Put your new domain to work

Once you buy a domain, you can connect it to a website (and your Mailchimp account) to start marketing your business and building brand recognition.

Create a website

When you’re ready to start designing a new online home for your business, you’ll find that there’s no shortage of platforms available to help you get started. But don’t worry: Mailchimp integrates with all of the top website and store builders on the market, including Shopify, Squarespace, Wordpress, and WooCommerce.

No matter which option you choose, you’ll be able to connect with Mailchimp to create customized pop-up forms for your site and use Google remarketing ads to encourage past visitors to return to your page.

(Note: If your site or store builder doesn’t come equipped with a hosting service, you’ll need to make sure you sign up for one of those, too. A host is like a digital landlord for all of your website’s content; they’ll lease you space on their servers to store your files and images, making them readily available for visitors to view. Google has a few tips for choosing a web host that makes sense for your business.)

Find and connect your website to Mailchimp

Set up a custom email address

One perk of purchasing a custom domain name is the ability to create an email address that includes your brand new domain name. It’s a great way to keep your personal and business email accounts separate—and it’ll help when sending Mailchimp campaigns.

When you verify your domain in Mailchimp, you’ll be able to use it in the "from" email address of all your campaigns at no extra charge. Your emails will look more professional, and you’ll even see better delivery rates.

Verify a domain to use as a "from" address when you send emails

Build landing pages

Landing pages are standalone web pages designed to help you reach a specific goal, like selling your products or growing your list. Our free landing page builder gives you all the tools you need to design and publish beautiful pages—you can even connect Square payments to Mailchimp and sell an item directly from your landing pages, no e-commerce store required.

If you’d like to make your landing pages even more recognizable to your audience, we can help with that, too. For $99/year, you can use your new domain name and a unique subdomain to create customized URLs for each landing page, giving them a branded, professional feel.

Mailchimp serves as the web host for all of your landing pages, so you won’t run into any restrictions on traffic or storage to slow you down along the way. We even partner with Let's Encrypt™ to automatically create an SSL certificate for each of your landing pages, so your page visitors will always know that your data is coming from a secure source.

Use your domain to create custom URLs for your landing pages