Do you send business emails? Chances are you probably do. If you want to make the right first impression about you and your business, you need to stop using free email addresses and make sure you use your own branded domain. After all, your email address can say a lot more about your business than just the messages you send or receive through it.
While Free email services, such as Gmail, Yahoo or AOL can see very appealing due to their ease of set-up, simple interface and the ability to check email on the go; using them for business purposes might have a negative impact on how your business is perceived.
In fact, by using a free email service for your business communications, you could be damaging your credibility and missing out on potential marketing opportunities.. Case in point: in a survey conducted by Visible Logic, a Maine-based branding agency, 7 out of 10 respondents said that they believe a person’s business card that has a non-domain-level email address to be unprofessional.
As you can see, the words that follow the @ sign make an important statement about your business and more importantly, how your clients see you. So with that in mind, here are some benefits of having a properly branded business address:
Having a branded email is a great way to to promote your small business. When your email address is your company’s name, everytime you send an email you are marketing your business by putting its name in front of everyone you send an email to (existing and potential customers, partners, suppliers etc). Since they see your organization’s name with every email, it makes it easier for them to remember you.
Small businesses have to view email as an essential tool to building and maintaining relationships with customers, as well as continuing relationships with vendors and partners.Kirk Averett, Director of Product for Cloud Office at Rackspace.
In addition, even if you’re a one-person shop, having your own domain’s email address lets you create multiple email aliases such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org that will make your business look bigger than it actually is.
Lastly, you build marketing momentum by using a consistent email address that doesn’t change over time. Since you own the email address, it stays with you wherever you go, making it easy for old clients to reach you again.
Boost Your Business’ Credibility
First impressions matter; As a business owner, you want to always put your best foot forward, and your actions need to demonstrate your credibility. With Customers having come to expect to see a company’s name after the @ sign in the email; Sending an email from Yourname@YourBusiness.com will benefit you and your business’ reputation in many ways:
- Conveys professionalism and indicates that you operate an established business.
- Builds trust with your clients, prospects and partners.
- Increases faith in your business and its products / services.
On the other hand, using free email services may make prospects think you are either a fly by night operation, or spendthrift and most likely to cut corners. Think about this for a second: which one of these email addresses are you more likely to trust: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org?
Afford Yourself and Your Business Flexibility
Having you own business address gives you flexibility and control over your email communication. You are not limited to a single email address but can create multiple email addresses to serve different purposes.
- Create separate email addresses to categorize your incoming/outgoing communication.
- Use your own logo on the email account.
- Customize the mail box size according to your needs.
With free email providers, you are limited to addresses that are not already taken. But since there is a very high volume of users, more often than not your desired account name is probably already taken. So instead of a “email@example.com”, you will most likely have to settle for “firstname.lastname@example.org”, which needless to say, is far from ideal.
Give Your Customers Clarity
By having the flexibility to create customized email aliases, you provide more clarity to your customers and partners when they interact electronically with you. As opposed to having all email communications routed to one free email address, having multiple aliases make defining what enquiries came from where much easier to recognize.
When you Separate your incoming email by its purpose, your customers will know exactly which email to use depending on the nature of their enquiry. For example, if they have a sales questions, they can send an email to email@example.com. Problems with a product they purchased from you? they know they’ll have to write firstname.lastname@example.org.