The IT Blog for SMEs

The wrong email address can get you ignored!

What does your email address say about you? If you use a Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! or similar email address, you could be damaging your business credibility and missing out on lucrative opportunities.

 

Image is everything

We recently received an email, offering to get our website "onto page 1 of Google". The sender gave only his name - no company details - and the email was sent from a personal Gmail address. The email went straight into the bin.

Harsh? 

Maybe - but why would a serious business person hide behind a Gmail address? The very fact that Gmail (and Hotmail, Yahoo! AOL, etc.) addresses can be created by anyone reduces their credibility and distances the person from the company they are representing. If indeed they are representing a company; for all I know, this particular sender could have been a 12-year-old looking to boost his pocket money!

Incorporating your business name into a "free" email address (e.g. <mybusinessname>@hotmail.com) may seem like an ideal solution, but in reality is only marginally better. While you may think that this is promoting your "brand", it gives the recipient no easy way to find your website - and hence your phone number, your address, the products and services that you offer, etc. In other words, you're throwing away a fantastic, one-time-only chance to market your business to the very person you're trying to reach!

And that's another reason to avoid free email addresses: they may never reach your target audience. Many companies automatically block incoming emails from Hotmail, Yahoo!, etc., due to the high percentage of spam that they generate. And even if your emails get through, the recipients - like me - may simply click the "Delete" button without giving your message the consideration that you obviously believe it deserves.

 

Promote your business with every email

So how do you go about getting an email address that promotes your business in a professional manner?

If you don't currently have a website you will need to register your own internet domain (e.g. yourcompany.co.uk); fortunately, this is very easy and costs just a few pounds per year! If you have a website, then you already have an internet domain.

It is very simple to add email addresses to that domain in one of two ways:

  • If you have a website, your web hosting service will usually include (or offer, for a small additional charge) a bundle of email addresses. Note though that these may share the storage allocation that you've purchased for your website, which will limit the mailbox capacity (number of emails you can store);
  • A more flexible way - especially if you don't have a website - is to use a dedicated hosted email service. These are significantly more generous in terms of mailbox capacity and give all of the features of an in-house email server, including shared calendars, contacts, task lists, distribution lists, etc. You can even create multiple aliases to make your email addresses simpler or to cater for mis-spellings of your name.

So do yourself a favour: ditch the Gmail / Hotmail / Yahoo! services for your business emails and start presenting a more professional image. 

Give us a call or drop us a line - from your free/personal email address if necessary - and we will help you register your domain and get your company the email presence it deserves.

Image credit: Dennis Skley, Flickr Creative Commons