Perception is the only reality online! Folks will form an opinion about you based on how you use technology. They can tell what is important to you and what isn’t by the efforts you make — or don’t make. With many folks starting new businesses to make ends meet, it’s time to bring up the importance of having a professional e-mail address for your business communications.
Your e-mail address is what the recipient first sees when your message lands in their inbox.
When e-mailing a Website about an order or joining in hobby or personally related forums; your address can contribute to what those who don’t know you will think.
What do you think it says about you or your business when you reply to a Website e-mail with an address like “[email protected](aol,gmail,msn,yahoo.isp.com)?” Or if you are following up on an order or inquiring about something, do you think the site owner will jump through the hoops for someone with an e-mail address like: [email protected]? Got an e-mail with that one just this week — I guess this person thought the topic of e-mail etiquette stinks?
Good site owners will always reply. But, when you are inundated with site e-mail you do have to prioritize by looking at your inbox and deciding which to address first. Think about it…
Here are a few others I have seen used recently in business communications:
Using e-mail addresses like those above for business e-mail communications show not only a lack of tech savvy but a lack of understanding when it comes to the basics of online marketing. Every business should be using their business dot-com with their first name before the @ sign as their e-mail address.
Using your own dot-com for e-mail is a minimal cost when you think about the marketing and professional perception doing so offers.
By using your dot-com e-mail address, your e-mail will be recognized as an expected or legitimate contact instead of a spammer. The same goes for gmail.com, yahoo.com and msn.com type free accounts — why would you use those for business and give those companies all your data to do with what they want (including selling you out to advertisers)?
Free service accounts are also known as “throw-aways” and are used by spammers all the time. “But I want to use my gmail.com account!” When asked for a good business reason? Silence…
You still can use your freebie account if you must. These type of accounts do have a place as a back up, I guess — but not as the primary if you are serious about branding your business.
So if you don’t have your own domain, what are you waiting for? I use GoDaddy for all my domain collateral. Having your own domain name is very inexpensive and only requires a few setting changes in the e-mail program of your choice.
Time to take off the training wheels, get a real e-mail program (I use PostBox) and e-mail like the big dogs if you are serious about online success.