Having Your Own Company Email – Worth It?
Today it’s time to talk about a negative many small businesses have in terms of image and perception. Further, it’s one of their own doing, and, it can be resolved easily and cheaply. Interested in hearing more? Well, we’re not going to try to increase the suspense.
It’s the matter of having your own business email address. That is, a domain name that has your business name in it; e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s right; we’re focusing on the small businesses that are running ads and handing out business cards with contact emails like: email@example.com, or, firstname.lastname@example.org, or, even worse, email@example.com .
Some small business owners feel that there’s nothing wrong with using these types of email addresses to represent themselves and their companies. But there are many, many prospective customers that feel otherwise. There are also many potential business suppliers (lines of credit!), vendors, partners and so on that also look askance at such email addresses used by small companies.
So, what are the problems with not having a domain name that has your business name in it? First one:
- Perception – When clients or prospective clients get an email from someone at your small business, and the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com , or something else that doesn’t have your firm’s name at the end of it, it makes you look like amateurs, like you’re working out of the spare bedroom in your house. It makes you look like you are not the organization of substance that you actually are, or, wish to be. It doesn’t inspire confidence in your company. It makes you look like you’re not in this for the long haul, and therefore getting a company email address was just too much trouble for what is going to be a short-term proposition, It’s not a good look for your company.
- Sales/Marketing – Like other companies, the domain name for your email is also where your website is, or will be, located on the internet. It’s free advertising for that website every time someone gets an email from you. Don’t have a website yet? We’ll get to that in a minute. The important thing to remember is that even if only one out of hundred people bothers to look at your website after receiving an email from someone at your company, it’s still a good deal because of the cost of sending them to your website – that is, free. More traffic to the site should mean more sales. It’s probably also worth mentioning that your firm’s name is your brand name, whether it’s on a business card, or the company website or the company pages on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. More positive brand exposure is always better.
- Trust – A first-time client, or, a prospective client of your custom bridal dress business might be a little baffled when he or she gets an email from firstname.lastname@example.org. In fact, they may not even open the email. The person (you) they talked to had a bridal dress business, and that email address has nothing to do with a bridal dress business. Then, there’s the other part of it. Let’s say you need some personal or business information from the client or the prospect to get started on a bid. It’s the first email you’ve ever sent to them, and now they’re leery of giving out information until they can ascertain that this email address actually does belong to the person they talked to last week. And, not to put too fine a point on it, but even after you settle up the ID issue, you’re still going to have the perception issue regarding the non-company email.
Using personal email addresses to communicate and transact business with clients on behalf of the company, as well as using a personal email address to communicate and transact business with vendors, suppliers, business partners, etc. on behalf of your small firm is something that is not beneficial to your firm’s success from a general perspective. Sure, there are some people that won’t mind, but there are some that will, and why limit your possibilities?
We’re not going point out a problem and then just walk away without giving you the solution. Better yet, it’s easy, and it’s cheap.
If you go to a web hosting service like GoDaddy or Network Solutions or BlueHost, or anywhere else, you can pick out a business domain name, buy it, and get all the email addresses you need for your business as part of the annual package. It should cost you around $150 per year. If that’s too rich for you, you can buy just the domain name (about $40 per year), and get one email address with that domain name on the end of it for another $20-$25 per year.
Even if you don’t have the time or money to build out a website yet, you can still have the company name as your domain name now, and build out the website later. Many, many small business owners do this.
With that sort of low cost, it really makes the proposition of getting your own domain name that much more sensible. We tell the same thing to our clients that get business consulting from us. We hope this has spurred some thought on your end on this subject, and that this post has been helpful.