In today’s always-online world, there’s no underestimating the importance of setting up an email address for your business.
A communications tool that’s as an integral part of life today as the humble telephone was back before the days of mass access to the world wide web, email isn’t just useful for keeping in touch with customers, colleagues and suppliers alike, with more and more of the B2B services you’ll require to make your business a success operating entirely online, you’ll struggle to get very far without one.
Of course, to make things easy on yourself, there’s always the temptation to use your existing email address, or even to set up a separate account with a free service such as Google’s Gmail or Yahoo!Mail.
Sure, that may be easy, and sure it may not cost you a penny, but firstname.lastname@example.org is certainly no match for a dedicated email based at your domain name, such as email@example.com.
What’s more, with many of the web’s top hosting companies offering free email accounts as part of their plans, setting up a domain-based email doesn’t actually have to cost you anything more than a few minutes of set-up and configuration time.
Yet the fact that you can get an email address free from the same company that hosts your website is far from the only reason to leave your Gmail account behind and set up a dedicated domain-based account for your business.
Here’s just four key reasons why you should be doing so the minute you finish reading this article.
Gain the trust of your customers
Let’s be honest, anyone can go ahead, set up a Gmail account and claim they’re a legitimate business, but it takes a certain commitment to invest in a domain name and setup an email account. Doing so speaks to your level of professionalism, and shows your customers that you’re serious about what you do .
It shows that you’re in it for the long-haul, that you’re unlikely to be one of the many people who abandon their email accounts once they’ve served a purpose (normally to make a quick buck or two) and ultimately, that you’re a company they can trust.
Present an appearance of professionalism and quality
Doubting your trustworthiness isn’t the only way that customers can be put off by that free Yahoo! Email address you’ve been advertising on your website and business cards.
It can also send a not-too-subliminal message about the quality of your products or services.
Think about it:
We all know that you didn’t pay a penny for that Yahoo! Address.
Therefore, we know too that you didn’t want to spend any money on a professional, domain-based email.
What does that say about your business?
It says you’re pretty cheap, and if you’re too cheap to buy an email address, is there any reason to believe that what you’re selling won’t be cheap too?
By taking a few minutes to set up firstname.lastname@example.org, you’re telling customers that you care about quality, ultimately boosting their confidence in buying from you.
Make it easier for customers and others to contact you
At the end of the day, you want people to contact you about your business and the products or services you provide.
You want to be able to respond to questions with answers that will help your customers make informed decisions about their purchases, you want to be there to provide after-sales support so that you don’t end up faced with a bunch of returns, and you want an easy way for those you meet at business networking events to get in touch with you after those discussions about how you can work together to grow.
What you really need then, is an easy way for customers, investors, and partners to get in touch with you, something they can quickly remember.
A nice, simple email address based at the same domain name as your website is much easier to keep in mind than that old personal email address you’ve been using on Gmail for the last few years.
Ensure your important emails are delivered and received
Because the likes of Gmail, Yahoo! And similar services are quick to set-up and -above all- free to use, they’re often used by spammers. As such, it’s not uncommon for spam filters at certain email providers to simply filter out anything that comes from a free email account and dump it in one of those ‘Junk’ folders that most of us barely -if ever- look at.
Is that really where you want those important emails you send to your customers to end up, in their junk folder?
Isn’t it far better -and far more important- for both you and your customers that your emails land directly in their inbox where they’ll be seen?
With a domain-based email, you’re far more likely to avoid the spam folders and get your important messages read.
Do you use domain-based email for your business or do you see it as an unnecessary expense? Join in the debate on the Web Design DIY Facebook page or get in touch with our experts on Twitter @WebDesignDIY