With so many different options out there for free email addresses very often I see website owners forgo making emails from their own domain name. Relying on free email accounts from services such as Gmail and Yahoo is, I think, a huge mistake.
1) With any good hosting company making an email address takes about 60 seconds and costs you nothing extra. Tack on another 60 seconds to hook the new email up to something like Outlook or forward to an existing account and you’ve got a whopping 2 minutes invested to create a fully functioning email address.
2) Every email you send advertises somebody’s website. Think about it. Every time you give someone your email or advertise your email address or send an email you are advertising that domain. If you use a free email account someone like Yahoo you are advertising Yahoo and not your own stuff. Don’t do that. Advertise your own stuff.
3) Going hand in hand with #2 it reinforces your brand. Constant reminders of your domain name to your current users, fans and customers are critical for your overall brand reinforcement.
4) It is simply more professional. It is so easy to make emails for a domain when I see a small business or ecommerce website that still uses an off-domain free email address it makes me pause for a second. First I think they must be so amazingly lazy that I probably don’t want to do business with them. Second I think that maybe they are just really new and have not yet have a chance to make a few email addresses and, again, I probably don’t want to do business with them. Third I think it seems a little shady…but that might just be me.
5) You control the email address and the content. If you have employees or volunteers or helpers for your business or website under no circumstances should you ever allow them to use their personal email addresses. This is a powder keg waiting to explode. Again, with any good hosting company you can make an unlimited number of emails for no additional charge in no time at all. There is no reason not to create emails for employees. See points number 2 and 4 again with employees in mind.
6) Organization gets easier. Creating several emails for different purposes can really streamline communication flow and email organization. Make one email for new inquiries, another for customer support and another for your weekly newsletter. This type of divide and conquer approach can really cut down on the manpower required for email triage on a daily basis.
7) You don’t have to give up your current email address. The biggest gripe I hear about this approach is people are afraid I’m asking them to give up the email they have had for years. I’m not. It is a simple thing to either add the new email alongside the old one in a system like Outlook. Another tactic is to forward the new email to the old.
Don’t let your old email habits get in the way of some great free advertising, brand reinforcement and better organization. Go ahead, take a few minutes and make those new domain specific emails. You’ll be glad you did.
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