Monday, 03 June 2013 04:06

I've noticed a disturbing trend – small companies using a free email service instead...

Last month I explained 5 things I feel you should never have on your website, this month I want to explain the importance of making a first impression.

I've noticed a disturbing trend – small companies using a free email service instead of their business name as their email address. Just because your company may be small or just starting out on your own, you don’t have to look like a fly-by-night operation.

Some say Image is everything. Certainly Image is very important in business, particularly for those who are considering doing business with you.

When I consult with clients about improving their business one of the first things I notice is whether their email address is with AOL, yahoo, gmail, hotmail, ATT or something similar. By using a "free" email service you are telling your potential customers something about you, and it may not be good!

Professionalism is important to every business whether you are a large corporation or a sole proprietor, a management consultant or a house cleaner. If you hand out cards, brochures, or any other material, even if you don’t have a website, (which you should) you need to have an email address that represents your company name.

When I get an email from [email protected] offering to redo my office sign I don't exactly feel that it's a real business, nor do I believe they are "licensed and insured".

In addition to sacrificing professionalism, did you know those "free" services come at an additional price? The "free" services monitor your email and use information they obtain from reading your emails to send you and your contacts targeted offers for products they match to you based on the content of your emails.

My advice: cancel the free email services and invest a small amount of money in your own email address, along with a domain name. Or get what EVERY business SHOULD have at the very minimum - their own email address AND a one page web site. Then you'll be able to put your best foot forward, even if you aren’t quite there yet.

Yes, your own .com with web based email that works with outlook and your smartphone is cheaper than you think. If you still have people sending to that old address simply forward it to your new one or keep it for what it is - personal mail. You can also add several email addresses for staff or bump the storage limits to a higher level if you send or receive large files.

As usual, if you have questions or if there is anything we can do to help you with your business, website, email, or even to help you with choosing your business' email name - we are just a phone call or click away!