The Internet has taken the business world by storm. Today many are struggling to keep up with the demands of having a mobile-friendly website, an active social media presence and continually revamping their brand to stay relevant.
With so many things to keep on top off, many also neglect or fail to see the importance of having a professional email address. Even in 2016, whether you’re a local business or entrepreneurs, using free services like Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail to conduct business because they’ve used it for years and have all their contacts there.
But that’s a huge mistake, and here’s why.
You’re sabotaging your email marketing efforts
If you manage an email list, most reputable automation tools won’t allow you to email subscribers using a third-party email service like Gmail. This makes list-building a huge problem.
If emailing directly off the platform, people can’t unsubscribe from your emails, you receive no metrics on email performance and spam filters block emails from personal email accounts at a higher frequency.
Fewer emails are getting through and the ones that do may not be read as they’ll lack legitimacy. Which leads me to my next point.
Legitimise your business
If an email landed in your inbox today with the subject line:
“3 Tips To Improve Your SEO for Free”
Which of the following emails would you consider to be a legitimate business?
Chances are you’d never have seen the email from address #1 as your spam filter would have automatically sent to into your junk folder. Having your business’s top-level domain (website address) in your email gives you legitimacy, and removes any hesitation from the receipt whether your email is legitimate or some type of scam.
If an Amazon.co.uk employee messaged you from their personal Gmail account about your last order asking to verify your card number, would you trust the email?
Even if you’re one-personal business, separate yourself from all the cowboys with a professional email address.
Encourage prospects to connect
Have you ever needed to contact a small local business but was turned off when all you could find was the owner’s personal mobile number? I shy away from calling mobile numbers because I don’t want to bother the owner who may be working, it’s also too off-putting and shows me this business isn’t professional at all.
If it’s a local extension I feel more inclined to call as they most likely have a reception or local call centre that will be much more welcoming in answering my questions.
This also applies with your email address.
New prospects are less likely to email your personal email address.
How do they know they are contacting the right person, if their email will be confidential or the personal they are emailing still works for the business?
You’ll see businesses have different prefixes for different departments. For example:
These email prefixes encourage commutation and for the prospect to email the right department. When I see emails like the above on a website, it shows me that a business takes it’s email channel serious and that I’ll most likely receive an answer to my query.
As your business grows you’ll take on employees and perhaps expand or open up new departments. Having a centralised email system for all employees ensures important emails don’t get missed; also if an employee leaves your business, they don’t take confidential emails or clients with them. It also reduces the chances of competitors pretending to be you by sending hoax emails to your customers (yes it happens).
If you have a personal email account, how many emails do you open from personal addresses of people you don’t know? In fact, when was the last time an email from a personal email account landed in your inbox from someone you didn’t know?
I’m going to assume the answer is close to zero (spam blockers are clever, and they are blocking most of your marketing emails if you use a personal address).
As online marketing moves forward and consumers become wiser, every email you send from a personal address will only hurt your business.
If you want to find out more about how you can legitimise your business through using a professional email address that’s associated with your web address, book in for a free marketing jumpstart
session with Vicky Etherington, or speak to your hosting company. If you don’t have one yet, we recommend TSO Host
for amazing service and great value.