When you run a small business, it’s often easier to just get your email through a free service you’ve been using for your personal email, like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, or another. They’re set up to be user friendly, and best of all, they’re free.
But what does a customer think when they see an email from “[email protected]?” It doesn’t exactly reflect a professional company that has everything together.
33% of consumers doubt the trustworthiness of a generic email address.
Some of the unspoken things that consumers think when they see a company using a free generic email for their business are:
They’re not big enough to even have a business email address
They might not be legitimate and might just take my money
They’re not professional or don’t take pride in their work/business
They’re aren’t doing very well and can’t afford proper business emails
Now, it could be that none of those things are true and you just find it more convenient to use an email address from Gmail or Yahoo, but what’s true and the impression your customer’s get can be two very different things.
You’re most likely paying for professional business equipment, IT support, and other things that help you deliver your products or services, but your reputation could be taking a big hit thanks to your email address.
The roughly $100 a year you might save by using a free email service just isn’t worth it when you factor in the drawbacks for your business.
How Free Email Addresses Hurt Your Business
Why use a generic email address for your business? Three of the key reasons are:
It’s easy to setup and use
I don’t have a website domain
But how much are you really saving by using a free email address?
A standard domain (mycompany.com) address is about $12.00 per year. Web hosting, which allows you to create emails based on your domain and access them either online or through a mail program, can start at as little as $40 a year. So, you’re less than $100 a year all in for the ability to create custom domain-based emails with your company name.
Most interfaces are very easy to set up, and you can often find webhosts that will throw the domain address in with your hosting plan for free, so you can sign up for both in the same place.
And you don’t have to have a website to have domain-based emails.
So, what drawbacks are there to keep on using that @gmail, @yahoo, or @aol email address for business?
Lack of Customer Trust
A full 75% of consumers say that a company having a professional email address is an important factor in how much they trust that business.
What if 23% of your potential leads stopped short of buying because your email is @hotmail.com? That may be the case, because that’s how many people said they’d be concerned about sharing their credit card details with a company that had a generic email address.
What About Other Employees?
When you first begin a business and it’s just you, you may think having a free email address is fine. But what happens when you start adding employees? If you’re all using a generic email, you could end up with a mess of email addresses that don’t have any consistency.
When you have emails on your custom domain, you can choose to use first [email protected], first initial and last [email protected], whatever you like, and all your email addresses look professional and are consistent.
You Risk Security
If you’re using a free email service, you have less control over the security of your email (i.e. Which advertisers is Google sharing your Gmail content with?). You also don’t have any recourse if your email is deleted due to a server crash or cloud outage because you’re not paying for the service.
Using emails for your business domain that are hosted together, you can more easily access email accounts for employees that have left the company and apply security policies and backups to keep your email secure.
You Miss Out on Easy Integrations
Are you an Office 365 user with an Exchange license? Then not setting up custom email with the platform is just missing out on a good thing that can earn respect for your small business.
Setting up your custom domain email in Office 365 doesn’t add any cost to your subscription, and you skip the hosting account!
This allows you to send and receive email from your custom domain right from your Office 365 account.
Get Help Setting Up a Custom Email Domain Today!
You’ll be surprised how fast it can be to start emailing from your own company domain and give your business a boost in the trust department. Pro Tech Guy can have it set up for you in no time.
Contact us today for a free consultation. Call 508-364-8189 or reach us online.