Should you create a business email address or can you get away with a Gmail or Hotmail address for professional purposes? Find out what the best option is.
Do I need a business email address?
Hi everybody, today I have a question from Suzanne from Leeds who is a speech therapist consultant.
Suzanne’s question is: Do I need to create a business email address or is it ok to use a free provider such as Gmail or Hotmail.
Hi Suzanne, this is a very interesting question indeed.
Let me tell you a little secret. Whenever a small business owner or a consultant hands over his business card to me, the very first thing I am going to look at is the email address printed on the card.
As soon as I see something ending with gmail.com or hotmail.com I know they could benefit from my help.
How? Because I’m a magician
No, it’s because only small business owners who are just starting out or lacking in digital knowledge will use a generic email address. It’s 100% guaranteed. And that makes them potential prospects for me because I know I can help them out.
Along with your phone number, your email address is probably the main mean people will be using to get in touch with you for business purposes.
The very first time a prospective client will want to get In touch with you is highly likely to be via email.
Let’s have a look at an example of two potential email addresses for your business:
Which one do you think is more suitable? It’s safe to say that the first option is by far the best one.
A business email address will give you and your business instant credibility.
When I look into my personal inbox and glance at the emails I receive, I can always tell if the emails come from a serious source or not, simply by looking at the address.
When I see anything from a Gmail or Hotmail account which I don’t recognise I instantly feel a little suspicious which is the second point I need to make.
A business email address will also convey trust. People will feel a lot more comfortable sending you emails that may contain sensitive information and by the same token receiving emails from you.
Another great benefit of having a business email address is to help build your brand. Building a brand is not exclusive to companies like EBay or Apple and should be part of every small business strategy. Every time your email displays your business name it is an added opportunity for your business to be mentioned…for free.
Having one email address is very restrictive. You may want to categorize your emails by topics and create different mailboxes. I personally find this very helpful as it filters the various contacts I receive from the source which helps address them more efficiently. Having a unique and generic email address will not allow you to do that.
You can redirect all the messages you receive through your business address straight to your Gmail or Hotmail personal account if you want to. It’s useful if you want to access your professional and personal emails all at once.
Finally, creating a business email address is cheap and dead easy. If you already run a website your hosting company should offer this as part of your contract with them so it shouldn’t cost you any extra. If you do not have a website you will need to register your preferred domain name and create email addresses through another service. This is also very cheap.
I don’t know if you’ve already stated using a generic email address for your venture Suzanne but if you have I would suggest you stop doing it right now and create your very own business email address for all the reasons I have mentioned.
You won’t regret it
I hope this answer your question.
If you too have a burning question about local online marketing you’d like me to answer go to http://rankingacademy.co.uk/qa/and submit your question using the online form.