Does your business or organization use a free email, such as those from Gmail or Yahoo? While this may seem like a cost savings and a convenience, you may be losing business in the long term because of it.
A branded email address—one that matches the domain name of your business website, as in “email@example.com”—can benefit your business in a number of ways:
1. Build trust. According to a recent study, 70% of people believe free or non-branded email addresses look unprofessional. Companies that display consistency between their business name, their domain name and their email addresses give the impression that they want to be easily found and contacted, and are ready to do business.
Email and web hosting are often bundled in with business internet service at no extra cost.
2. Lend credibility to your employees. If you have employees (or will have employees eventually), providing them with branded email addresses from your business makes them a recognizable ambassador. The same holds true for any vendors, freelancers or virtual assistants you trust. In addition, providing employees with branded emails allows you to control access to accounts—and therefore access to your customers—based on the terms of employment.
3. Keep your messages out of spam folders. Many companies block emails from free accounts. This means your emails could be going unnoticed by customers and leads who don’t check their spam folder on a regular basis. “We are all spammed with so many emails every day, but an email linked to a domain name sends a message to customers that your message is coming from a valid source,” says Kelly Baker, senior product manager at Spectrum Business. “Customers are more likely to open such emails.”
4. Enhance email’s value as a marketing tool. Each branded email you send provides a subtle cue to visit your website, which in turn serves as your digital branding hub. If your business does not yet have a website, by all means set one up. “In the old days, a receptionist gave the first impression of a business,” says Baker. “But, in today’s digital world where customers are mobile and transient, the website is often the first place customers will come into contact with a business.”
How to Make the Switch
You may already have access to branded email addresses for free. Email and web hosting are often bundled in with business internet service at no extra cost.
When choosing a domain name for your website and email, make sure it clearly communicates the name of your business and is descriptive of what you do, Baker says. For example, choosing John@JohnsInteriorDesign.com communicates what the business does much more clearly than John@JohnDesigns.com, which could mean John is a T-shirt designer, landscape architecture designer or graphic designer.
If you choose to leverage email available through your web hosting service, you will generally have more access to useful customer service. Unlike free or personal email providers, most web hosting providers have 24/7 customer service hotlines as well as email and online chatbots that business owners can use to troubleshoot, ask questions or get service issues resolved.
Spectrum Business offers an affordable web hosting solution that includes email services, domain name management, simple site-building and more.Print this article