Recently, a business was perplexed because their staff was having difficulty selling advertising space in their publication. Despite their professional sales materials, there was still something lurking in the background that they did not consider . . . they were using a Gmail address for their business. Most probably don’t consider this problematic, but it is.
I am shocked by the number of businesses using generic email addresses (Gmail, Comcast, Outlook, etc.) instead of one generated through their company’s website. In almost every situation, the company does have a website but still uses their generic email address. Email addresses need to be associated with your website’s domain name – no matter what!
Something as fundamental as an email address could
be a turn-off for consumers.
Generic email addresses are historically used by scam artists or fictitious businesses. If you currently use a generic email address, here are some considerations:
- When an inquiry is sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, it makes you feel that this is someone authentically representing the company. An actual person will respond to your request.
- It reflects your commitment as an official representative of the business. Consumers are routinely faced with scams and opportunities for fraud to take place. How is someone to know that you are a legitimate business when your email does not reflect it?
- A company-based email address can help position your business in the marketplace. If you use a generic email address, it portrays an image of being brand new and not established in the business world. However, if you have a strong website with a proper email address, no one can judge the size of your business. The internet provides great leverage for small versus large businesses.
Email addresses directly associated with your website domain address adds credibility, authenticity, and your commitment to being a trustworthy business. Consumers routinely conduct research on a company or product prior to contacting them directly. Obviously, you want your online presence to pique the consumer’s interest enough that they will seek additional information. Perhaps it’s a store visit, asking a representative to contact them, or signing up for a newsletter.
If you are using a generic email address, make it a top priority to contact your webhost and have them create a new email address for you. Don’t wait until you run out of business cards!