Email has a lot of layers these days. List building. Personalization. Lead generation. Drip campaigns. But today we aren’t going to be discussing those things. Rather, on the heels of the massive Telus email outage that happened earlier this month, we wanted to go back to basics and look at the importance of having a business email address that matches your domain name.
With an expected 3-billion users by 2020, email is the most widely used business communication tool by far and an incredibly powerful brand driver - yet countless entrepreneurs, consultants and small business owners continue to use an email address that puts the name of their ISP or a multinational tech company front and centre, instead of their own business. Every email you send from @exampleISP.net or @gmail.com is a missed opportunity to promote your brand, publicize your website and make an impression. Trust us, those guys don’t need you subsidizing their brand reach.
We understand that migrating to a new, domain-based email address can feel daunting. After all, your old one has all of your contacts, your conversation history, maybe even a filing and folder system established, and it’s comfy. Everyone likes comfy. But rest assured, making the switch over is easier than you think and the benefits of branded email far outweigh the temporary inconvenience of transitioning. Plus, you don’t need to give that old address up, rather just set up email forwarding to your new and improved one.
Let's look at three major reasons why email at your domain is 100% the right move for your business.
Credibility - This is your business or personal brand you are building, and amateurish is not what you want to convey. The barriers for starting a business or consultancy has never been lower - and while that’s a great thing in many ways, it also means that there’s more saturation, noise, and competition than ever before. Anyone can create a Gmail address today. And the barrier to getting an ISP email is only marginally higher. These email addresses cast doubt on the permanence of your operation. We’ve all wondered “is this legitimate, or spam?” when looking at an email sent by a service provider or business contact that opted to a free email provider, instead of an address matches their business domain and website.
Don’t throw your credibility into question - professionals use professional email.
Branding - Branding is one of the most important steps of building, then growing a business. Neglecting to create a strong, consistent and memorable impression will curtail your success and nibble away at your bottom line. Your brand should be reflected in the communications you send to prospects and customers, and be echoed on every single touchpoint where you might expect to see contact information, such as business cards, social media accounts and print collateral. If prospects are visiting and contacting you through a website, it should go without saying that your responses should utilize the same domain. And even if you don’t have a website, what makes a stronger impression on a business card or LinkedIn page: CurtisConstruction@shaw.ca or John@CurtisConstruction.ca? No need to answer that one. Every time you use your professional email address, you build the strength of your brand, reinforce your website, and extend your reach.
Marketing - As mentioned above, this blog isn’t going to delve into email marketing tactics- however, we’d be remiss not to mention the importance of having a professional email address for future marketing activities. According to HubSpot and the email marketing software company ConstantContact, email generates $38 for every $1 spent, giving it remarkable ROI at 3,800%. People are also twice as likely to sign up to your email newsletter than to interact with you on Facebook.
Email marketing platforms like MailChimp, Constant Contact and Campaign Monitor advise or require their users to use domain-based email because free email addresses are frequently associated with domains that cause delivery issues. When you own your domain name, you can seamlessly align your email experience with your brand and improve deliverability by using authentication methods like DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Email) to verify your email’s authenticity and prevent it from being tagged as SPAM. Email is one of the best marketing channels available to small businesses on tight budgets for building loyalty, driving sales and sharing their expertise - and a professional email address is necessary for its success.
While we’ve opted to focus on a few big-ticket reasons above, there are many other benefits associated with using your own domain name for email. Among them, email client flexibility, less spam and improved privacy - particularly since it’s widely acknowledged that free providers systematically scan, analyze, and catalogue your email, anonymizing that data for sale or using it to sell ad space. But also, on a more fun note, you gain the flexibility to create whatever email addresses your heart desires and as many of them as you need.
With 61% of consumers preferring to be contacting by brands through email, isn’t it time your email address reflected your brand instead of another company’s. So what’s your new professional email address going to be?
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To learn more, read our guide about How to Get Your Own Custom Email, browse our business email plans or give our friendly support team a call. When you are ready to get your custom email account set-up, we can make it painless for you.