When you first started your small business, did you haphazardly begin sending emails from your personal email address? Or, if you’re still in the planning stages of starting a new business, do you think you'll be fine sending your business emails from a Yahoo! or Gmail account? If so, think again. The email domain from which you send your emails has a major effect on your business’s credibility and reputation.
Here are six reasons why every small business should have its own email domain.
1. It's free advertising for your business. Every time you send someone an email, you’re subtly branding your business. The question is, do you want to brand it as "Steve13@gmail.com" or "Steve.Smith@smithaccounting.com"? Obviously, the latter option will help imprint your business brand in the recipient's mind.
2. It makes your business seem more credible. Which small business owner are you more likely to trust and want to do business with: one who sends emails from a name like "firstname.lastname@example.org" or one who sends emails from a professional-looking domain name like “email@example.com”? If you use a personal email address for business communications, your business will look like a part-time endeavor at best, and a shady scam at worst.
3. It offers the possibility for expansion. If you have business partners or employees, or if you ever plan to hire employees one day, having your own business email domain allows you to develop a consistent naming convention for your staff and departments. This looks professional and helps customers easily find the right people to email.
4. Your email marketing efforts will get better results. If customers see that your emails come from your company's email domain, they'll immediately know they are legitimate and be more likely to open and act on them. However, if you send marketing emails from a free email domain, these emails stand a greater chance of being marked as junk or even blocked as spam. This not only wastes all of your email marketing efforts, but also puts your other business emails at risk of not being delivered to the recipients. Do you want to take the chance that a prospect won’t get your proposal or a customer won’t get your invoice?
5. It's affordable. The amount of money or saving by using a free email domain is negligible. Various providers, including Zoho, GoDaddy and 1&1, offer business email domains for just a few dollars per user per month. This includes managing and storing your emails, in addition to the domain name itself. For the peace of mind, professionalism and branding you get in return, this is well worth the expense.