John Reynolds is an up-and-coming entrepreneur who has grown his home-grown invention into a profitable small business. Most days find John on the road selling, while his small office staff man the office and handle order fulfillment and shipping. His website’s domain name (DN) defines the name of his business, but he still uses Gmail to receive and send email. Sound familiar?
It’s not uncommon that we take on new website projects for small business owners who have a free Gmail or Yahoo! email address and want to keep it, even after they acquire a new domain name for their business.
They reason that their current customers have their (free) email address, so they worry that switching email addresses could lose business. They like being able to access their email from anywhere. In other words, the focus is on personal convenience rather than their customer!
People buy products or services to make their lives better or to fill a need. Their choice usually boils down to which solution most closely matches their expectation. In other words, they are attracted and motivated by the brand and the brand message.
You wouldn’t have a website domain like mybusiness.wordpress.com, so why have an email address like firstname.lastname@example.org?
We believe every business, even a 1-person business, should have a custom domain name and email address. Here’s why:
- Branding rules the business world. It’s how customers remember you and why we print business cards with meaningful icons and certain colors.
- An email address from Gmail or Yahoo screams “I’m not professional and I can’t afford to do it right.” You may not be able to afford to make a good product or provide me with good service either.
- You already have a domain name, so you are already paying for a custom email address. There are plenty of tutorials to teach you how to set it up.
- You can look larger than you really are. Email address like email@example.com, products@, service@, sales@ help organize your incoming email and also leave the impression of customer-centered professionalism. Still keeping it simple for you!
If you take your business seriously, use a professional email address. Don’t know where to start? Contact Linda with questions about branding and design or Eric about how to acquire a domain name and set up a professional email address for your small business. Part of our brand messaging is that “we always try harder and work smarter to create and build the creative things that foster deep connections between brands and their customers.” What’s your brand message? We’d like to hear how we can help you.