If your a small business owner that emails customers, your email address can speak volumes about your professionalism, your approach to business and your tech savvy-ness.
Seriously, You Still Use @hotmail @yahoo or @gmail?
If you are a small business owner that communicates with customers through a @hotmail, @yahoo or @gmail email address, I am going to throw a hot jam donut at you. And angle it so the hot jam bit hits your skin… then hits the ground so you can’t even eat the donut. What are you doing? It’s at least 2011 (Just trying to future proof this article).
People want confidence that the businesses they are dealing with knows its stuff and can come through with the goods. Shoppers don’t want some shonky operator who might go belly up next Tuesday. Representing your business through a free email account such as @hotmail.com screams backyard operator. The kind that operates on a shoe string budget, perilously close to foreclosing.
Sure you could be a backyard operator operating on a shoe string budget, but you want to give the perception that you operate a well oiled machine that is trustworthy and kicks butt.
ok, ok. If you don’t have a website and you mainly send email correspondence to other businesses (that don’t buy from you) I slightly forgive you for holding onto your free address.
Getting a Professional Email Address is Easy
If you have a website, take advantage of your website hosts capability. You’ve paid for it. These days, setting up an email account to be @yourdomain.com only takes a few clicks. Your website host should either be able to set this up for you, or at least flick you some instructions to lead you on your merry way.
What’s Your Email Username?
A username provides customers context. Sure, if you’ve got a small business, I recommend simply having your first name, as it’s more friendly – i.e David@MySite.com. As you add other users, follow the same protocol, so that consistency can pay off.
But if you operate a larger business, or have multiple users look after the same inbox, it may be more appropriate to use a customer service identifier such as
Just ensure the username of the email address(es) you use are relevant to your customers and reflective of the activity they operate in. Also, for sensitive topics, don’t go ahead and create an inbox named either Complaints@Mysite.com or Resolutions@MySite.com as this either gives the impression you get a lot of complaints, or confirms to customers that they actually do have a complaint.
Growing your small business,
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Thanks for this article David, it just prompted me to create a professional business email address. I just launched my website and had been using a personal iprimus address, as the hosting domain charges extra for a domain email address. But I can create a free one with iprimus, so that’s what I’ve done tonight, inspired by your article, so thank you.
There really was no excuse, should have done this before my launch 2 weeks ago, but it’s never too late.
Glad to hear that I helped spur you into action Tracey. Interesting to hear that your host doesn’t bundle email for free as part of your package. That’s pretty much a given these days. As it’s not a real cost to them – apart from potentially chewing up some more bandwidth.
You’ve made some good points about projecting a professional image to customers with business email address…. After all it is really easy to do.
Though I think your going a bit far with the hot doughnut treatment though haha
Cheers Cade. Sometimes you just need to throw food at people to get their attention.
Gosh David you dont beat around the bush about marketing your email address sucks information!!!
I have gmail account emails because I dont have a small business…but you have got me wondering if I should be using our web address for a few of our websites that are starting to take off!
New Life on the Road had over 9,500 visitors last month (and has been growing every month) so I think that I might get onto setting up a real email address that doesnt scream out “Cheap”!!!
Great advice David. Can you tell me if it is worthwhile me re-directing my gmail address to an address where I have my business name after the “@’ as you recommend or do you think it is different for bloggers?
Please don’t throw a hot jam donut at me…unless you use spelt flour, it is organic and the jam is home made using grape juice and not sugar. ….hehe….
If your email address is ‘hidden’ behind a contact form, and you don’t interact with people via email, then keeping your gmail address is fine – as you’re never really going to use it.
Thank you so much for sharing useful information.your article divert my mind to create a professional email address to expand the business.
As usual you have given us some great info to help us to be more professional in our small business.
Yep, or Google Apps! Even if they don’t have their own sites, get a basic DNS service with their domain registrar, sign up for the free version of Google Apps and point their mail traffic there. This gives them the email address using their domain and also gives them an awesome mail / productivity suite that is probably better than whatever they are currently using!
i didn’t realise how easy it was to get a customized email address. I’ve never really got in gmail or hotmail, but I guess optusnet isn’t much better!
Great article David!
I seriously want to slap people in business who send me stuff from gmail, or even worse, hotmail accounts!
I don’t know if I would waste a jam donut on them though. Mmmmmmm
I have to admit, I don’t patronize businesses (especially that are selling something technical or computer-related) that have a Gmail or Yahoo email address. Yes, those are free, and yes they are easy to set up and use, but let’s face it–if your doctor wrote a prescription on a napkin, or on a bit of that paper from the examination table that he just ripped off, you would probably start looking for another doctor.
Business websites that don’t have a professional email address just scream unprofessionalism. If you want to advertise to the world that you are setting up your website after reading a book from the library and are running your business off your front porch, there is no better way.