BUSINESS BRANDED EMAIL
I’ve been in business for close to 7 years, working for Bit-Bite, and prior to that in the corporate sector for about 5 years. Because of the nature of my job, over these past 12 years I’ve dealt with thousands of customers, exchanged thousands of business cards and sent another couple of thousand emails back and forth. The one thing that has always caught my eye, especially on someone’s business card is the use of a free domain or another business’ domain name (botsnet.bw or btcmail, gmail.com, yahoo.com, vbn.co.bw etc) used as part of their email address. It seems there are lots of business owners who are not using business branded emails but prefer to use services such Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo as well as some of our local ISP branded domains.
For me, there’s nothing worse than looking at a business card and seeing someone with a Yahoo or Gmail email address. Usually, when I spot this on a business card, I start to wonder:
- How long has this person been in business?
- Can I trust this representative of the business?
- Do they have a premises or are they a briefcase company?
- Because I am a security expert – Is their free email account spam infested? Who manages and monitors the safety of these accounts?
Here are 5 reasons why you NEED to have a business branded email.
You are a professional, representing a professional practice, and your email address should reflect this. Your colleagues’ email addresses should reflect this branded professionalism as well. Your email is usually one of the first avenues of contact that you have with potential customers or buyers. Get rid of that Gmail address and start representing your business in a professional manner.
Think about it. Here you are, a Managing Director or Marketing Director of your company, seeking business from your potential customer and you’re not willing to invest in the way you present yourself through your emails? Some people that are not brand conscious may ignore it but I can guarantee that for others, that’s the last time you will ever hear from them.
2. BRANDING & MARKETING
Why promote other businesses by having their brand on your business card? In other words, you are indirectly selling their product and NOT getting paid for it! You should be promoting your business name. Branding and marketing are two of the most important components in any business. A simple thing like having your business name on a domain speaks volumes about your outlook on branding. It suggests that you consider even the smallest details and that you take your brand very seriously. In recent months, two well known ISP companies in Botswana had to undergo the painful undertaking of informing their customers that they would be forcing a change of domain name attached to customer email addresses, forcing their customers to change their email addresses, in a sense. Can you imagine the horror of now having to inform all your contacts and associates that due to circumstances beyond your control, you are now forced to adopt a new domain and change your email address! Well, the truth is that the ISP is within their right to do that. They are at liberty to do what ever they want. Why? Because the domain belongs to them. It’s their property, their brand, extended to their customers. In such cases, the customer isn’t in control!
Purchasing your own domain gives you full ownership of that domain, thus giving you control on how, when and what that domain can be used for. For example, if you were running with a btcmail or Gmail domain name, you could forget about trying to host your business website on it!
3. CAN MY BUSINESS BE TRUSTED?
One of the most important qualities of a business is credibility. Showing that you use a free Gmail or Yahoo email for your business doesn’t instil trust. So, let me ask you a question. Would you entrust your business to a law firm, for example, that used something like email@example.com? I’m sure you would be highly suspicious. What about a printing business or an IT repair shop?
4. SECURITY, PRIVACY AND SUPPORT
Privacy Violations with Free Email Services
If fact, if you are a top executive busy job hunting whilst using these free domains consider reading Meg Guiseppi‘s article.
If you depended on your email address as being an integral business communication tool, why use such a risky platform or service? If things go wrong with your email address, who is going to assist you? Remember, these services are free and if and when your account goes down, you are on your own.
5. BUY BOTSWANA | Support Local!
Here’s an extract from BOCRA’s (Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority) .BW website:
LET’S FIX THIS – DITCH YOUR FREE EMAIL ADDRESS
Getting a domain name is a very painless and easy process. It’s inexpensive and quick! Bit-Bite offers domain registration and email hosting services. We can help you .com, .net, .org, .co.bw domains in a matter of minutes. If you’re still using one of those generic email providers, and you’ve read this post, the first thing you should do is setup your business email.