I have been asked multiple times, “Why do I need another email address?” Before I can get a response out the statement follows, “I already have an email address.” The person then is less open to what ever reason is about to follow. They shut down an sense of reasoning that follows regardless of how sound it really is.
The truth be told we live in a period where technology is rapidly changing. As a result of this, the rapid rate at which people are embracing it and incorporating it in their lives is rapidly increasing. Those who refuse to acknowledge the fact that our world revolves around technological advances will quickly be left behind.
Today, email is a integral part of how we communicate in daily life and business. As such, how are you representing your business? Take a good look at your email address, what does it say about you?
To be frank the methods of communication today are radically different than they were a century ago. In fact, I venture to suggest that they are more technology driven than they were a mere twenty years ago. A lot of communication in business today is carried out via the use of email, thus your email address is of the utmost importance.
If you are in business for yourself (or otherwise), you should be presenting yourself with a professional front in all forms of communications, especially your email.
Top five reasons to get another email address using your own domain name that is used strictly for business:
- Domain names are cheap.
- Domain names do not change.
- Domain names are easily recognized.
- Domain names show that you are invested in your own business.
- Domain names are cheap form of marketing.
First, domain names are cheap. A mid-range domain name registration will run you about $10 per year with no strings attached. You can get them cheaper or more expensive, but on average you can find them for about $10 per year. The price does vary by if you are registering a .com, .net. .org, etc. It also varies by how long you register the domain for.
If you do not know what you are doing, find a web designer that will run a full-service package and register and renew it for you every year. Some will do this for a small annual fee. It is worth this fee. There is no excuse for not having your own domain, lack of knowledge or understanding is no excuse.
Secondly, your domain name does not change. If you purchase a domain name, it is yours until you fail to renew that domain name. You can even purchase multiple domain names. They are yours until you fail to renew them. They do not change if your internet service provider changes.
For example, you get your internet service from AT&T but Comcast comes along and provides a much nicer package for half the cost. You decide this is a much nicer deal and you switch. You have all of your business cards printed with your AT&T email address on it. In fact, all of your ads have your AT&T email address on it. What do you do? Well you would have to have all of that reprinted and rerun. You would potentially lose business on all of those potential clients that saw the old ads or business cards. All unused business cards would be a wasted investment. You might have saved money on your internet service, but you increased your expenses on advertising and stress dealing with all the changes.
On the other hand, if your business email had been independent of your internet service provider your clients and potential clients would never have noticed your cost cutting efforts. Your change would have gone unnoticed barring any stalls on internet installation mishaps. You do not have to reprint business cards or ads. You do not have to notify anyone of the changes at all. Nothing changed except who was providing your internet and none of your clients need to know that.
Third, domain names are easily recognized. They have something to do with your business (or they should) and thus they are easy to remember. Ideally, your email will be your name at your domain name. Whether it be your first name or first and last name at your domain name is entirely up to you but people will be able to connect you as an individual with the place of business. It is like connecting names with faces. You want people to connect your name with your company. You want name recognition both for yourself and your business.
Fourth, your domain name shows that you are invested in your own business. You are serious about your business, show it. If you want people to take your seriously, take your business seriously. Maybe you do not have a website yet, at least get your email address up and running. There are services out there that you can port your domain name email through (Google Apps for Business for example) for nominal expenses per year. That being said, however, if you are taking your business seriously you should also put thought into getting a basic website professionally done. It will make the difference in the bottom line of your business.
And fifth, domain names are a cheap form of marketing because you can use them in a variety of ways. Think about every email you send and what it says about you and your business. If you are a sending an email from firstname.lastname@example.org you are advertising the services that Yahoo provides, not those that your business provides. If you send an email from your own domain, people can easily find your website because your domain is right there after the @ in your email address. They can go check out your website and learn more about your business if they choose to. Domain names can be used in online forums and other forms of online media. It is cheap and easy marketing without a lot of effort.
Should you invest in advertising and other marketing formats? Absolutely, but in the beginning when budgets are limited you might be able to squeeze by a little without them if you are willing to get out there and push your domain name. You have to get your domain name visible and the best way to do that is to use your domain name as your key point of contact – your email.
Most importantly, your email should be professional. Unless your business is all about monkeying around, your email and domain name should reflect what your business is about. What is your email saying about you and your business? Are you using a top level domain or are you riding off the free services of others? Are you email@example.com or are you firstname.lastname@example.org? Can people associate your name with your business?