Your email is a core tool for your business and it needs to be professional in order to consistently present the best image of your brand to your customers. For most business owners, their first venture into having a business email address is either a free or cheap email account purchased through a web host. While this might be acceptable as a short-term starter solution, free email addresses can be a serious red flag for consumers who feel it lacks credibility. In other words, you get what you pay for and free email is not good business.
When people see an email account that is from a free service, they may assume that you are reluctant to spend money, therefore the products and services that you offer may not be of the highest quality. Consumer perceptions are critical to the success of your business. Having a free email address may make those who are considering doing business with you think twice before they enter into a relationship with you. An easy remedy: register your business domain name in order to have a professional business email address. Businesses with professional email addresses are viewed as more established businesses. You might be surprised at how this simple, inexpensive step can easily open up a large amount of new business opportunities for you and your business.
No domain? No business investment.
Registering your domain name is very inexpensive. Failure to register your domain will likely be viewed as a direct lack of investment into your business. Customers may wonder where else you’ve cut costs (a.k.a. corners). This feeds into the perception that your products or services are of inferior quality.
Are you here to stay?
If you aren’t investing in one of the most inexpensive purchases a business can make, consumers will begin to question whether your business is here to stay. Customers need to be able to trust that you will always work with their best interests in mind. A professional email address reflects your willingness to invest consumers’ hard-earned money reassuring them that your brand is trustworthy and that you plan to stick around for a very long time. Having a legitimate business email address and email system is evidence of your willingness to invest in your business for the betterment of consumer experiences with your brand.
‘Free’ means ‘No technical support’.
I don’t know who you plan to call when your free email service goes out of commission because I can guarantee you that no one’s answering the phone over at Yahoo. With a true email hosting service, you will very often get technical support (you certainly would with us). In the event that your email service stops working at that critical time, you will be able to get the help you need. AND, let’s face it: any time is a critical time because communication is a top priority in any business.
It’s not for a business.
Although a free email address might be enough for your business now, it will definitely not be a good option as you continue to grow. Free email services offer a consumer-grade set of products and so the clever features offered in a business-standard email platform are immediately missed out on. Your business services need to be able to scale actively with your business successes. You don’t need the stress or potential downtime of having to change email services when you get busy. You won’t have time for that!
You are missing out!
Using your domain name in your email address is similar to how product placement is used in the movies to get people to remember that product looooong after the movie is over.
When you use your business domain name in your email communications, you are continually presenting your company name over and over again. It’s like free marketing. Failure to take this opportunity to market your own business is the same as putting a sign up for somebody else’s business over your front door. In other words, you are advertising for Gmail and not your own business. Google thanks you, but your customers won’t.
If your email has your domain name in the email address, you are cementing the name of your company into your potential customer’s mind. Do this over and over again and the customer will remember your company before any other company when they are about to buy your products or services.
Custom domain – cheap billboard.
Hosting your email separately from your web host is definitely worth considering because you can ensure that your website’s disk space doesn’t run too low. You want to make sure you have plenty of space for website content and, quite frankly, your business email shouldn’t be a “bonus feature” of your web hosting. When your emails and hosting are in the same location,you risk losing temporary access to everything if there is a problem with the server or the data center. Fortunately, there are a number of budget-friendly options:
- Google Workspace – One of the two best options for most businesses with excellent deliverability rates and access to a whole suite of tools.
- Office 365 – A great option with access to the Microsoft Office software that you probably already use.
- Zoho Mail – They have a very cheap starter plan that is good for conservative budgets and there are additional reasonably priced options available.
- Rackspace – Offers affordable, per user email plans.
- Namecheap – Affordable plans with good options, especially if your domain is already registered with them.
It’s worth spending a small amount of money so that you can register your domain, representing your brand to consumers as credible and trustworthy. In addition, is anything in life truly free? I think not, but the general cost associated with a business email system is significantly less than the cost of a customer facing issues such as deliverability or customer service problems. Customer relationships need to last for a very, very long time. An investment in your business email system shows consumers that you will be around for a long time.
Many business owners make the mistake of letting somebody else take care of the technicalities of domain name management, not realizing that if something goes wrong, they could lose their domain. Here’s the bottom line: you should ALWAYS be in charge of your own domain name! Allowing someone else to handle your business is akin to carelessly tossing away the keys to your kingdom! Don’t let go of the rope on this one! Don’t. Do. It. That’s why, here at Marlin Consulting Solutions ensure you are always 100% in control of your domain.
Walk with me. What if you have a falling out with your domain manager or your employee leaves your business for greener pastures? You are compromising your position in maintaining control over your domain name and burdening yourself with unnecessary (and easily avoidable) added stress. Count the cost. Is it really worth it? No. Not in the least.
Your domain name is one of your most important business assets. In fact, you really can’t build your brand without it as it is the conduit by which your brand becomes cemented in the minds of consumers.
- Domain names make it easy for consumers to remember you the next time they want to check out your products and services directly ESPECIALLY if you can find an exact match brand name!
- Your domain name helps to establish expectations for your customers.
- Your domain name has the power to increase click-through rates.
- Domain-based email addresses aid in establishing a more professional presence among tech-savvy consumers.
- You cannot build a website apart from a domain name. In fact, 82% of consumers research on their mobile devices before they ever set foot inside a store, so you must have a solid domain name from which to build your business website which can be accessed 24/7.
Allowing someone else to register your domain name could mean that you are allowing them ownership. You might as well hand over the business right now. In addition, your domain name is part of your intellectual property and deserves utmost protection.
Managing your own domain name really isn’t all that complicated. It just sounds dreadfully laborious. You can start by simply keeping the login details of your domain registrar secure. Use a password manager and make sure that you don’t hand these details over to anyone whom you wouldn’t trust with your firstborn child. Unfortunately, there have been occasions where people have transferred domains out of accounts and it has been very difficult for people to get them back.
While it’s tempting to ignore those pesky reminders in your email inbox, again I say, “DON’T”! You might miss your renewal reminder in doing so and failure to renew your domain name will halt the workings of your business website and email. Essentially, failure to renew can put you out of business pretty quickly! If you are already beating your head against the wall because you forgot to renew, immediately contact the registrar that provided your domain name registration to discuss possible renewal options. If you don’t know your current registrar of record, check out WHOIS.
Domain name management is pretty simple. Here’s a brief recap:
- Retain domain name ownership.
- Keep your login info secure and don’t share it with anyone whom you do not trust with your firstborn child.
- Don’t forget where you registered.