What Your Email Address Says About Your Company
It’s 2012 why do emails from your business come from a free service?
Hey, Gmail is great—over 425 million people think so—but should you be using it for business?
A survey conducted by Visible Logic revealed that 70 percent of respondents perceive messages coming from a platform such as Gmail.com or Hotmail.com as less professional. Accordingly, 90 percent of respondents find messages in the “name(at)businessname(dot)com” style to be the most professional.
According to Emily Brackett, president of Visible Logic, a firm can lose its credibility when using a free domain name or email server – a move that is in many ways similar to “putting a sign for somebody else’s business over your front door.”
So what can you do?
Lets assume you have access to your domain and host accounts…
Email Forwarding: Most providers have a tool or tab somewhere in your administration screen where you can set up and edit email forwards. This is typically very simple to do and will allow you to set up an address like email@example.com that you can give to clients, print on business cards, etc.. The address, however, will simply forward received messages to your current address and inbox, the downside is that you will (typically) be unable to “reply as” this address.
Google Apps: Go a step further and open a Google Apps for Business account. There you can set up email addresses and other services for your company–you will need to make some changes to your domain’s MX record settings which may be difficult for novices. This solution in effect is a poor-mans exchange server, allowing you to access your messages wherever you can access Gmail and creates an actual firstname.lastname@example.org address for you to send and receive messages from.
Exchange Server: Finally, for those with more employees, many hosts offer exchange hosting packages where you can set up a cloud based Microsoft Exchange Server account and take advantage of all of the power the Microsoft Outlook has to offer. These plans are typically pretty scaleable, are fairly easy to set-up (since they are linked directly to your hosting account) and often come with complementary software. The downside is that these plans can get a little pricey for smaller firms.
It’s time to be aware of the message you are sending when you send a message. Everyone has their own abilities, needs and budget to determine what works best for them. In the end though, it is easier than you may think to set up a simple, professional looking email address for your company.