When someone makes the decision to contact your business, that first contact may be in person (if you have a storefront), or by phone, or it may be by email.
When that first contact is by email, part of that first impression that potential new client has comes from your email address.
What does your email address say about your business?
You might be surprised what the email address you use for your business says about you and your business. It might be supporting the message you want to convey to new clients or it might be undermining that very message.
The other day, I saw a great big panel truck driving down the freeway. The name of the business was on the side and did a great job of grabbing my attention. Then I noticed the email address that was also in large letters on the side of the truck: @.
A lot of business people use gmail for their business address for it’s ease of use. However, the message you send is — my business is not serious!
Imagine you are writing an email to a large company you know. Would you be comfortable sending your message to @? How about @?
Using a gmail address for your business says your business is very small (likely only you) and it diminishes trust that you actually represent the organization that you say you do.
What you can do:
If you have a website for your business, the hosting plan you already pay for likely includes at least one email address. Setting up these email addresses are fairly straightforward and take only a few minutes.
You can then use gmail to manage your account — you don’t have to lose the gmail interface and functionality in order to improve your company’s image.
@ became a very popular catch-all email address in the 1990s. It was a good way to set up one address that everyone could use to contact your company.
The problem was, the spammers learned this as well. They no longer had to do any research to find valid email addresses — they just had to harvest URLs and add info@ and they had an entire list of valid email addresses.
To combat the inundation of spam, companies dropped info@ in favor of more personalized email addresses — lesa@, bob.smith@, suzy@ — with only a handful of department-based email addresses — generally things like support@ or sales@.
If you are using @ for your business, I know two things about you: 1. you are between 35 and 55, and 2. you have not kept up with the changes in email standards. What it says about your business is: it’s behind the times!
What you do:
Instead of having one catch-all email address, set up multiple purpose-based email addresses for your company, even if it’s only you running it. It only takes a few minutes to set up each address and they can all forward to one address, if that is easier for you to manage.
There are three benefits to this system.
1. It looks like your organization is larger than it is.
2. You will receive less spam (spammers still routinely send mass amounts of spam to info@ addresses because people like you haven’t switched away from them).
3. When you do hire someone to help you, it is a simple process to give them responsibility for one of your email addresses, rather than trying to sort through one large inbox for the things they are responsible for.
The email address that you use to represent your business DOES matter. Take a few minutes to set up an address that sends the message that you want to convey to your customers: I’m someone you want to do business with.