The free email services are great for your personal need, but I know I’m not the only one who doubts the professionalism of people using one of the free email services for business purposes. Paying for a hosted email account is easier and cheaper than you think, especially when you consider the increased credibility, branding opportunities, and other benefits they provide.
In business, perception is very important. When your first contact with new or potential customers is via email, email@example.com definitely looks more professional than firstname.lastname@example.org. Having your email routed through your own domain makes your company seems more established and will make customers more comfortable dealing with you. A professional email address with your business name will also likely help increase business.
2. Build Trust
When a customer sees your professional email address, they can easily look up your company and website to find more information. This makes you more legitimate and engenders greater trust in prospective customers or collaborators.
3. Be Remembered
When you correspond with a customer or prospect by business email, they’ll know exactly how to find your business online because it’s in your email address. The same is true if someone forwards one of your emails. Your online business address is right there for those leads to follow.
4. Privacy & Compliance
Depending on the nature of your business, privacy may become an issue. Many public email services are susceptible to hacking, potentially exposing your confidential business information and possibly other secure information to hackers and thieves.
Some businesses may also have compliance issues to be concerned about. In Australia, anyone storing financial or federal data is required to host that data within the country. If you’re sending your email through Hotmail or some equivalent, then you’re technically in breach of that law. The same applies for all kinds of contracts, especially with any kind of legal or government work. Having your own hosted domain ensures you can choose where your email data is stored and head off any compliance issues before they arise.
5. Email Addresses by Department
Separate your incoming email by its purpose by having department email addresses. Even if you’re a one-person shop, having addresses like email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com can help you compartmentalize your incoming email and even make you look like a bigger company that you might actually be.