Is your email address hurting your business?

Business Email Uses

Best tactics

As new media professionals, we deal everyday with requests from prospects, clients, providers and other parties, and just by looking at their email address we can tell a lot. A prospect who is looking for website development or hosting with an aol.com address -in our experience- spells trouble. Being still attached to AOL as a business resource tells us that you are likely very reluctant to change,  even that you are technologically averse. Not very different from asking us “I want a website but I don’t do email”.

NOTE: I have nothing against AOL, I was their customer from 1996 to 1998 and it once was the dominating online provider, but it is a company that got complacent in its business model, trying to make it easy for the customer but refusing to adapt to an ever changing environment. Their services fulfill a role in personal communications, but we deem them very lacking in the business ecology.

Business Email recommendations

Let’s revise our recommendations for business email:

Use your own domain: Instead of using ForImage@hotmail.com set yourself up with info@ForImage.com (obviously an example only), here is why:

  • Ownership – Your domain is yours: As long as you pay the domain registration (ForImage.com in this example) only you own the use of it. That works towards building your brand. It tells everybody you are serious and accountable about your business.
  • Portability – Your domain is portable: You are not tied to a provider, you have the capability of moving your operation to another provider if you want/need. If your email address is ForImage@yahoo.com and you change providers you have to notify every party you do business. You will most probably lose business.
  • Your can increase your productivity: By embracing a new technology, your email can become way more than your email. It can become your instant message platform, your scheduling system, your document collaboration platform, and a lot more.
  • You have control over mail flow: you can set up info@ForImage.com to send copies of every email to Joe@ForImage.com and Kate@ForImage.com. You may even set rules of which emails to send or delegate someone in your organization to screen your email.
  • Accesibility – You can have your email everywhere: Modern email implementations (notably using IMAP) will hold the email on the server so you can access it from your office PC, check it, search and reply from your tablet at the coffee shop, and check it again in your home PC, accessing all the time the same messages in all the devices.
  • You can expand the use of your domain: Your domain allows you of course to have a website set up on ForImage.com and/or www.ForImage.com but you can also set up fb.ForImage.com to re-direct to your Facebook page and tw.ForImage.com to your Twitter feed.