You’ve certainly gone to a web page’s Contact Us section and noticed that salespeople or employees have email accounts having their usernames + gmail.com many times. The ordinary individual will question if that’s their actual personal email account, regardless if it isn’t the most crucial measure of a company’s quality. Companies with foresight will see the value of having something more professional.
Why not take advantage of your hosting account’s free domain email, for example? Using email addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org will compared to utilizing a personal email address appear significantly more professional. The bottom line is that if you’ve paid for a domain, you should at the very least purchase it from a domain registrar that provides email forwarding for their accounts. You can also use the cpanel given by your hosting company to create a domain email address; they’ll also give you at least one free email address.
The Issue with Leaning on Others’ Platforms
The massive six-hour outage of all Facebook-based programs, which occurred at the beginning of October 2021, can be claimed to have had both major and secondary impacts. While the primary ones were expressed in concrete figures in the form of direct financial damage to the company and its customers, indirect ones were more difficult to quantify. One of them was that, with the demise of the Facebook platform, the whole business, marketing, and sales platform of those tiny and micro-businesses that rely on it as their sole (or dominating) digital business-sales area also descended.
This incident posed another question to the business community: can business owners equally be overwhelmed by the strategic decision to entrust their correspondences by e-mail to platforms that aren’t under their control?
The Domain Name Also Determines the E-mail Address
One of the major steps toward developing a modern brand and digital presence, in general, has already been mentioned: selecting the right domain extension and domain name. A well-designed and well-located corporate website is a critical component of modern business from which everything begins and over which its owner has complete and irrefutable authority. Trust is an asset that’s exceedingly uncommon and sought after in the online environment, and a well-designed and realized web presence generates trust and improves the relationship between the site owner (and the brand behind it) and its users.
The online identity of the company is embodied in the name of the Internet domain, which defines not only the address of the website but also the e-mail address. While the link between the domain name and the website’s web address is more well-known and discussed, e-mail is usually considered only when something goes wrong, which is a big mistake, given the importance of this service in digital business.
Reliable Service for Modern Business
Although it’s a technology that’s decades old, e-mail hasn’t lost its significance over time. On the contrary, it’s a cheap, fast, efficient, accessible, and widely used medium that, among other things, acquires new customers and users, informs the community about information relevant to the brand (mailing lists), and is a means of converting potential customers into concrete ones.
Giving up email as a marketing and sales channel, therefore, would by no means be a wise move. However, you should pay attention to the basic rules of its proper use, of which the most important is to avoid using all domain names that aren’t under your control and which can cause mistrust of recipients and other problems related to the security and integrity of message content.
We now delve deeper into the allegations made at the start of the article: one example is the usage of e-mail addresses obtained from one of the free/public, generic services for these purposes (Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc.). It may appear, especially for small firms, that relying naively and entirely on such platforms is a good idea because the corporations behind them also offer a variety of additional services that are tightly integrated with one another and with email. When we consider that the integration (convergence) was carried out with Android, the most popular mobile operating system, the choice of one @gmail address is, at first glance, completely straight-thinking. In actuality, though, things are very different.
Challenges and Risks of Using Public Email Services
The technical ease of sending mass e-mails from the Gmail platform carries with it significant challenges and risks:
Selection of the Sender’s Username
It’s extremely possible that the intended sender (e-mail account user) name is already taken in the case of rudimentary and free use of the Gmail service or similar generic service. This practically means that you can forget freely choosing the domain extension (it will always be @gmail.com), but also you can forget completely freely choosing the primary part of the email address (username).
Most likely result in addresses like email@example.com, dentalpracticejohnson firstname.lastname@example.org, etc., which, you’ll admit, don’t seem well visually either are outcomes of your attempts to create many e-mail accounts, so you’ll have to be inventive…
Entrusting the Contact List to Someone Else’s Platform
Employing the Gmail provider requires laying out sensitive information with a third party, putting the service’s privacy, security, and integrity at risk. Unlike his, using third-party, i.e. email marketing services that include mailing list management and campaign creation, such as Benchmark, is quite all right.
Events Beyond Your Control
Although Google claims that its email service is available over 99% of the time, cases of system crashes, its unavailability, and emails that never reached the recipient aren’t uncommon and as a user, you have no influence on that.
You’re only one of the users on the platform and as such you depend on their professionalism and goodwill.
Issues Regarding Security
Hackers target public e-mail systems in particular because they can take control of a large number of accounts in one fell swoop and obtain access to a big amount of sensitive information stored in those accounts.
Data Privacy Issues
Despite the fact that each of these platforms has its own range of user agreements, monitoring mechanisms for protecting the privacy of supplied information and data play a special role, many of them haven’t proven to be special ‘champions’ in this area in recent years, and an additional level of caution in this regard is justified.
Recipient Trust – A Key Issue in Email Communication
The key point about choosing how to address your followers and clients via email is the issue of trust. Digital business experts point out that a domain name (and therefore email addresses) tailored to branding needs enhances credibility, builds a professional image, and positively impacts the overall brand. If, for example, you’re opening a dental practice, there’s a good chance that recipients would rather open an email from email@example.com than firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even though respectable entrepreneurs can use either address, a recent survey found that 79% of email users trust emails sent from a business address that includes the corporation’s domain name. The mentioned survey also pointed out that 72% of the respondents are more inclined to react to a mail from a branded business e-mail address than to one sent from a generic platform.
If the entire email service is under your direct control, you can easily develop marketing strategies and actions that include cross-branding – the contact email address on the brochure or flyer is in itself for promotion purposes, and in the case of using a public Internet service, it’s realistic to promote this service more than your firm.
When selecting a domain name, extra consideration should be given to the entire business segment that depends on email communication. In addition to standing the test of time and being used more than ever before, the thoughtful use of email will also serve as a method for building your web presence and the online identity of your business.