As with many articles that I post in the Marketing Section of the Prozone, the genesis starts with a particular “pet hate” of mine. These “pet-hates” then become part of the training that I provide to scuba diving centers through Dive Media Solutions and then eventually become blog posts here.
This blog post is no different and not only does this article relate to something that irritates me, it is also something that will cost you money!
What Do I Mean By “Free” Email Address
When I refer to free email addresses I mean the ones that are easy to sign up for and are primarily web-based. For example – gmail.com from Google, hotmail.com from Microsoft and ymail.com from Yahoo.
Why Are They Costing You Money?
Let me start by saying that I actually think free email accounts from Google, Hotmail, Yahoo and many others are fantastic. They are easy to set up, easy to use and are a perfect way of sending and receiving mail over the Internet for personal use. The area I don’t like these services is for business purposes.
You have probably gone to a lot of effort and maybe money to buy your website address and have your website built but using a free email service will then devalue this work that you have done.
Your website and your email address is quite often the first impression a potential customer will have for you. You have put a lot of effort into choosing a website address which correctly reflects your service or your brand identity and then you run the risk of spoiling this by using a free email service.
Here Is An Example of What I Mean
What looks better in these two examples?: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
“But My Website Is A Good Address”
This may well be the case and if someone visits your website and completes your contact form they will not necessarily know what your email address is. But what about when you hand out a business card, tell someone your email address or you reply to their email. Remember, when it comes to doing anything online, impression is everything.
I saw a prime example of this many years ago and whilst I can’t remember the name of the company, what I do remember is that they were a haulage company who had their website and email address printed on the side of their trucks. The website address was something like “www.haulage.com” but the email was the equivalent of email@example.com – What a wasted opportunity!! Would firstname.lastname@example.org not have made more sense?
Free Email Is Not Always Easy To Remember
Can you remember the email address of everyone you have ever met? It would be an unrealistic expectation. If my email address was email@example.com it is unlikely you would ever remember it, but when you know I am the editor and founder of The Scuba News then it is much easier to remember that my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org – Don’t you agree?
Your Email Address Will Generate Website Visitors
When I receive an email from someone I don’t know I always see if their email address is connected to a website in some way. They could be asking me about advertising with The Scuba News or submitting articles for publishing. Before I reply I want to take a look at their website. If the email address was email@example.com then this is easy but if they use firstname.lastname@example.org this is not possible.
Imagine if I was a potential customer! I am not the only person who does this so you could have potentially cost yourself a website visitor and in this market place every website visitor is important.
I will point out that some free email services will let you use a website specific email (for example Gmail offers this) but it is much better to set up your email when you set up your website. Talk to your hosting provider about this because it is simple to set up and should not cost you anything more that what you are already paying for your website.
If you have any questions or you need some advice about setting up a website specific email address please don’t hesitate to contact me.