One of the fatal branding errors that some businesses make is in their email address. I call this problem “the ugly email” – businesses that use email addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or an email through their Internet provider.
As an entrepreneur, you have invested a lot of your time and energy in building up your business. Why use an email that can cost you valuable business. Maybe I’m overly sensitive because I’m in the technology industry. I can’t help but cringe every time I see the “ugly email” on a business card or website.
I find it even more surprising when I see these email addresses on business websites. I wonder why they haven’t set up a professional email address using the domain name they already own since most of the domain registrars offer business emails.
Below are a few tips to help you use your email to build your brand:
1. Create a business email. Your business name is a big part of your brand. You miss out on a great branding opportunity by not using your business name in your email. Why not advertise your own company each time you send an email instead of advertising for other companies like Yahoo or Google! Use your domain name for your email such as firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Set up multiple emails. Create multiple email accounts to address different divisions of your business. All of these emails can be forwarded to the same person (or multiple people) but this gives the impression of a large, sophisticated operation. You can easily set up multiple accounts such as email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
3. Use free email for subscriptions. Use your free email accounts such as Yahoo or Google to subscribe to online newsletters. It will help you avoid spam in your business email accounts. I like to use one of these free email accounts when subscribing so if I start getting a lot of spam to one of these email accounts, I can easily cancel that email address without affecting the rest of the communications in my main business email address.
4. Track customer feedback through email. Your multiple emails are powerful tools to analyze your business performance. When you set up a separate email address for each division of your company, you can learn about types of questions you get from customers. At the end of the month, add up the number of inquiries to each email account. Over time, you can determine where your next hire should be or where you should make improvements in your operations. It will help you make informed management decisions.
There’s no reason to look small even if you’re a small business. Free email services like Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Gmail or your Internet service provider’s email look unprofessional. It impacts the credibility of your business.
Cybele Negris is the president and co-founder of Webnames.ca, Canada’s original .ca registrar and an Internet solutions company in Vancouver, BC. She serves on the boards of Small Business BC, Small Business Roundtable of BC and the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs. She has been recognized for her outstanding achievements with numerous awards, including Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, Business in Vancouver’s Influential Women in Business, PROFIT W100 Canada’s Top Women Entrepreneurs (2004 to 2011), and Business in Vancouver’s Top 40 Under 40 (2003). She also speaks at over a dozen entrepreneurship and technology events each year.