Gmail is a free, Google-owned service that allows users to set up a new e-mail address instantly. But if you’re using it for business, you may be sending out the wrong message to your customers.
According to Amsterdam, a study by Visible Logic found that 70 per cent of respondents perceived emails coming from a free email service like Yahoo, GMail, and Hotmail were less professional. Respondents emphasised that emails from a company name (example: [email protected]) were more professional.
In the early days of the Internet, computer users were likely to open any email that showed up in our inboxes. But after nearly two decades of junk mail and spam, users have become jaded. If an email doesn’t look official, we’re far less likely to open it. Users have become very adept at spotting good emails in a long list of “Make Money From Home” advertisements.
If your email doesn’t look legitimate, you might be losing customers and potential clients right away. Your domain administrator can easily set it up so every email you send has [email protected] That email can then be forwarded to an email address of your choosing. Yes, even your GMail account.
If you manage your own domain, you should have been given access to a domain account control panel. Once you log in, look at your various choices. There may be a section specifically dealing with “Forwarding.” If not, check for a section that addresses “Email” or go to your account settings. Most domain control consoles are fairly straightforward, allowing you to simply enter your domain account name ([email protected]) in one box and the email address you want it forwarded to in the other. If you have problems, the company who hosts your domain should have a help section and/or a customer support line where they can walk you through it.
Does it matter? According to Emily Brackett, president of Visible Logic, using a free email service for your business emails is like “putting a sign for somebody else’s business over your front door.” Why not blast your name out there for all the world to see?
Not only are you missing a valuable opportunity to get your business name out there in front of people, but the choice to send emails to your customers from your GMail account can be a bit disconcerting to customers. The public has come to think of free email services as something used for personal email. We’re used to seeing it in emails from college buddies and our Aunt Mildred in Kansas. Your choice to use a free email account may come across to your customers as a sign that your business is not making enough of a profit to afford a website. With web hosting services as low as $3.95 a month, that’s not very likely. But the perception is still there, and it might shake the trust of the very customers whose trust you are trying to win.
With domain forwarding so easy and inexpensive, there’s no excuse to still be sending emails to your customer through free e-mail services. If you still don’t have a domain name, sites like GoDaddy are affordable and easy to use. Set up your email forwarding today and avoid losing valuable business.
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