A free email address just doesn’t cut it.
Lots of people use free email addresses. We all have friends that have Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and even AOL email addresses. If you use an internet provider like Verizon or Comcast, you may have an email account there.
While this kind of email address is OK for personal use, it really doesn’t look professional if you use it for your business. Gmail or Yahoo mail accounts or email accounts with your internet provider are convenient when emailing friends or family, but you have to think about the impression you’re giving if you’re running a business.
A business should already have a domain name as well as a website. If you have those things, then having a professional email address is pretty easy. Most web hosts offer email hosting in addition to hosting your website. So, here at South Jersey Websites, all of our email addresses are in the format, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com. (We use sjwebsites.com for email since it’s shorter, and easier to remember and type than the longer domain name.
Using your domain name in your email address helps to reinforce your brand, tells people about your website, and just looks more professional than if our email address were firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course people tend to stick with what they’re familiar with, so if you use a free email address, you may want to continue using it for your business. But that would be a mistake.
If you have always used an AOL email address, and continue to use it for your business, you may be viewed as unwilling to update to modern ways, or just plain obsolete. You may be viewed as someone unable to keep up with technology.
With this kind of email address, you give the impression that you don’t really take your business seriously. This may be a false impression, but remember, first impressions are very important, and an email from you may be the first impression you give.
Having a hosted email account is easy and inexpensive. If you already have a domain name and a website, you should be able to have email addresses on that hosting account. If you don’t already have a domain name and a website, you can still purchase a domain name and a hosting package just for email use. (Although, we recommend having a website too obviously.)
There really is no good reason not to have a professional email address that brands your business and makes you look like a pro.