Here are some reasons why:
1) Unprofessional: Your email address is like a handshake; it might be the first impression you make on a client. Simply put, using consumer types of e-mail accounts can blow your credibility as a serious and established business. Worse, they can raise red flags about you and your company. It’s considered more professional and recognizable to use an email address with your business domain name rather than something such as Yahoo, Gmail, or Hotmail.
2) It’s Telling: If you have a Yahoo, Hotmail, MSN, or AOL email address, this tells folks you haven’t made any attempt to work on your email branding even though it’s a main point of contact for you. It also says that you probably aren’t particularly organized when it comes to email because these accounts are notoriously difficult to use with a poor user interface. That means you either miss emails, take a long time to respond, or you spend too much time sitting in front of your computer trying to get things emailed. An AOL address? That pretty much says “Hi. I’m from 1996. What is this internet you speak of?”
If you have a Gmail account, then you’re telling the world that you’ve either gotten lucky by stumbling on the best free email application available or you made a decision to use Gmail because you’ve gotten smart about the other major mail providers out there. Now, we don’t really know that you’re good and efficient at using it, but at least you’ve got the ability to become efficient and mobile with your email use.
However, If you use an email address similar to YourName@YourDomain.com, this tells us that you really “get” email. Plus we know you control your brand and you have unlimited email space which includes archiving, backups, and forwarding ability. We also know you’ll never lose this address as long as the domain is paid for, and it can’t be taken away from you. It shows you have mastered email as much as anyone and that you’ve spent time thinking about how to brand yourself and your business. Yep, all this from one email address!
3) Trust Issues: Consumer e-mail accounts are so easy to open and close that these types of e-mail accounts can give the impression you are not an established or stable business. Example? Let’s say I’m a tax accountant, and you’re shopping for one. I hand you a business card that includes my email address.
Which would you trust more:
Now if you picked the first or second e-mail address, which tax accountant would you want with you if you get audited? These two addresses say, “Not only could I be anyone — I could disappear at any time.”
However, the third address says, “I have my own space on the Internet — a domain where I have a reputation to uphold. I know what I’m doing, and I’m in it for the long haul. You’ll always know where to find me.”
4) Spammy: Another drawback to using a Gmail type of email is that it can look like spam to the recipient. While it’s not technically spam, and may not be marked as spam, someone may not expect an email from a name and address they have not seen before so you run the risk of them deleting it without it being opened. If you are using a Gmail or similar type of account for business, your e-mails also run the risk of being ignored or stopped by spam filters.
If you already have a company domain, getting e-mail addresses with your domain name is simple. In many cases your website developer/designer can provide them to you. If not, the company you have your domain registered with can provide them as well.
At WunderWebs, domain-based e-mail is so important it’s provide free to all our clients. Contact the WebGoddess — she’ll be glad to help you with all your website and email needs.