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It’s 2017 but I’m not here to join the masses and talk about how your business should invest in live streaming.

Let’s talk about something a little bit more trivial or even humdrum – your email address.

I’m dumbfounded by the number of businesses that still use free email addresses as a primary means to communicate with their customers.

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While the likes of Yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail are technically free, these ‘no charge’ platforms could well be costing you a lot.

More often than not, when a potential prospect sees your email address in your inbox, they will make critical assumptions based on what appears before them.

Let’s explore the reasons why…

Every Communication leaves a lasting impression

First impressions count. In fact, according to career experts, a person will make decisions on whether you’re professional, intelligent, valuable, and trustworthy within three seconds – your email address is no exception.

Your business website is the front door of your digital presence. The emails you craft to prospects and customers invite people to visit your “office” (your digital storefront) and discover more about what you have to offer.

You only get one chance to make a first impression, and just to reiterate, it’s alarming how quickly we draw inferences about a person and/or business just by inspecting the email address on a business card.

The numbers don’t lie either.

According to a study by Visible Logic, 70% of people feel it matters to have a domain based email address; the same people also agree that a non-banded email address looks unprofessional.

visible logic stat

If you want to make a solid first impression (online or offline), opting for a professional domain-based email address is non-negotiable.

Choosing Something Clean and Professional Will Help You Win

It’s one thing using a Gmail address for business, but it’s another to have something that’s difficult to remember, like this…

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The fear of coming across unprofessional is one of the primary reasons people purchase a custom domain for an email address.

But, on a more practical level, custom domains allow you to create simpler and cleaner email usernames. For instance, say your name’s Bob Andrews. With a generic provider like Yahoo or Gmail, you probably won’t be able to find something clean like BobAndrews@gmail.com available as the platform is so saturated. Instead, you’ll likely settle for something like BAndrews4855@gmail.com, which of course, isn’t nearly as memorable as the former.

With a custom domain, you’ll literally get first dibs on whatever name you want. Whether you’re shouting it across the room or printing it on business cards, a custom domain email address will be easier to communicate to the people that matter most, rather than getting lost in translation – if that happens, you may as well not exist. Also, being customised will make it easier for customers to remember you and associate themselves with your business.

In short, if you want to cut through the noise and make a connection you can’t afford to persevere with a generic non-branded email address.

YourEmail@connect.com.fj doesn’t qualify as ‘custom’

If your business uses an email that’s tied to an Internet Service Provider (ISP), my advice would be to replace it.

Many organisations operate their business emails using Connect (which is an upgrade to the likes of Gmail etc.), however, this means you’re at the mercy of that internet provider.

So whilst you can still continue with the likes of Connect as your Internet provider, don’t exhaust your marketing efforts promoting an email address that doesn’t add value to your brand.

With an ISP-tied email address, you’re essentially doing the marketing for your provider. With a memorable, domain-based email account, you’ll promote your company with every message you send – and that’s invaluable.

fijicare connect

Finding a Domain for Your Email Address

There are countless ways to carry out this process, but one way to start is to head over to GoDaddy and key in your business name to see if it’s available. Once you’ve found something you like, purchase it and select one of the company’s email packages. Need a little help? You can read about it more here.

There are so many providers and different methods to setting up your email that it can seem like a minefield. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a message.

Closing Thoughts

Digital branding starts with your inbox.

Your prospective and existing customers are far more likely to devour your emails over what’s posted on social media. That makes your email address and signature prime terrain on which to develop your brand and make a difference.

There are several ways to take charge, own and cultivate your brand, or you can allow frivolous decisions to dictate your business for you.

Take control of your brand or prepare to be branded. I know which one I’d choose.

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