Last week I met Mr. Jivan Patil, a second generation entrepreneur, while attending a family function. Mr. Patil has a food processing unit near Mumbai and supplies packaged spices all across the India. We discussed at length the increasing demand for Indian spices from western countries, his plans to expand his business to export spices and the latest technology he incorporated for the same. During course of discussion, he gave me his business cards and to my surprise, I found a free yahoomail ID was mentioned on that. I was expecting a professional email address like email@example.com from a person who was so serious about his business. When I enquired, he replied, ‘Does that really matter?’
I have met many business owners who had similar query. I have summarized below the discussion I had with Mr. Patil on this topic.
Your email address tells the story of your business
Mr. Patil’s main argument was that he is using this free email ID for couple of years now and with this ID he is able to manage all email communication for his business. I agree that if it just a ‘communication’, you can manage it with free email ID also. However, in business, your every action is interpreted by the next person.
Will you ever visit your existing or potential customer wearing t-shirt, jeans and sport shoes? No. You always make sure you are wearing a formal shirt, trouser and shoes. If the customer is very important, you won’t even mind wearing a suite. Does what you wear during the customer visit affect the quality of service or product you are going to offer? Then why still you wear formal attire? The reason being, the person sitting next to you makes a subconscious note of what kind of person you are, how professional your company is and many more perceptions through your attire.
In modern day business, where it is not possible to meet the customers every time, your email becomes representative of your company. Your email address, the language used in the email speaks loads of your company’s scale, seriousness of business and professionalism in your company. Notice the difference in impression you make of sender when you receive a mail from firstname.lastname@example.org vs email@example.com. The free email address represents an individual while professional email address represents the company, which builds trust and credibility of sender.
Is your data secure with free email ID?
Mr. Patil has employed Mr. Joshi as accountant and Mr. Shinde as sales executive. Since company doesn’t have emails on company domain name, both of them use their own free email IDs while interacting with customers. Now if anyone of them leaves company, he will take all the interactions, files send, received as attachments, contact details of customers along with him. This could be avoided if Mr. Patil uses a business email ID for his company. He can create email IDs like firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com for these two roles. He will be in complete control of data stored in these IDs even when employee leaves the organization.
Spammers create multiple accounts with free email service providers and send bulk mails using them. The anti-spam softwares blacklist the servers from where such mails are sent. If your email ID is also hosted on those servers, your genuine mails will also get marked as spam mails and will not be delivered to recipient.
You can still get mails from your free email ID
Mr. Patil worried that he has given his free email ID to couple of his customers and if he switched to his own business email id, he may lose his old mails. However, fortunately this is not correct. You can still retain your old mails and if someone sends you an email on your old mail id, it can be forwarded to your business email ID. Thus you don’t have to worry about losing data in old mailbox.
You can setup your business email ID by yourself in less than 5 minutes and you don’t have to have any technical knowledge for the same. Just select the number of email ids you want for your business, select the size you want for each mailbox, purchase the pack using convenient payment methods. Once you purchase the pack, you have to specify the domain name and email id for your business and your business email id is ready to use. The price of 5 business ids for a year is less than your one family dinner. I’m sure you won’t mind investing that amount to enjoy benefits of having your own business email ID.