Your email address
When marketing your business on the Internet, your email address forms part of your branding and in order to present the right image you must use an address that points to your own domain. Since I have moved to the Philippines, I have noticed that many companies use a yahoo email address. This is not good business practice.
Email is an important communications channel for marketing your business and in order to have full control you must use your own domain, where you can have full control over you system to control spam and ensure at the same time mail get through to customers.
Yahoo is particularly bad for blocking incoming mail for no apparent reason, so you do not even know email is missing, Yahoo also has a habit of taking over your computer and altering how you computer works to benefit Yahoo. Other free mail services such as Hotmail and Google are just as bad for business. Lets look at a couple of aspects
- You get more reports of problems with free mail services. Mail that disappears, account access that's lost, email that doesn't arrive, email that can't be sent ... these are all common issues that I see every day.
- Because they all share one common characteristic: there's virtually no customer service.
- If you have a problem with Hotmail, or Yahoo mail, or Google mail or whatever free email service you're using, you have nowhere to turn. There may be a customer service email address or web form, but from what I've heard and experienced myself, it's apparently only there for show. IF you get a response at all, which is rare, it's likely to take a long time and be a "canned" response. If you need hands-on help to deal with your particular situation, there's nowhere to go.
- Because you're getting what you paid for. You paid nothing, and that's what you're getting. The provider is under no obligation to do anything for you. They're well within their rights to ignore you completely, which is apparently what most do.
- At least if you pay someone for service you have some leverage. First of all, these providers typically promise service, and if they don't deliver, you have the option of taking your business elsewhere.
- When I see a business using a free email account, particularly a Yahoo account, I immediately think: "this business doesn't care about email, or using the Internet to communicate with their customers."
- This perception is shared with Internet-savvy customers.
- The perception might be wrong.. The company may be deeply devoted to their Internet-using customers. But using a free email account doesn't say that. A free email account says "we're not willing to take the relatively small expense to make sure we have reliable email".
- In my opinion, any business small or large, should have their own Internet domain, and handle their email using that domain. Most domain registrars make that easy, and offer very competitively priced packages, including customer support.
- "Company@yahoo.com" will always look cheaper and less professional than "email@example.com". Not to mention that "firstname.lastname@example.org" is more likely to have technical problems without anyone to help you resolve them.
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