Are Personal/Generic Email Addresses Ok to Use?
If you and your employees email your clients from a ‘generic’ email address, does that hurt your business?
We do see a significant number of our users communicating through generic email addresses, and our goal today is to provide you with some food for thought.
Setting up a new business pulls the owner in a great many directions at once, and it is understandable if someone defaults to using the email addresses they and their employees already had. We are referring to ‘generic’ email addresses such as Gmail and Outlook addresses. These generic addresses are admittedly convenient to set up (or may be already set up), and also free. And you and your employees may find it more convenient to have just one email address to check.
This is in contrast to an email address that contains your business name. For example, for a business ‘Sunny Days Move Management’, a business email address might be tammy@SunnyDaysMoveManagement.com.
Credibility and Trust
The first consideration is credibility with your customers.
Various articles and surveys have found that people have a significantly lower first impression of a business that uses generic email addresses (On the order of 70%-75%).
Because everyone knows how easy it is to obtain a generic address, a potential customer may feel less certain that you are a legitimate business. The convenience that was a positive when you were setting up emails can become a negative when potential customers see that you are using a generic address.
Every time you or your employees communicate with a customer is a chance to establish and reinforce your company brand. If you use a generic email address, you are instead actually reinforcing the brand of Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc.
The second consideration for an owner is one of control over your business. A business email address belongs to your company, but a generic email address belongs to the employee.
If it should happen that you and an employee part company on less than positive terms, the ex-employee can still communicate with your customers and your customers won’t have a way of knowing that they no longer work for you.
When a business email was being used, you can change the password or set an autoresponder. Or you can forward that address to yourself or a current employee. Whichever option you choose, the point is that you have control over it.
This is a question that for a long time may not matter at all, but when it does, it may matter a lot.
We are not saying that you cannot succeed while using generic email addresses, but you may be adding an unnecessary barrier to success. At the least we hope that you feel that this article helps you make an informed decision.
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