Warning: Soapbox message ahead!
I just finished adding five more people to my customer relationship database. Two out of the five or 40%, used a generic email address (ie @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, etc.) And this percentage is fairly consistent with my observations on many small business cards. Why is this?
All right, before I needlessly aggravate you, let me state up front that this is a pet peeve of mine. It is easy and inexpensive to purchase a domain name that matches your company or brand image. Once you own it, it’s even easier to set up an email address using it. And it generally doesn’t cost you one cent to do it.
My husband is a farmer. His email address? @JettsProduce.com. He didn’t even bother to set up a website at the address. For less than $20 a year he now has an email address that will always be his, is memorable, and that clearly states who both he and his company is all about.
So why do so many small business owners not do this? For me, the greater mystery is that some of them actually own a domain name with a company website. But, they are not using the domain name in their email.
- Do they not realize how unprofessional it looks?
- Do they not realize that they appear to treat their business as a hobby?
- Do they not realize how easy it is to use their domain?
Am I the only one having trouble taking these people seriously? Am I the only one that wonders if they will be in business next year? I can only assume that if they are that out of touch on their email address they must also be lacking in marketing expertise.
Look, I’ll be honest. For the first couple of months of my last business I used my @netcarrier.com email address. And I put it on my business cards. And I was tied to this carrier for years simply because I had 500 business cards in circulation that included this email address. Why? Because I was stupid!
Small business owners and entrepreneurs unite! I urge you to get a domain name if you don’t already have one. And I further encourage you to start using it for your email address. If you want to forward it to your existing gmail or yahoo account, that’s your business as now no one, including me, will know unless you tell them!
Have a great day!