With the massive overhaul technology has provided for business, attitudes have become more relaxed and allow for off-the-cuff type images (think Instagram) and injection of personality into business marketing. However, professionalism is more important than ever to marketing and business success on the Internet.
There is a misconception that professionalism is portrayed through large displays of business engagement, however, it can be as subtle as having (or failing to have) a custom domain email name.
Let’s walk through reasons why having a custom domain email is near mandatory for success of your business.
What is a custom email name?
Custom email names are the address you provide to potential clients. A custom email name is like this: firstname.lastname@example.org. A non-custom email name: Bloglegally@gmail.com, BlogLegally4u@aol.com etc.
Why do I need a custom email name?
Professionalism is key to building buyer confidence and setting yourself up to be taken seriously by clients and other small business owners.
In fact, after polling multiple well-respected and successful business owners, I found that many are in agreement with the stigma attached for those using non-custom-name addresses in the course of business.
If an individual doesn’t seem to “care” enough to carry their branding and profesisonalism through all aspects, including a tiny aspect of an email address, why should I care to work with these individuals? True, this may not always be an accurate indicator and there will inevitably be those of you reading who have done “fine” with your @gmail or @aol address for years. It’s not the complaints you should be concerned about; it’s the jobs or lack of confidence that you don’t know about that has likely occurred.
A non-custom email name is typically a free service on the Internet and does not have a specific identity for you, rather it shows you as a user of another business. Inadvertently, you are advertising for that business.
Why risk a lowered confidence in your professionalism over something so minute and easy to fix? Leave the battles for other areas.
A custom domain offers not only professionalism, but having a custom domain also gives you flexibility for your business. You can now choose the text before the “@” sign to help send clients to a specific person or department.
For example, at our sister site TheLawTog.com – there is an Info@thelawtog email set up for general inquiries, but the employees have specific employeename@thelawtog emails so that we can directly email one another without having multiple people in one account.
Even with the use of a system like HelpScout (which is amazing, btw!), the multiple custom domain email address flexibility lends to an easier and more efficient system.
Claim to Intellectual Property
By itself, the use of a custom domain name doesn’t give trademark protection on your business name or brand, but it can lend a bit evidence to an argument for “first in use”. In order to trademark, you have a choice between a tradename already in use or intent to use.
By using this tradename as your custom domain name email, you are using the name in commerce and helps strengthen your argument for intellectual property claims to the name.
See How to Trademark Your Blog (or business!) for more information on this topic.
How do I get a custom email name?
So now that I have convinced you that a custom email name is a necessity, it is time to get one. So how do you do it?
First, check with your hosting provider as they will be providing the custom email function. You can log in through the panel or their site to check the email. However, an easier option may be to set up Gmail Work to allow use of a gmail interface (including smart-phone mail apps) for easy access and use of Gmail functions. Here is a tutorial on how to set up Gmail for your custom domain name.
It is not recommended to “forward” your email from your custom domain name to a non-custom name. As the end result will be the non-custom email name showing to a client. If you prefer to use the forward function from your hosted email to Gmail always make sure your “reply from” address is your custom domain name. After all, what is the point in the set up if you’re going to end up using your generic address for replies?