By now you’ve heard of — and are bored to death by — the expression first impressions matter. While there is immense truth to it, I find the expression to sometimes be misleading. Second, third, fourth and fifth impressions matter, too! Every impression you ever make on somebody matters, and it is no truer in all the world than it is in the realm of business. That’s why custom email is a must-have asset.
Successful business owners know that beyond first impressions, every interaction is a chance to prove to customers, clients, and competitors you are the best.
Having an eye-grabbing home page won’t matter if the rest of your operation is haphazard. Small business owners know that attention to detail is key when polishing your image, but as details are wont to do, some can easily go overlooked.
Hundreds of thousands of words have been written about the importance of branded custom email, and not a one of them is redundant. Having branded email matters.
Branded, custom addresses have a significantly lower chance of being marked as or rejected for spam than freemail services. Since anybody can make a freemail address at any time for any reason, most spam compilers and filters are wary of large amounts of emails coming from these services.
But knowing how important it is won’t help much if you don’t know how to get it, so let’s take a look at some of the different ways you can jettison your Gmail or Yahoo! addresses and upgrade your business with email from your own domain.
The leader in custom email
The most popular and powerful name in email services is Microsoft, and through their cutting-edge exchange email platform, they offer Office 365 mail and productivity services.
Through Office 365, you are able to synchronize every moving part of your business, maintain appointments, share important info with your colleagues, and have access to Microsoft Office web applications anywhere in the world.
Microsoft Office 365 truly is the gold standard for email. Best of all, it is accessible to anybody. As a matter of fact, setting up Office 365 email is so easy, that I won’t even walk you through doing it, because it is that easy to do.
Life after custom email
So you’ve got your new, branded, custom email address set up. Your domain is prominent on your email address, building credibility and increasing visibility. Customers can reach you, and you have your contacts and files with you wherever you go.
Being able to reach out when needed is great, so what happens if we take that concept a step further? What if you wanted to keep in contact with your customers on a regular basis?
Sure, you can send out emails manually to your 100-plus regulars, and maybe upload a snappy image to go with them and catch the eye — but it all seems like a lot of work. And sending that many emails at the same time seems to irritate your spam filters. If this happens to you, it might be time to look into a solid email marketing application to go along with your custom email address.
GoDaddy Email Marketing is exactly as it sounds. It allows you to send out marketing emails, or “email blasts” as they are sometimes known, to a list of subscribers of any size.
With email marketing applications, rather than manually sending the same message to several hundred or thousand people, you simply create a template, fill in the desired data once, and then send it or schedule it to be automatically sent at a later date. And emails are branded with your custom email address, so you still reap the benefits of brand recognition!
Best of all, just like setting up your custom email address, it is easy-peasy and only takes a couple minutes. Subscribers list will grow organically with your business, and you can funnel page views into subscriptions via your website with a few simple design tweaks.
Complementing custom email
While we are on the subject of websites, it is important to point out that while all small businesses should have an online presence, it is by no means required to use any form of custom email or marketing programs.
As a matter of fact, if you don’t have a website, it is arguably more important to have custom email addresses! You might want to take weeks to design and tweak your website, and who can blame you? But setting up your branded email, on the other hand, takes minutes. If nothing else, firstname.lastname@example.org is a tried-and-true name for a business’s general contact address.
Anyone can make a free email address and create a Facebook page. Attention to detail is one of the hallmarks of a professional, and it will go far in differentiating you from fly-by-night operations. It is hard to portray yourself as a credible and knowledgeable expert in your field when your only online presence is a freemail address. Having this sort of basic branded online presence isn’t the next step in growing a business, it is the first step.