When you get your company letterhead printed, would you put an ad for someone else on it? When you answer the phone, would you tell who your phone company or mortgage holder is before talking to the client? Of course not, you want your business to be about you and your connection with your clients and vendors. Then why are you letting your Internet service provider come between you? Why are you buying advertising for the company you buy your Internet connection from?
What I am talking about here is your email address. Even if you don’t have your own website, which you should, you should have your own email address. Why should you be advertising AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail, GMail or any other email provider instead of yourself? It is a very simple matter to set up a rule with whomever your web host is to forward any mail that comes to your domain’s mailbox to the mailbox you are currently using. In other words, if your domain name is “mydomain.com” then you could have “firstname.lastname@example.org” as an email address that simply forwards to your current account on AOL, Yahoo or wherever. And as long as you make sure to set your return address in your email program to “email@example.com” no one will ever be the wiser.
Another thing you can do is map multiple address to a single end account. This means that you can make your small business seem large by having different addresses like “firstname.lastname@example.org”, “email@example.com” and “firstname.lastname@example.org” all as valid emails, but in reality they just go to your one main account. This is great for a growing company because as those positions actually come into existence the address can just be re-pointed to the new hire. The outside address never changes.
And that brings up another reason to do this email mapping. How many times have you changed email providers? Perhaps you moved out of Comcast’s area and now use AT&T. So your email address changed. Or maybe you simply outgrew the smaller residential service and needed a truly robust solution. Whatever the reason, every time you change your email provider then your customers need to be notified, your business cards need to be changed, your letterhead has to change, your website has to change… well, you get the picture. But, if you use your own domain’s email addressing, then you are always in control. If you move email providers there is no problem. The pointer for “email@example.com” is redirected from “firstname.lastname@example.org” to “email@example.com” and nothing for your customers, vendors, or other contacts need to change.
What does all of this cost? If you own your own domain name or website you are probably already paying for it. If you need someone’s help to do the work there may be a small charge, but it would be very small. Of course there will be that initial change when you let all your contacts know your new email, but you can tell them that this will be the last time you will ever do so. What a relief to everyone involved. And, from then on, when they see your emails your brand will be reinforced – and you will be advertising yourself instead of someone else.