I was speaking at an event the other day and came back to the office with tons of names to enter into our database. As I was reviewing them, I noticed all these small business owners and entrepreneurs had Gmail, Yahoo and similar email addresses.
Why, I asked, didn’t they use the name of their business?
What are professionals with a thriving practice doing with an email address that doesn’t reflect the name of their business? What looks more professional to you—DrSmith@DrSmithDental.com or DrSmith@aol.com? A real business has a real email address, simple as that, if you want to be taken seriously, respected for what you do.
Why are so many business people unwittingly advertising for Google, Yahoo, Verizon and the lot?
Check out the emails you receive, maybe even your own email. I’m betting that more than 60% of the messages you receive have a service provider address rather than your business address. And the odds are with me that your email is guilty of the same sin.
Why do so many continue to let Gmail, Yahoo, Bell South, ATT and all the other service providers co-opt your email with their identity and be an unwitting pawn in their little advertising scheme? It takes just a few simple steps to change your email address to that of your business.
How about we agree that all of you will make this change right now?
While the steps to change your email address to your business name are simple, they do differ just a little from provider to provider. My goal is to simply point you in the right direction.
First, if you don’t have your company name purchased as a domain name, go buy it now from www.directnic.com or a similar service. Next we want to create your customized email address using your registered business name.
If you’re using a service like Yahoo, they offer a feature that enables you to create your customized business email address right on their site. Then when you send messages from their service, your messages automatically go out under DrSmith@DrSmithDental.com, not yahoo.com. Same is true for Google and most of the service providers.
If you’d prefer to have your emails delivered to an email client like Outlook, then you have to take a few other steps to get your new email address to operate with your software. You need to get a bit of information from your service provider, including the address of the incoming and outgoing email servers that you’ll use. Then open your email client…let’s say it’s Outlook…click on Tools, Account Settings and New. Answer the questions you’re asked and then click “Test Account Setting” to make sure your setup is correct.
That’s just about all it takes to make your business look professional. Now the only business that is represented in your emails is yours.
Let’s make this a crusade. Go change your email address right now. Tell your business associates to do the same thing. Rise up and put down your accidental participation in one of the biggest free advertising programs the Earth has ever seen.
Go forth and do great things,
Martha Hanlon & Chris Williams