New companies require a great deal of thought and research. From competitor analysis to estimates of market share, a thorough understanding of the industry is needed, alongside accurate analysis of how a new market entrant may be received.
One area that doesn’t require extensive research is the importance of personalized email addresses, matching the company’s newly-registered domain name. Anyone who has acquired a passing knowledge of internet marketing or corporate branding will recognize how critical it is for email accounts to be personalized. After all, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression – which could well be negative when confronted with an unsolicited email.
Seeing the world through a customer’s eyes
Imagine logging into Outlook and discovering a message from a generic mail provider whose address involves a series of random alphanumeric characters. Chances are you’d mark it as spam and think nothing more of it. Alongside an email’s subject, the sender’s address acts as a cornerstone of public perceptions. Many software packages won’t display body content in preview panes (particularly if it’s graphical), while some simply show the first line. Given such limited scope to create a positive first impression, firstname.lastname@example.org isn’t the salutation many people would choose to underline their credibility and professionalism.
Using a generic email firm for corporate mail services is a bad idea for all sorts of reasons, including (but not limited to) the following:
- It suggests unprofessionalism as if the person who created the account couldn’t be bothered to do it properly. As we’ll see later, this isn’t a difficult task.
- It may infer a business is new and hasn’t yet had a chance to develop a proper online presence, potentially putting customers off ecommerce transactions.
- It carries a whiff of spam – some fly-by-night companies are constantly rebranding and creating new email addresses to escape from disappointed or angry customers.
- It promotes the email provider more than your own brand – great for the likes of Google and Yahoo, but hardly useful when it comes to building brand awareness.
- It removes any sense of cohesion between the website and the email account, which might discourage prospective customers from trusting your firm with their business.
- Emails sent using a generic third-party host are less easily identifiable, meaning customers (and recipient servers) are more likely to file them as spam.
- A sender reputation may be harder to build up without a dedicated domain name to fall back on.
- It’s impractical to create related email accounts through a generic provider – sales@, marketing@, hr@, etc – preventing any sense of corporate consistency being created.
What’s in a name?
The alternative is to designate email addresses by ensuring the part prefixing the @ symbol describes a person or department, while the latter shares its domain name with the company website. It’s the difference between email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. The latter is clearly more professional, and it’s also significantly shorter. The fewer characters an email address contains, the less risk there is of it being mistyped and going missing in cyberspace. Brand recall is also greater on shorter domains.
When brand names are contained in an email’s domain, the prefix becomes a blank canvas. It can differentiate particular departments and teams inside a business, such as marketing and accounting divisions. Each staff member could receive his or her customized address, ideally averting the tiresome numerical additions that mean the second Jessica on the team will become known as Jessica2. Personalized emails can be used to identify promotions (specialoffers@), or apologize for a bad customer experience (justwantedtosaysorry@). An irate customer seeing the latter title in their inbox might be unable to resist opening a message, regardless of its subject line.
A simple plan
The benefits of personalized email accounts are clearly compelling. But how do you go about creating them? Quite simply, you go about it by talking to us. At WestHost, we know a thing or two about websites and email hosting. We bundle free email accounts into every domain name package, ensuring a coordinated public profile. And while many of the world’s .com domain names have already been registered, our homepage Search tool checks domain availability against hundreds of other top level domains including .online, .net and .store.
Today’s top level domains act as promotional tools in their own right, and WestHost stocks numerous industry-specific TLDs including .cafe and .plumbing. Returning to our previous tire analogy, which of the following addresses would be easier to remember and type – email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org? Domain suffixes may even promote specific aspects of a company’s ethos, like .bargains or .guru. A delivery firm could use .express to emphasize efficiency or celebrate global coverage with a .international address.
When you choose a WestHost email package, we bundle in plenty of features to make life easier, including:
- A total of 2GB of storage in Personal accounts, or 10GB in our Professional package
- The ability to add up to a hundred extra mailboxes for larger firms
- Up to 10MB of attachments per message. Professional users get to attach 25MB of data to a single email, which should be enough for any situation
- Automatic synchronization, so correspondence read and responded to on one device will immediately display as such on any other desktop or mobile platform
- Protection against spam and malware, which is currently reaching record volumes
- Round-the-clock technical support, allied to a 30-day money back guarantee.
We provide a user-friendly webmail client, containing key tools like an address book and calendar. However, emails can be imported into packages like Outlook and Thunderbird, just as easily as a Gmail or Yahoo Mail account could be. This combines the flexibility of these market-leading software tools with the marketing benefits generated by personalized email. And in today’s mature online marketplace, every opportunity must be taken to ensure a competitive advantage by maximizing professionalism. Custom emails aren’t just important in establishing your business as coordinated and professional – they’re absolutely essential.