I’m not talking about running your account through Gmail or using Google Business Apps. I’m talking about when your actual email address includes @gmail.com, @aol.com or @yahoo.com.
firstname.lastname@example.org does not qualify as a branded email.
If you are running a legitimate business you should be organized enough to have a website, and have a business email address associated with that website, i.e. email@example.com.
If you do not have a branded email for your business than what I really think is that you’re small time.
When I say that, understand that I have no problem working with solopreneurs or micro-businesses. What I’m calling small time is someone who doesn’t seem to care enough about their business to get the help they need to appear professional.
Did I offend you by saying that? Sorry, sometimes the truth hurts. But we all know perception is a huge factor in sales, so it’s important to realize the impression you are creating because I guarantee I’m not the only one that thinks this way.
Though I could argue that the simple ability to appear as a legitimate business is enough of a reason to have a branded email, here are two more reasons.
Ongoing Marketing and Exposure
I am constantly using email addresses to access business’s website. It could be because someone made an email introduction and I want to learn more about what they do. Or it could simply be that I need to refresh myself on a contact’s service. Whatever the reason, a branded email unlocks a world of information for me. Plus it sends traffic to your website.
Gmail accounts don’t tell me anything about you or your services, which means you could be losing opportunities.
I know you get a lot of spam, but have you ever looked at the email addresses the spam is coming from? A good portion of them are from Gmail and Yahoo. Spammers use free, throw-away emails for a short time, and once they’ve been blacklisted, they move onto another.
What does that mean for you? It means that if you are sending out email campaigns with your Gmail account they may not get delivered. If you are a MailChimp user, you may have seen this message when you use a Gmail account as the “from” email.
MailChimp explains the reasons in detail here, but the nutshell is there’s something called Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC). This is a method of using your domain to validate your email and prevent spam. If you don’t have a custom domain to validate your email, your email campaigns are more likely to end up in spam.
Clear as mud? The main point: go get an email associated with your web domain.