Do you have a lousy email address?

I’ve met a number of small business owners who are using a lousy email addresses. For example, let’s say Bob Smith runs Bob’s Bait Shop. His web site is www.bobsbaitshop.com and his email address is bsmith98@yahoo.com. Or, worse yet, his email address is bsmith98@sbcglobal.net. What’s wrong with this? Why is it a lousy email address?  Well, let me explain.

Yahoo mail, Gmail, etc. are free email services. They are GREAT to use for home email, or for a secondary address, but for your primary business email address, they fail to give you an air of professionalism. In fact, it does just the opposite. Plus, your outgoing email is more likely to be captured in the recipient’s spam filter.

If Bob is using an SBC Global address, that’s even worse. He has that address because he uses SBC as his Internet provider. What do you suppose happens if Bob switches to a different Internet provider?

So… what SHOULD Bob do?

If you have a web site, you have a domain name. The domain name is the portion of the web address after the www. So in Bob’s case, the domain name is bobsbaitshop.com. As long as you renew the domain on time, it’s yours. I have never seen a web host that didn’t include email services as part of their hosting plan. Usually they’ll include five or more.

Our fictional “Bob” should contact his web hosting company – or log onto his account – and make an email address – or several. Let’s say he makes bob@bobsbaitshop.com and sales@bobsbaitshop.com. I doubt that Bob would have a sales department cold calling people to sell minnows, but bear with me!

Bob could set up the bob@bobsbaitshop.com account on his computer using Outlook. If he had a sales department, he could set up that account on a second computer. There are many, many ways to set up email accounts on different devices – it all depends on your needs and the capabilities of your web host’s email system.

So… what becomes of Bob’s Yahoo email? Well, he can go into the settings for his Yahoo account, and forward all incoming mail to bob@bobsbaitshop.com. As forwarded messages begin to arrive, he can reply to that person and tell them to begin using his new address. The same can be done for Bob’s SBC email account. He just needs to keep the SBC account active until everyone knows his new email address.

Now, Bob has a web site at www.bobsbaitshop.com, and email at bob@bobsbaitshop.com. That looks more professional and puts everything under Bob’s control.

If everything in this article sounds like technical gibberish, and you need help with this, I would be happy to assist – just give me a call.

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