When I attend networking events, I am always surprised by freelancers, and entrepreneurs that use a free email account – like Hotmail, or Yahoo, or one provided by an Internet Service Provider – rather than a vanity email with their own domain name. They have emails like [email protected]Gmail.com rather than [email protected] When I ask them why don’t just set up a vanity email with their existing domain name, they give me excuses like how they don’t want to track two emails (personal vs. business), or how they don’t want to pay the extra cost to set up a separate account. They don’t realize that their free email accounts actually come at a steep cost.
A vanity email only costs, at most, an extra $10 a year to set up through your hosting company, and sometime it’s free. If your business can’t afford to buy a vanity email address, that communicates to your customers that your business either doesn’t have many clients, or your business can’t afford an IT staff. Either way, it communicates that your business isn’t making a lot of money. Secondly, if you ever have to change your Internet Service Provider provider, you would end up having to change your email address, which means you would end up having to change all your business cards as well. That will cost extra money (and trees), and don’t forget the headache of having to tell all your business clients you have a new email address. And finally, having a vanity email communicates to your customers that you are committed to being part of the business you created. It communicates to your customers that your identify and your company are one. Not having an email associated with your business name communicates that you don’t have much faith in your own business.
In the end, a free email is actually too expensive. Your business email address tells customers how much faith you have in yourself, and that tells your customers how much faith they should have in your business. The cost to set-up a vanity email address is worth the faith it will generate in your customers.