Nothing makes me cringe more than seeing a fantastic business card, vehicle signage or website with a business email address from their ISP (internet service provider).
And I write this post because I’ve seen it done. Unbelievable in 2016 that this still exists.
So if you’re thinking ‘yup, that’s me – what’s wrong with that?’, let me tell you three reasons why having a Yahoo Xtra email address as your business email address isn’t such a good idea.
Your ISP owns your customer address book and (essentially) your business. It means if you decide 1,5,15 years down the track that you don’t want to use Telecom/Spark/Big telco as your ISP then *poof* say goodbye to your email address as well. Your ‘xtra’ email actually belongs to the ISP, not your business so all of the back and forth emails with customers will have to reset with a new email address (painful).
So, in hindsight, keep your service providers and your email separate when it comes to business. When you buy a domain, you also own the email accounts that come along with it, so why wouldn’t you take control and own the email outright.
Also make sure your name or business is on the Domain admin details (WHOIS info), not just the company you bought it from. Better yet go here: crazydomains.co.nz and register a domain for yourself. You can always give access to your web people/company later on but at least all your ownership details are on it and not a 3rd party company that simply buys it for you.
2. It’s bad for Branding
Branding is all about consistency and if you are sending emails or telling someone over the phone that you’re firstname.lastname@example.org and your website is email@example.com it isn’t staying true to your brand – and bad branding is bad for business, so keep them the same and view both as free advertising.
3. Your own security
In all honesty, no email account is ever going to be 100% secure, but if you’re going to go with an email service provider, you had better go with one that doesn’t get hacked into or scanned by the US Government. As mentioned in this article Yahoo has had a few issues with security and hacking since 2007 and more recently Spark has decided to bring home the email service provider, so rather than simply moving providers and ‘bringing it home’, why not take this as an opportunity to move to your very own domain email address.
And guess what, it isn’t difficult!
Let me show you how.
Business email addresses are actually very easy to create, and yes you can do it right now. Firstly you need to know that there are different ways to set this up. You can use your hosting provider OR you can use application like hotmail or Gmail.
Let me make this easy for you – Use Google Apps for Business (gmail). Having gone through so many email issues with client and myself, Gmail is the way to go if you want to ensure that your email is going to work 99.9% of the time.
How much does it cost?
It costs $5 US per/month per user. So for example I have two set up for firstname.lastname@example.org (for support requests) and email@example.com to contact me directly. I also have firstname.lastname@example.org and various other aliases that simply forward emails onto my accountant or other email addresses.
Google Apps can take your domain and configure it so that you can use create as many addresses as you need, you won’t have to deal with SPAM issues like you do with most other email servers.
How do I set it up?
Firstly, purchase your domain from anywhere. I recommend using CrazyDomains or 1st domains for NZ based customers or GoDaddy.com for those based overseas. It doesn’t matter really, because your website can be placed somewhere else entirely and you don’t have to go with the same company. Domains and hosting can be two different companies altogether.
So once you have created an account with your chosen domain provider, you should have access to a Control Panel. What you need to do is change your MX records to Google’s. You will need to add this one by one by adding the ‘1’, then the Mail server address: ‘ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM’ and so on.
Also note that some domain providers ask that you upgrade your account to a premium version ($20) to unlock and be able to control the MX records below.
It should look like this:
Then, register with Google Apps for Work
Here you are simply registered with Google Apps and select ‘Use your own domain’. On another note you can ALSO simply head to Google and buy your domain directly from here to avoid doing step 1 altogether.
Full disclosure – The reason I don’t do this is because it can be difficult finding the records in Google to point your domain to your website address hosted elsewhere.
Once you’ve put in your website address, chosen your ideal address, either your name or department of your business ‘info@’ ‘support@’ then you’re done! Emails are now up and running and you can access them by either going to gmail.com or the admin console at gsuite.google.com
I hope this has given you an insight as to how easy it is to create a company email address using Google Apps and move away from your ISP generated business email.
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