As a small business owner, you want to put your best public face out there for the world to see. Of course, this includes your communication channels as well and, believe it or not, your email address is part of the professional communication that your clients, customers, and vendors want to see. There are multiple reasons why you should have a company email, so let’s look at what a company email address can do for your business!
These days, it seems like everybody is vulnerable to hacking and security breaches, and this includes email. Your personal email can often be too open to hackers or scammers to trust your customers’ personal and financial information to it.
When you set up a company email, you can choose from any number of security measures that will ensure that the emails you send and receive are safe. Company email security protects your customer’s data as well as your own, and you can ensure that you meet any local or state compliance regulations. Email protection also guards against incoming and outgoing spam.
You want your email address to be credible. We’re not just talking about those embarrassing email addresses that are relics of our youth — nobody wants to communicate with sparklefeet1991 or metalfan55 — but your personal email address doesn’t communicate professionalism, no matter how simple it is.
A company email tells your customers and vendors that you are serious and gives you more confidence when approaching either type of recipient. Your company email address can give everyone the impression that you have a team behind you, even if you’re the only one in your business. Simply put, everyone is going to be more willing to work with someone who is communicating via a professional company email.
Branding is everything in business, especially if yours is a small company. Having an email address that matches your company name is an inexpensive way to shore up your branding and ensure that customers and vendors know that they’re dealing with someone from the company rather than a random stranger.
While this goes hand in hand with professionalism, the recognizability of your company email helps you ensure consistency in your communication as well. Sales emails, responses to customer service inquiries, and other types of communication are more effective when the recipient can recognize where the email is coming from.
How To Create Your Company Email
Creating a company email is an easy process, but as with nearly every business tool, your email address will come with some costs. However, as we’ve seen above, the benefits of your company email will outweigh the expenses you’ll incur.
1. Settle on an Email Provider.
Your first step in entering the world of business email is to find and choose an email provider. There are multiple services you can pick from, and each one has its pros and cons. Some providers are free. But, as you’d probably expect, they’re limited in their functionality and options.
Other providers have introductory rates that go up after the first year, so it’s worth finding out what the post-introductory charges are. Some providers have options per user, while others have tiers of email storage. It helps to determine what your needs are in terms of storage and the number of users you may need.
Don’t rush into signing up with a provider. Do your homework and look at all the fine print on several options before you sign up. Also, know before you commit whether you have to sign an agreement for a certain amount of time.
2. Purchase a Domain Name.
You’ll need a domain name that reflects your company name if you’re going to have a company email. That domain name must be professional and as brief as it can be since it’s what will follow the “@” symbol in your email address.
A few of the email services will also purchase the domain name for you, which is a simpler option if you don’t see a website in the future. You can also look for a domain name from a web hosting service, which will also allow you to set up a website, often in a one-stop shop.
You can also look to a domain registrar, which allows you to control the domain and go with other website service providers if you choose to do so. Again, you’ll need to consider costs, commitments, and what various services offer before you make a choice and stick with it.
3. Set Up Your Email Addresses.
Once you have your domain and email providers squared away, it’s time to set up your company email addresses. The first thing you’ll want to do is determine what your email naming convention will be — this is the part that comes before the “@” symbol. It’s important even if you’re the only employee because you need a strategy for consistent email naming when you do add employees.
It might be easy to set up your email address as [firstname]@[domain], which is an easy option if your business is going to remain small. Other options include [firstnamelastinitial]@[domain], [lastnamefirstinitial]@[domain], or [firstname.lastname]@[domain]. If you’re going to use one email address for multiple employees, you can go with something generic like “info,” “admin,” or “team.”
After you’ve settled on your naming convention, go into your email provider’s admin portal and set up your addresses. Your provider should have instructions on how to set them up, and if you run into issues, you can reach out to the provider for help.
4. Reap the Benefits
Once you’ve set the emails up, it’s time to take advantage of them. Put your email addresses on business cards, set up email lists, and use the addresses for customer service, sales, and all sorts of communications. The sky's the limit!