How impressed are you when someone hands you a business card with an AOL email address on it? It might do fine if you’re running a small cake-decorating business out of your home, not ideal for the small businesses and corporations out there doing what they can to build legitimacy as a brand.
I got together with Stacy, the MayeCreate Sales Superhero of the office, and asked her some important questions about what it means to have a company email address and what you can do to obtain one and protect it.
Aside from looking professional, having a company name email address is almost like having insurance that lets you keep your email address for as long as you want.
It’s one thing to update your personal email address, say because you switched providers (or your provider changes things up, like when Microsoft moved Hotmail over to Outlook). As a business person, though, you’ve got your company email on your business cards and website and everything in between, so it’s not as easy to change your email address without either a ton of work or losing a considerable chunk of the branding mojo you’ve worked so hard to build.
Your company email address is actually tied to your domain name, not the provider.
Your email provider is the company who provides you with the actual service. For example, if your email address ends in @gmail.com, your provider is Gmail, @centurytel.net is CenturyLink, @yahoo.com is Yahoo!… you get it.
Accounts like these can be set up to send and receive emails as an @companyname.com email address. You can have a free Gmail that sends and receives your business like MayeCreate.com, but it isn’t the same as having [email protected] as a Google Business Email. If you go the free route, when you send calendar invites they will always come from your @gmail.com (like [email protected]) email address instead of [email protected].
First, you’ve gotta have a domain name. Our website is mayecreate.com, our emails are @mayecreate.com.
You don’t have to use your website domain name! For instance, say your website domain is really long, you might consider buying a short separate domain name. Just make sure whatever shortened domain you go with takes people to your website because people are going to type it in to visit you online.
Keep these domains the same if you can, but if it comes down to making sure your email address fits on your business card, then, well… do what you gotta do.
Make sure it’s from a company you can work with easily because sometimes you need to call them. And then so you have your domain name.
There are the big companies like Google and Microsoft 365 — we obviously use Google because we’re Google worshipers over here.
The truth is you’re never going to get somebody on the phone to work with you at Google, but that’s okay, because there are resellers for companies like Google and Microsoft 365 who can help you choose which one is right for your business. You can work with an actual person, and they charge you the same amount that Google or another company will charge you.
We highly recommend going with a reputable email service provider but also finding a local company or someone you can actually talk to that will help you set it up and decide which one you need.
The companies that offer these services are usually extremely diversified in how to set up the different systems and use them to make your business more efficient. There could be varying setup fees for it. They’re helping you improve your business, and therefore will be charging you for consulting. Since you’re not an expert on it, if you attempt to do it on your own, the time it took you to figure it out probably could have paid for someone else to do it.
If you set it up through Google, you’re on your own, and you’re going to figure out how to do it on your own.
With the basic Google Suite you’re looking around $5 a month, so about $60 a year.
They have some really cool additional plans. For example, if you’re a lawyer or in the healthcare industry, it would be really good for you to explore those higher levels because they have different levels of security. There’s even one that’s HIPAA compliant.
We even pay for the upgraded plan because it has unlimited storage. You can’t even imagine how many gigs of data we create a day—we literally have millions of files on it. The upgraded package not only comes with unlimited storage, but we have our entire file share system on there through Google File Stream.
Yeah, you can do it, but it’s not ideal.
With a free account, your email address is always going to be @gmail.com, but you can send and receive mail as an alias. It’s like putting a mask on it; it’s not necessarily that you’re using that name as your base email. While free is always nice, the paid account has some really useful features like we mentioned before about being able to send Google Calendar invites as [email protected] instead of [email protected] (or whichever email you use).
We talked about how you have to have a domain name and alluded that the domain name goes to a website, and that it can also go to email.
Your domain name has what we call DNS. We like to think about that as a roadmap. So imagine it’s your home and you’re going to look up on Google Maps how to get to a certain address in St. Louis. There’s a piece for your website called an A record and the piece for your email is called an MX record. These pieces are kind of like your Google Maps, they’re going to tell you how to get there.
The MX record that tells the email where to go can be pointed to a new provider. That’s why you can get away with moving your email around and not having to change your email address because you can change the IP address that the MX record points to.
If you’re not comfortable doing this by yourself, definitely just ask a tech professional or your web developer to help you with it.
It completely shuts down your email and you don’t ever get those emails back. They’re gone forever and you don’t know who they’re from (unless you’re an internet wizard who can sneakily uncover anything). So, don’t do it on your own, unless you’re familiar with it (or a wizard).
You can really make those anything. We always recommend being consistent within reason.
If you have a lot of employees, you’re probably going to have to use the first initial last name because you might have four Monica’s and three Stacy’s or you could do first name last initials [email protected] Try to make sure all of your employees’ emails are similar to one another.
You also don’t want your employees to not get emails because you made their email really hard. If you have an employee who has a really hard last name and your company culture is to use the first initial last name, don’t punish them by making them use it in their email. Make it easy for your clients and the person who actually has to use it.
Each person in your company gets a company email address but then we have email addresses that send to more than one person. For example:
The [email protected] is pretty standard across some companies. The email goes to a few people in the office that can either answer the questions being asked or get it to the right person. Stacy mentioned billing, sometimes [email protected] is a really good one. That way if you’re taking new leads, it can go to the right people.
The emails we described above are called email aliases and they’re usually free to send to multiple people. For some email clients, the receivers of the email may not even have to have a company email address. So if you are an organization and you have a board, you can use that, and not every one of your board members has to have an email address associated with your company.
Aliases are great because no subscribing is required. If you set it up as an alias, then they’ll always get the email. You’re in the clear, you don’t have to worry about sending invites and praying that people in your organization accept them.
If you have an intern or someone that changes over quite regularly, we don’t necessarily recommend using their name because it can be tedious to change the account over to a new person’s.
Sometimes it’s just easier if you use [email protected] or [email protected] or [email protected], and that can actually be their main email name rather than an alias. Or you can have an alias too that you give out and then they have their own account.
Hopefully, you now have the tools to begin setting up a professional email address for your company. Trust us, unless you’re a freelancer, it is super unprofessional and bad for branding to have emails without your company name. A company email address shows you care about your company, employees, and that you are a solid business. Go and legitimize your company!
Monica is the creative force and founder of MayeCreate. She has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with an emphasis in Economics, Education and Plant Science from the University of Missouri. Monica possesses a rare combination of design savvy and technological know-how. Her clients know this quite well. Her passion for making friends and helping businesses grow gives her the skills she needs to make sure that each client, or friend, gets the attention and service he or she deserves.
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