Email. What does it mean to you? Do you see it as just another mundane communication task to complete, day in and day out? Or, do you see it at as a branding opportunity; as a way to promote your online presence in a positive, meaningful way? Believe it or not, your digital footprint and branding starts with your inbox. Take a moment to think about how many people per day open your emails. Even in this age of social media everywhere, your emails are probably being looked at closer and reaching more people than any tweet or Facebook post.
Whether you know it or not, a brand is trailing you everywhere you click. You can brand yourself, or you can be branded. The choice, as always, is yours. – Jonathan Rick
Don’t have a business or product to promote? Start by branding yourself by simply using your own name. Creating your own personal brand on the internet shapes your online reputation to everyone from friends and family to future employers and even law enforcement. One of the easiest, quickest and most overlooked ways to get started in growing your online brand is through your email address.
What exactly is email branding? Branded email means you use your own domain name after the @ sign in your email address. For example:
A lot of people set up their email addresses through either their ISP, like Comcast or AT&T, or through web mail applications like Google/gmail or Yahoo. While this type of free email can be tempting, using your own domain for your email address is key to creating the right, professional impression. There are so many benefits of using your own domain when setting up your email address, so we worked hard to narrow it down to our top 3 reasons you should be:
KNOW, LIKE & TRUST FACTOR
A strong foundation for your brand starts with an age-old marketing principle that says, in order for anyone to do business with you, they will need to “know, like & trust” you. This applies not only to companies, but also individuals looking to get hired, elected to office or even into university programs.
The first step, the know step, is all about visibility. How can someone do business with you, or connect with you, if they can’t find you? Using a branded email instantly gives you an online identity that associates you with your brand, service or product.
Once they find you, do they like you? A branded email will help you look established and experienced. A generic, free email address screams ‘unprofessional’. At best people will think you are an amateur. At worst people will think your business is a scam and not in it for the long haul.
And lastly, people buy from people they trust. A recent, Verisign survey found that 65% of consumers believe a company-branded email is more credible than using a free email account. Using a professional, branded email address is the first step in reassuring consumers you are trustworthy. It shows you care about your image.
Chances are when you try to set up a free account online, you will not be able to find a simple, clean email address using your business or personal name. For example, I just went and started the process setting up a mock email account with Gmail using my first and last name Gail Randolph, and, surprise, that username was already taken. My top three suggested options from Google? Take a look:
What a mouthful. For the purposes of this exercise, I tried Gmail again with KartHost™, and get ready for these suggestions:
Would you feel comfortable doing business with any of those email addresses above? With your own domain name you literally choose any email address you wish, with your brand followed right behind it. It’s easier to communicate, easier to print (on your website and business cards for example) and easier for people to remember.
IT’S EASY & PRIVATE
All you need is a domain name. It’s simple and the investment into your business or yourself is inexpensive.
Who do you contact if something goes wrong with your free email account? Typically there’s a lot of red tape you have to cross in order to just physically speak to someone, if you can even get that far. A huge advantage to using branded email is that the last thing you will have to worry about is any type of IT. Your web hosting provider should offer phone, chat & email support around the clock. Your emails should be backed up regularly on secure servers. Private servers mean your emails will not be scanned for ad purposes, and your personal information will not be sold to third parties.
Over 2 million emails are sent each second. It’s time to ditch the free, generic email and start building your professional online presence with branded email.
When you’re ready to make your email address work harder for you, check out KloudEmail™ – featuring layers of spam protection, privacy & top-notch support.