Multiple times each day, I receive an email solicitation of some sort, trying to tempt me to try a new service, set up a meeting, or take some sort of action. Sometimes, they sound intriguing. (Mostly, though, they’re people trying to sell me lists of people using some software platform.) But, if one thing is missing, I ALWAYS delete them and block the sender, no matter how good they sound.
That thing? A credible email address.
Here, as an example, is an email I received the other day. (I have redacted the actual deets because I’m nice like that.)
The person sending this email purports to be from a publishing house in Cincinnati, Ohio. Ordinarily I would not search on the company name, but for the purposes of this post, I decided to see if it’s a legit business – and sure enough, they have a credible online presence. They’ve been around for nearly 10 years and have a good-sized team (though this person is not listed as a team member).
SO WHY ARE THEY SENDING BUSINESS EMAILS FROM A GMAIL ACCOUNT?
Did you catch that? The “from email address” showing right there at the top is a Gmail address.
When you get a business email but it’s from a Gmail account, how do you feel about the person sending that email? Do you immediately trust them?
Call me jaded if you want (really, you can), but when I see a “business” email coming from a Gmail account, I think it’s a person PRETENDING to be from a legit company, or it’s not really a legit company at all, or it’s simply a scam. I mean, nothing says “I’m totally trustworthy and deserve your attention” like a firstname.lastname@example.org email address – right?
Then there are the emails I get from email addresses like email@example.com. Yep, they put their company name as the name in a Gmail account. Doesn’t that tell you right away that you’re dealing with a well-established business? NO! Exactly the opposite, in fact.
ALWAYS SEND YOUR BUSINESS EMAILS FROM YOUR DOMAIN
If you don’t have a domain for your business, get one. If you have one, set up your email to come from your business email domain. Get a G-Suite (now Google Workspace) or Office 365 account and attach your domain name to it. There are boatloads of tutorials on how to do this, and there is possibly even help to be had wherever you bought your domain name.
If you’re in the habit of corresponding with your business contacts through your Gmail or Hotmail account, start transitioning those emails over to your domain-based email. At some point (not too far down the road), you’ll want all of your business email correspondence to be taking place over your domain-based email.
Send your business emails from firstname.lastname@example.org. (Don’t get fancy and send emails from email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org – people will more likely open emails that are from a PERSON, not from an entity or department name.)
Why is this important?
Your domain-based email says to the world that you ARE a legitimate business, with a legitimate online presence.
With so many email scams coming to inboxes daily, your email recipients will not take the time to find out about you if your email address is one that anyone could get for free from the Google. While people on your list who know you might be okay with corresponding through what looks like your personal email account, any NEW people you add to your list won’t know who you are.
Using a personal-looking Gmail account for conducting business adds a roadblock – a barrier – to the building of trust that is needed for you to gain new business.
And in the case of the email above, it’s frankly hurting the reputation of the publishing house to have whoever-that-is sending emails from a Gmail account. Did they hire a temp to drum up business and were too cheap to give her a company email address? Is it an outside contractor? Is this person even with the company at all? Nuh-uh. I don’t even want to find out.
Why would any legitimate company put those kinds of barriers in the way of doing business?
In the time it has taken me to write this blog post, I received another email from a Gmail account – from a “Demand Generation Specialist” offering to sell me a mailing list, with not even a company name cited in the email. Why does this conjure up an image in my head of someone sitting in a basement surrounded by empty pizza boxes and dead cans of energy drinks, shipping out emails hoping someone will bite? 🙂
P.S. There are other things wrong with the email I’ve shown you. It doesn’t even make sense – what is “the book” to which she refers? And that last line – it’s likely not true that the emails are “not automated” – she’s not manually typing these emails out to individual recipients – she’s using an automation tool of some kind. And it doesn’t really matter anyway. “Automated” is not part of the FTC guidelines for when emails must be CAN-SPAM compliant. Since the email shown above is a commercial message, it must comply.