When it comes to looking professional, your email address is just as important as the way you dress. It’s a digital first impression, and can be the deciding factor as to whether your audience chooses to open your email or delete it.
Imagine getting an email from email@example.com and then from firstname.lastname@example.org. See the difference? That first email is not coming from a custom domain email address, which could prompt readers to assume it’s spam.
To go professional, you need to go all the way – and that means setting up a custom domain email address. This custom domain email account will be an integrated marketing effort in your practice management.
When choosing your domain email route, remember that one of the biggest issues in today’s day and age is SPAM – one of the leading sources of computer viruses.
Here are a few ways you can make your email address more professional.
Google Apps is quite fantastic in terms of wealth of functionality, industry-leading spam filtering and security, ease of use, performance, and popularity. They offer arguably the best collaborative experience – and while there was a time when Google offered this kind of service free of charge, that’s no longer the case.
It may not be free, but we still recommend their service. At the time this article is being published, their base package is priced at $5 per user, per month – which comes with 30GB per user, shared across their services.
If you think about it, $5 per month, per inbox isn’t much when it comes to something your entire audience will see. And compared to the cost of setting up the same service for yourself by purchasing an exchange server and maintaining it (see Other Options below), it’s definitely worth it. Remember, Google Apps is more than just a sophisticated email service.
The only other free option that is worth mentioning is Zoho Mail. This service also includes all the bells and whistles of the collaborative office suite. With their base package, they offer 25 custom domain emails – free.
Zoho offers only 5GB of email storage per user, as opposed to Google’s retired free package of 15GB per user. However, the offering of 5GBs should be more than enough for the day-to-day use of a small business.
We haven’t experienced their service ourselves; therefore, we cannot tell you how good their spam filter is. But it has become the go-to alternative to the no-longer-free Google Apps.
Another option is setting up your custom email via your host, such as GoDaddy. However, it’s not as pleasant of an experience, and it does not get rid of the spam problem.
You can configure your own exchange server, but it’s expensive to set up and equally as expensive to maintain and support. Don’t forget, when the time comes for a server upgrade, there’s another expense that may equal the initial set-up. And again, the spam problem remains at large.
There are other service providers that offer this type of online email service – both paid and free. Stay tuned, as we may take up the challenge and explore them in a future post.