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KNOWNHOST BLOG

The Significance of Using A Business Email Over A Personal Email

Updated November 2, 2020

Business email has many advantages over using personal email for your company communication and now is a great time to get started.

We’ve all seen vehicle wraps, brochures and business cards with personal email addresses listed. Some use ISP email addresses while others use free ones like sillysally87@hotmail.com or twistedsam25@gmail.com.

Read on to find out the reasons free providers and ISP-based email addresses should be restricted to personal use, the advantages of professional business email (that has your company domain name) and why company email should be kept separate from personal email.

Why Free and ISP-Based Email Addresses are Bad for Business

First Impressions Matter

It’s an undisputed truth. It’s also a fact that free/ISP email addresses look cheap and make the person using them look small-time, cheap and unreliable.

The sad part is that the first impression happens the instant someone sees the email address and doesn’t wait for an email to be received, opened or read.

johnsdoggrooming@hotmail.com vs. sales@johnsdoggrooming.com

The difference may be subtle, but the impression made is anything but….

Free Email Has Privacy Issues

With free email like gmail.com and hotmail.com, you know that your emails are being read, even as you compose them, because the ads you see online change based on what it is you’ve been typing about.

Agreeing to let a company with thousands of employees have access to your email is bad, but agreeing that the free email provider actually owns your email (which is true of most terms of service) is 10x worse.

With free email, privacy is out the window.

Most Free & ISP-Based Email is Flooded with Ads

Maybe you’re okay with the ads at the top, side and bottom of the browser each day as you work through the inbox and related tasks.

Having a decent, professional email system means you don’t have to be exposed to all these cluttered sales messages.

Free Email Providers Can Sell Your Personal Data

Some providers make money by selling data about your interests, times of access and information gleaned from scanning through your sent and received communication.

There are wide variances as to who collects and sells on what, but the fact is that these companies make money with advertising and that means your data plays a key role.

Free Email Accounts Get Hacked Too Often

In the example of email.it, 600,000 email accounts got hacked and then the personal data released into the dark web for thousands of hackers to use in assorted scams and skullduggery.

This is just one example, but there are many others online. Sometimes hackers will steal the data and use it for ransom. Others will share the data freely to cause mayhem. In the case of VFEmail, 18 years of custom email data was purged from primary and backups, erasing everything the company and clients ever had stored.

Free Email Goes Out of Business

Some lesser known free email providers go out of business and we think little of it, but the risk doesn’t start there. Just think about the large social networks who were king of the hill one day and gone the next. Free services do shut down.

When a free email provider goes away, so does all your stored emails, sent and received, leaving you with a huge historical gap.

ISP Email Sees Little Support or Resources

An internet service provider makes money by selling monthly recurring subscriptions for service. They make nothing in providing email services, so they spend very little on features and support.

Many ISP accounts come with limited anti-spam and phishing protection, making them more vulnerable to dangerous items being passed into customer inboxes.

ISP Email Addresses Disappear When You Change

As consumers, we’re always looking for better deals on internet services, which is why we shop around and occasionally change providers.

There are many apartment complexes in the country that are tied into one provider or another. Change physical addresses and you’ll no longer be with Blah Blah Cable company and no longer have johdoe@blahblah.net. Move your physical address and you’ll have to get a new ISP and new email address.

What’s the Problem with Changing Email Addresses?

It’s not that difficult to login to a new spot to get your email is it? Really, all you need is to remember where to login, a username and password, so it couldn’t be simpler.

The problem isn’t logging in to send and receive email. The problem is everywhere the old email has been shared.

If you’ve been promoting your small business at all, it’s likely that you’ve got an email address on:

       –  business cards
       –  flyers and pamphlets
       –  vehicle wrap
       –  bumper sticker (yeah some still have these)
       –  pencils, pens and other advertising specialties
       –  social media posts, comments and profiles
       –  forum site posts and profiles
       –  paid advertising like newspaper or magazine ads

The cost of updating all these things is substantial, both in terms of time and money. It’s virtually guaranteed that you won’t remember all the places that need updating so that future prospects will find you and contact you at the right address.

But what about all the old things out there in circulation?

How do you get all the old cards and flyers back and replace them with new ones having the correct (new email address) information?

You Don’t!

Choosing to use a free or ISP email address is a commitment that can cost you tons of time and money down the road.

Why You Need a Professional Business Email Address

A professional business email address is achieved by registering a domain and signing up for a hosting account, such as with KnownHost. Doing so will give you an inexpensive place to put up a website and give you access to all the features of professional business email hosting.

The problems with free email providers and ISP-based email accounts above are just some of the reasons to get a professional business email account.

Features of professional email include:

Managed Service

There are two types of services when it comes to hosted email. There are unmanaged – the typical cheap and cheerful basic hosting that doesn’t include much else and there are managed services – the ones where teams proactively act and offer you an additional hand when you need it with anything.

Luckily, KnownHost is a managed service provider!

Security

Companies like KnownHost invest huge sums of money in keeping their servers secure, which means that customers’ email is kept secure from hackers who try to compromise the servers to steal data.

The peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ll get top-notch security systems is worth the few bucks a month by itself!

Spam Protection

Quality business email hosting means that you get robust anti-spam solutions designed to keep spam emails from ever hitting the inbox.

While security teams work to keep out hackers, spam protections work to keep out spam.

Ample Storage

Depending on your free or ISP email provider, storage can be minimal, though options to upgrade it, for a fee, likely exist.

Choose quality business email hosting and you’ll start off with 5GB, 25GB or more of storage and inexpensive options to increase whenever you need.

Multiple Accounts / Addresses / Aliases / Catchall

When a business goes from being a one-man-band to having staff, the whole way communication works changes. With business email, such as with shared, reseller or WordPress hosting at KnownHost, you can easily add another email account so that an employee, or two or three can have their janedoe@yourbusiness.com email address too.

If you want multiple aliases that all go into the same inbox, you can set up info@, sales@, customerservice@ whatever your domain is, and have them forwarded into johndoe@yourbusiness.com. It makes categorizing emails easier, clearer to customers who to contact and then, when you grow, they can split up and sent to the appropriate staff member without needing to re-arrange them.

A catchall can be set up so that anything and everything, whatever it may be, @youbusiness.com all goes into a single email inbox. It’s handy for when you don’t want to miss out on anything, but does tend to mean you get a bit more junk mail in your inbox. This is particularly true when just starting out until realizing that you really should have an abuse@yourbusiness.com where people can report issues, webmaster@yourbusiness.com for any problems with a website and legal@yourbusiness.com for those times you didn’t know that you bumped someone in a parking lot and they grabbed your company name from the vehicle wrap information.

24/7 Support

Trying to reach someone at free email is usually impossible. Trying to reach someone about your ISP email means calling during banking hours, or emailing and hoping they reply in a few days.

Choosing professional business email means having access to a team of highly trained support staff who work around the clock and respond quickly.

KnownHost support is 24x7x365 and typically includes a response in 5-10 minutes, tops.

Backups

We don’t want to hear a load of excuses from some company who has somehow lost all of our email. We’d much rather hear that we have a backup, it’s being restored and that all our email will be ship-shape in just a few minutes.

The difference between free and ISP email versus business email often comes down to who can sort your problems when things go wrong. High quality business email means there are backups and get a hand in restoring them quickly.

Uptime

Business email is the lifeblood of communication within a small business. When email is offline, customers can be left wondering what’s happening, become dissatisfied, cancel orders, buy elsewhere and generally distrust the company they’ve been trying to contact.

If a free email provider is offline, what can you say? You’re getting something for nothing.

If an ISP email provider is offline, what can you say? You’re getting internet services – that’s what you’ve paid for – the email is just an added bonus.

But if your business email is offline, it’s like a 4 alarm fire. All hands to stations as the hosting provider swings into action to fix your problem quickly.

KnownHost enjoys over 99.99% uptime across all servers in the past decade or so of being in business. You can count on the fact that your email will be accessible whenever you need it.

Why a Business Domain Email Address is Better

We’ve given dozens of reasons already as to why you would be better off with professional business email featuring an address @whateveryourdomainis.com.

Below are a few additional reasons to go with domain-based email addresses.

Inexpensive Relative to Value

Spending a few dollars per month to avoid all the pitfalls of free or ISP-based hosting and enjoy all the perks of professional, managed, business hosted email is a no-brainer. The value is high, the cost is low and it’s very easy to put in motion.

Every Email is an Advertisement

Anytime you send an email to someone and they see the sender as you@yourbusiness.com in their inbox, it’s an advertisement that touts your business.

Some experts say it takes 7, others 11, but all agree, that after your company name is seen enough times by someone, they will remember you.

Stay front of mind and you’ll stay front of wallet.

Avoid the Junk Box

Domain-based email on high quality hosting is less likely to get flagged as junk or spam by filters across the internet. After all, having your email in their junk box is like having your business card in their trash can. Neither one is going to put $1.00 in your pocket.

Build Trust from the 1st Impression

This can’t be reiterated strongly enough. A 1st impression is essential to a long, profitable relationship. Get away from free and ISP email addresses, get on proper, professional, business email such as with KnownHost and you’ll start making trustworthy first impressions that can be the foundation of long term relationships.

Keep Company Email for Company Business – a Must

Having company email and personal email going through the same account is a recipe for disaster. There are many scenarios where things play out in ways you really wouldn’t want. Included below are a few examples.

Mixing Company & Business Means Legal Concerns

When you’ve been sending personal and business email through the same account, and the business becomes embroiled in any of a 100 different legal situations, suddenly your personal email will be subject to laws about:

       –  data storage requirements
       –  data privacy
       –  e-discovery
       –  lawsuit discovery requests
       –  visibility of personal data shared info by administrators

Company is Sold

When leaving a company behind, for whatever reason, your personal data that was mixed with the business account can go away or need to be shared with new buyers.

Corporate Email Monitoring

If you’re an employee and have been mixing company and personal email, the company email that has been monitored for adult films, crime, hate speech, etc. can become an issue, particularly if you’ve shared extreme opinions or engaged in questionable activities via email.

What you’ve said via email can impact corporate email blacklisting and invite lawsuits, depending on what’s been said and where it’s been shared or reported.

Personal Downtime is Good

Getting away from the company inbox is good. Have some quality of life rather than triaging your company inbox every time you want to check or send personal email. Personal time is important.

Conclusion

Spending a few dollars per month to get away from the perils of free and ISP-based email hosting is one of the best investments in your business that you could ever make.

Business email means you’ll put your business best foot forward, have the most in security and protection, enjoy great quality services and lock in an email address that you can keep regardless of whether you change addresses, internet providers or even hire additional staff.

Keep your personal and professional email separate from one another. Enjoy life. Enjoy work. Make some money. Sleep well.

Get started with KnownHost domain email today!

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