Succeeding in business today—whether home-based, small-scale, or large-scale—requires a new way of doing things. Especially in the crucial aspect of business communications, the world of business has drastically changed a hundredfold, and woe be to the startup company who won’t dare to ride the waves of modernity.
Almost all businesses today have learned to use electronic communication tools, the king of which is (the still-undisputed) email. Some companies exclusively use email; for instance, online marketing businesses. Other companies combine both email and traditional print-based communication—a more practical and pragmatic approach. A few still have not crossed over to the electronic side.
However, not all businesses use email technology optimally to their business advantage. Here are three of the frequent reasons that email technology fails in many businesses that use it.
Using Web-based Free Email Services
There is nothing bad about using free email services. But, your business could use the extra boost in productivity if you opt for email hosting services. One reason is that free email services don’t have guarantees of reliability or technical support. If you are in business, you would want to sleep soundly at night knowing that your emails and your data are safe. You would want to be assured that you will be able to use your email at any time of the day, any day of the year. You would want to be able to call up the hosting company for technical support and know that the company will do its best to assist you.
Another reason is that you have very little flexibility in choosing your username and your domain name. If your preferred username has already been taken by someone else, you will have to settle for something else. Good business insight tells you that both your username and domain name will have an impact on your potential clients’ perceptions about your business. With dedicated email hosting, on the other hand, you have the complete freedom to choose your preferred username.
Thus, if you are serious about growing your business, go for email hosting service rather than free webmail.
Overkill in Selected Email Hosting Plan
Often, in earnest eagerness, many business owners opt for the email hosting plan that has the most features and options—even if those features hardly have any practical use in the conduct of everyday business. In almost all cases, the more features a plan includes, the greater its price. But, why go for a plan offering 20-gigabyte storage capacity if your business needs only 5 gigabytes? Unless your business already has a high volume of emails, or is expected to reach a volume of epic proportions in the next few months, it makes no practical sense to raise the bar so high at the start. Why pay extra for stuff that your business doesn’t need currently or doesn’t need yet?
RELATED: Tips for Writing Effective Emails
Many startups often fall into the trap of overkill in selecting email hosting plans. This is generally an indication of a lack of clear assessment of current business needs and practices. Let’s illustrate this to drive home the point. Suppose your email hosting company offers individual mailboxes for $1.50 each per month. The next higher package gives 15 mailboxes for $20 (i.e., savings amount to $2.5 than if you paid for individual mailboxes). If you need only 7 mailboxes for your employees, it would be more practical and cost-saving if you paid for them individually than to get the $20-dollar package that includes 8 extra mailboxes that you won’t be using.
You would wish it were that easy to make decisions when it comes to selecting the right email hosting plan. In reality, it is never as easy as it sounds. But, you should be able to make better and wiser decisions if you knew beforehand what your business needs.
Poor Selection of Domain Name
For personal correspondence between you and your friends or family, the domain name of your email address won’t matter much. But, for business correspondence, the domain name will matter a lot. A business contact address that uses Yahoo or GMail or some other free email domain will have difficulty establishing a business identity via domain names.
Contrast that with an email address that ends with your company name as domain name. Such an address will be more official-sounding and will tend to advertise your brand or name indirectly. Between CompanyABC@hotmail.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, which address appears more authoritative, and therefore, reliable? The domain name, then, is very important, especially if you want to promote your brand by using your email address.
The domain name does not even have to be your full corporate name. If your corporate name is short and easy to remember, go ahead and use it as a domain name. If not, use a shorter and easier to remember domain name that is relevant and related to your brand or corporate identity.
If you are just starting out in business, make sure you spend time in mulling over your options and opportunities in using email technology. The technology can actually work to your advantage, but only if you know how.
Recommended Books on Email in Today’s Business Communication:
- The Executive Guide to E-mail Correspondence: Including Model Letters for Every Situation
- Email Mistakes: How to Avoid Looking Like an Idiot (Volume 1)
- Email Persuasion: Captivate and Engage Your Audience, Build Authority and Generate More Sales With Email Marketing
- SEND: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do It Better (Vintage)
- Strategic Business Letters and E-mail