I came across a forum post today which I just had to add some comments to. It was about how some businesses still use free email addresses to conduct business. Worse still, they display these email address, e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org on their business cards and websites.
In 2011, this just seems lazy to me. Unlike many, I don’t automatically believe that they’re new to business or not serious about their business. To me, its more about not caring or not knowing any better.
The reason I think its not necessarily an indication of a new business is because I’ve come across a 20+ year old lettings agency in Scotland who used their ISP’s @aol.com address for their clients. Most of their clients were local and communicated by phone and post, so email was hardly used. Even still, for the £5 per year and 5-10 minutes it would take to set up an email forwarding address, it just seems lazy.
They have clearly given at least a little thought to their email address because it was MyCompany@aol.com (obviously I’ve replaced the actual company name with ‘MyCompany’ for the divs out there), just not enough to purchase a domain and doing it properly. In my opinion, for this family-run firm, it was probably because they don’t know how but had I had another relatively similar lettings agency I could choose to work with that had their own domain-led email address, it may have been the deciding factor – all else being equal of course.
There is a misconception that you need a website to have your own domain-led email address, but this simply isn’t true. You need a domain yes, but not a website – the distinction is important for old school (read non-Internet age) business people.
- What Does Your Email Address Say About You? (ceosidekick.wordpress.com)
- Lawyers need a professional email address, and it’s not @aol.com (ernietheattorney.net)
- Study says email domain stereotypes really do bear out (inquisitr.com)