Here’s a little bit of free advice for any business owner. Ditch the Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail etc email addresses. Now. You’re damaging your brand.
There are many businesses who have obviously paid a lot of money for their visual brand, and applied it assiduously to their websites, their vans, their uniforms. And some of them are really quite good.
They’ve got a nice logo (occasionally even clever). Their chosen typeface is not only imbued with personality, but it’s also easy to read as the van whips past you on the open road. The colour palette is just right.
So why-oh-why do some of these companies still insist on sticking to yahoo, hotmail or gmail email addresses?
Given that you can get a .com or .co.uk for a few shiny coins a year (and they must have already purchased one given that they’ve got a website), why are they using generic addresses?
Perhaps I’m at fault here. I can’t remember whether a yahoo address is a .com or .co.uk (or any other variation). Hotmail .co.uk domains still confused me slightly and I get them wrong 99% of the time because I stopped using Hotmail when all you could get was the .com. However, I can usually remember a company name. And following on from that, I can usually remember the appropriate email TLD extension.
It’s my opinion, deeply held, that generic email addresses are for ‘normal’ individuals – the people who want a quick, easy address so that they can stay in touch with friends/family and sign-up for whatever email newsletter takes their fancy at the time.
These aren’t people trying to impress others around them. They’re not individuals trying to be heard in a crowded marketplace. They aren’t trying to make a living. They don’t need to look professional. They don’t need to ensure that their brand is being looked after.
They just want to send around links to funny videos of cats or cute puppies. Not for brand building. Not sell or ship enough to put food on the table at the end of the month.
Maybe the business owners just don’t care enough to even apply a mask to their email. Perhaps the ‘Too Hard’ light comes on. Maybe they’re happy, after spending significant money on their visual identity and other touchpoints, to leave the last, easiest, bit alone because they think that it doesn’t matter.
After all, it’s only an email address. It’s only one of the channels that customers will use to get in contact. It’s only part of their branding.
It doesn’t matter at all then, does it?