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9 Reasons You Don’t Want to use free Gmail or Hotmail for business!

Does using a Gmail or Hotmail address lose you money?

 9 Reasons You Don’t Want To Use One!

Of course like most things this is a question that depends on who you are and what business you are in, if you are a consultant, entrepreneur, small business owner or a blogger, the answer is on most occasions yes it could cost you a lot!

Imagine you were in the shoes of the buyer of your product or services and when you met the person they gave you a business card that was really thin and had no website and a Hotmail address. Would you take them seriously? Or think they were an amateur?

Perhaps this would be enough to convince you they could not help you with a problem that is keeping you awake at night?

This article will explain the reasons why you need a private email address!

I have saved over £5000 by building my own websites and managing the mail system myself, fortunately a very good friend of mine is very tech literate. But he became sick of me asking him dumb questions about how to do things with my website. One of the best pieces of advice he gave me is that “Google is your friend!”

 Now every time I have a problem with technology, I spend some time searching on Google or YouTube to find a solution, usually someone else has had the same problem and they have written or posted a video on how to fix it!

Don’t just take my word for it

I am in a technology journalist group on Facebook and noticed a conversation thread within the group. Including my one comment there were over 27 comments and I will share with you some of the reasons you need your own domain name and personal email address.

The question was from a freelance PR consultant called Laura

Laura : “Can I ask a question? I’m a freelance PR and use a Hotmail account and was wondering if this makes a difference when sending pitches by email as I haven’t had a single reply to an email pitch for the past 4 weeks. My stories aren’t that bad, I have good reputable clients and interesting, relevant, stories. I don’t spam people and I make sure that everything is individual and relevant. I also don’t ask how people are all the time. Do you tend to avoid us freelancers with such email accounts, preferring to only use stuff from agencies? Just out of curiosity, thanks”

  • Richard : “I’m afraid, yes, it looks super-unprofessional. Even a Gmail address looks a bit Invest in a proper domain and I’m sure you’ll see better results”
  • Lance : “Use a service like this to get set up with a proper email address – it’s not expensive : www.
  • Zara: “I often use my personal gmail as it goes back years – as well as using company email addresses. Gmail works fine for me; interested to hear the response on this.”
  • Santo: “Gmail seems to be viewed as better than hotmail. However, our purchasing dept will not accept webmail addresses from would-be-suppliers, the email addresses MUST have a ‘proper’ domain such as them@theirbusiness.com – without this they won’t even consider a new supplier request.”
  • Mick: “I would invest in a domain. Most come with some email accounts included. It should really improve your response rate.”
  • Matt:Agree with the above. Buy something like laura@yourdomain.co.uk…….(its available) and get it to forward to your Hotmail”
  • James: “Hi Laura – if your email simply says from @comon it then it likely looks a bit weak. As people have said – get a domain, even if it isLWConsulting.com and then open up a Google Apps for Business account for £3.30 a month(https://apps.google.com/)….
  • Tim: “I have no trouble with freelancers at all, but I’m far more likely to reply to a branded email address than a free one like Hotmail, Outlook, or GMail. Get a domain and sign up for GMail or Outlook (if you prefer the Hotmail interface) – they are like £4/mo”
  • Adam: “Over the last ten years, I’ve used a gmail address alongside various client supplied email accounts depending on the client that I am working with and generally there is no discernible difference between response rate – and that applies to contacting large multi-national customer communications departments, as well as journalists. I assume that you are not just relying on email pitches though? How are you getting on when you phone up (a well researched) journalist?I currently have 4 separate client accounts so it looks like i am simply a member of the client team, but for smaller accounts, I still use the gmail.”
  • Adam Continued: “Having said all of the above, the comments received so far might make me think again about sorting out my own domain…
  • Dan: “Hotmail’s so synonymous with viruses and people asking for help extraditing a cash from some far-flung state that I’d dismiss any message from a @comdomain without even reading. Sorry”
  • Allan: “And that means your email may not even make it through some corporate spam filters, especially if the content also contains trigger words.”
  • Deborah: “Interested to read these replies. I had used a Gmail account I have had for years, and decided to open a Google for Business account a few months ago. I don’t think it has made a real difference in terms of response to pitches, but it has separated my professional and personal life. It probably appears to be more business-like
  • Fabio: “Agree with the above. Get a domain
  • Caroline: “Personally, I don’t find this stuff matters. I have decent relationships with journos who don’t seem to mind which contact methodology. I use gmail however, hotmail remains a little wild west from a perception pov. So maybe open a gmail acc. Or, as the others suggest, if you’re not regularly using client-supplied email addys, gmail biz acc a great option.”
  • Helen: “I have used a custom domain ever since becoming a one-person PR agency, and would definitely recommend it. Also make sure that you reference your LinkedIn profile and Twitter handle at the foot of your emails so that editors can check you out (and hopefully be happy to connect with/follow you)”.
  • Iain: “Feeling guilty about my prejudice bit Hotmail addresses aren’t taken seriously.”
  • Simon: “I’ve worked with quite a few freelance journalists who have Hotmail or Gmail accounts – doesn’t seem to be a problem for them”
  • Steve: “ the people who say they look at the story are missing the story. Corporates of all kinds – press or commerce – pay for spam filters. These use rules to decide what to chuck away and do not tell the senders that they have failed. Something coming from Hotmail, with no previous conversation history with the internal recipient, is *very* likely to go to the bit-bucket. In that situation, the editorial person wouldn’t even realise the message has been deleted, and wouldn’t get the chance, therefore, to magnanimously go by the content. they never see* the content.”
  • Max: “The trouble with that theory is that Hotmail addresses do reach me, which is more than can be said for some corporate addresses. I check my spam box every week as so many legitimate mails end up there”
  • Max cont: “Having just checked,I see that there’s a mail from Dennis Publishing in my spam folder. The days when the spam folder was for spam are long gone”
  • Stephen: “In general I would rank AOL and Yahoo as lead “professional”, then Hotmail, then Gmail, then Macdotcom – but WAY better to have your own domain and so easy now. If you have a web site you have e-mail in almost all hosting outfits.”
  • Becky: “Sorry but I would always be more likely to read an email from a domain, also our spam filters would probably kick in before it got to me.”
  • Ben: “I would tend to view with great suspicion any email from a free email account claiming to represent a brand. It costs peanuts to buy a domain and email forwarding, so why wouldn’t anyone do that?”
  • Stuart: “I never notice the email address until I reply to be honest. Could it be getting filtered into spam more often than other providers maybe?”
  • Andrew: “Would suggest it’s most likely being swallowed up by spam filtering. Agree with comments about getting a cheap personal domain/email address: for example ‘laurawelsh.online’ would cost you less than a tenner a year, and there are other variants going up to £50 or so. Add in email hosting for about a fiver a month or less, and you’re
  • Annem: “I only (very late) made the switch to Gmail recently after I noticed my Hotmail was annoyingly being filtered into spam. Comments on here are very helpful!”
  • Danny: “Gmail and Hotmail accounts make me think “indie PR’, and I know many good indie PR execs who cut their teeth in agencies and in-house. I’ve also had soul destroyingly bad pitches from juniors at large agencies. Domains mean nothing to me. Only the content. matters.”
    I would check with a couple of peeps to see if your mail is hitting their spam folders. Mail me at dan*********** and I will let you know if I see it come in.
  • Evan: “I pretty much ignore every free email accounts like gmail and hotmail. Seems too unprofessional for me even though I’m sure you’re not. If tiny crowd funded guys and one man app developers can have a domain then prs should too. It also gives me an indication that you’re probably not a chancer or spammer.”

9 Reasons You Don’t Want to use free Gmail or Hotmail for business!

Thinking about this from a clients or new clients’ perspective, there are a few points that spring to mind.

  • You are viewed as amateur if you have a free address
  • Spam filters the mail gets deleted on arrival worst case scenario
  • Spam folders (content may arrive too late for the job if at all)
  • Purchasing departments will not accept new suppliers with free email accounts
  • More likely to get a response from a branded email address
  • Separate your personal life from your business world
  • Scared to open Hotmail etc. as may contain a virus
  • Seen as not caring about looking professional
  • Lower response rate for non-branded email addresses

Personally I have been using my own domain name and managing my own websites over the past few years, I am not a tech savvy individual by any means, so regularly learn from online resources how to do things.

I have been learning how to manage my own blog for the last few years, buying my own domain name about four years ago www.natschooler.com , I also run my own email. This gives me such piece of mind to manage my own website and email personally and to look after it myself. Especially using such an established and trusted name in the industry, established in 1996 and scoring over 9.8 out of 10 on trust pilot, gives me piece of mind.

I spend around £3 per month and have access to numerous email addresses and host two websites. Ordinarily this would cost me in the region of £1200 per year if I hired a company to do this for me, it gives me more money to invest in my own marketing and social media tools to generate revenue for my consulting and coaching business.

Lots of small businesses and consultants spend around £50 per month on their websites, paying a spotty teenager to do the work you think is difficult, they charge you an extra £100 every time you ask them to make a simple change to your website or add a new email addresses for your new team members. 

MyWebTonet.com has up the easiest control panel to manage the process of building a WordPress or any other website and to add the new email addresses, I can not only install a WordPress blog or a website with one click to any domain name I own, but I can setup an email address in under 20 seconds once I am logged in. (A spotty teenager would charge £50-100) 

If I am bombarded by spam from any particular country like Nigeria (nothing against Nigerians by the way). I can block that entire country from sending me mail, eliminating this problem completely and keeping my inbox free from time wasting junk mail.

Most other hosting providers have a considerable amount of down time, with emails and websites, MyWebTonet.com hosts your emails on different servers to your website, which is a great security measure. I have had under an hour of downtime in the last four years in total, this was probably caused by me making a mistake with my website! The emails have caused me no problems at all, being delivered in record time. 

This system is aimed at the people who either know what they are doing, want to learn how to fix things themselves or who can ask someone in their team what to do. Most things are easily understood with a quick Google search if you don’t know what you are doing.

I love the fact that the servers are located in the EU and that I am not giving one of these giant companies like Google or Microsoft my money; so then they can put adverts in front of me to sell me yet more stuff that I don’t need or want! 

If I had time to invest in thousands of domain names I can host them here for free if I have a hosting solution for one of them. 

I can also use the system to store pictures privately as opposed to paying Dropbox or google to store them, this is very simple if you have the smallest understanding of WordPress. (An open source website and blogging solution over 25% of all websites are made with this) 

For value for money they are the cheapest domain names out there and the web hosting is also really cheap and runs on the latest technology with the best data links to keep you secure and online with your business 24/7 

If you would like to setup your own domain name here is the link you need.

MyWebTonet.Com

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Thanks Tax Credits on flickr for the picture