If you’re in the U.S., you would have to be living under a rock to not have heard about Hilary Clinton’s email scandal, in which the former secretary of state used her personal email account for work-related purposes. It’s a cautionary tale that serves as a good reminder to keep your business communications separate from your personal ones.
Even if you’re the owner of your company (and aren’t dealing with classified information), it’s within your best interests to avoid using a personal email address through a free service like Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc., for business purposes. Here’s why.
It looks unprofessional
Email recipients expect businesses to look professional online—and that applies to email addresses as well. Sad as it may be, you’re not likely to score a major client when you send them your pitch via a Hotmail email address you created when you were in 8th grade. A branded email address will inspire more customer trust than one that’s from a free service provider.
It doesn’t promote growth
It may be all good and fine using your personal email for business communications for now, but what happens down the line when you’re ready to add an employee? Or when you decide that it makes sense to have separate email accounts for sales and customer support? Creating a branded custom email account from the get-go can build consumer trust and make it easier to adapt for growth in the long term.
Your emails are more likely to get caught in a spam filter
With increased adoption of DMARC, there’s a good chance that spam filters will catch an email sent from a personal account and send it straight to your recipient’s junk folder. Marketing platforms like MailChimp and Constant Contact now require that users send from custom email addresses, and even free service providers have indicated that they plan to be more strict with filtering their users’ inboxes.
It’s a potential CAN-SPAM violation in the making
That’s right—U.S. citizens using personal email addresses for marketing purposes can land themselves in hot water if they don’t include some specific features. Because the CAN-SPAM Act requires marketers to include an opt-out method in marketing communications (like an Unsubscribe button), using a personal email for these messages presents the issue that there is no simple way for recipients to remove themselves from an email list. Similar laws exist in the U.K. and Canada as well, so don’t be too sure that you’re safe if you live outside the U.S.
A custom email address is an important tool for business owners who want to promote their business’s growth. Setting up your own is quick, easy, and a great investment in your company’s future.