Professional branded email address – get it right from the start
A professional branded email address linked to your domain name can help enhance your company’s image and can help increase brand recognition by helping you create a uniform branding experience that starts with your business cards and flows through to your social media accounts and your website. Our online survey* from June 2016 demonstrates that 2 out of 3 respondents agreed that a company-branded email address is more credible than a free email address. When selecting your professional branded email address, you may want to consider the following:
Determine what your email needs are
Before jumping right into setting up professional branded email addresses, it’s important to first think why your business needs one, and what purposes you would use it for. For example, would you use it to respond to customer inquiries? Would you use it to communicate with customers relating to new products or services?
Determine how you will use email
Consider how you will use email now and in the future. You may want to start out having only a few email addresses, one for each key employee within the company, i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org.
As your company grows, you may want to create shared inboxes for each team within your company, such as email@example.com, so that customer enquiries can be sent to the appropriate group and can be replied quickly with the proper information. Shared inboxes can also reduce the dependency on certain individuals who may be constrained by other business priorities.
Selecting the right email tool can allow you to start small and scale as your number of employees and your business grows.
Making your selection
Unless you're an IT professional, it's likely you won't have your own servers or backend systems in place to host your own email, so opting for a hosted solution can be cost-effective as well as give you access to expert knowledge and support. The following are some hosted email solutions to consider:
Free email applications
- Can work well for businesses who have a need for individual addresses
- Upside: Simple for beginners to install and use. Free email applications such as Thunderbird offers several plugins that can be useful if your business needs a few additional functionalities like smart searches or custom folders to organize messages
- Potential drawbacks: Customer service may be limited and may not meet some of your needs
- Examples: Mozilla Thunderbird, Gmail.
Fee-charging email solutions
- Is generally required for shared inboxes
- Upside: Can provide an increased amount of functionality such as integrated calendars, task and contact managers, as well as more storage and security
- Potential drawbacks: Can be costly if most functionality isn’t utilised
- Examples: Microsoft Outlook, Google Apps, Workmail.
Email services managed by your web hosting provider / domain name registrar
- A hybrid of the first two options
- Upsides: Can be low-cost with some providers who offer a free email service with a paid domain name registration, can be easy to set-up, and can offer good customer service
- Potential drawbacks: May have to pay additional fees for storage and backup options or other additional features such as Microsoft Office
- Examples: 1&1, 1-2-3 Reg, GoDaddy, Names.
Based on our June 2016 online survey*, 78% of respondents agreed they would trust an email from a company-branded email address, as opposed to a free email address. There are multiple possibilities available for businesses looking to launch a professional branded email address. Before selecting an email service, you may want to evaluate your business – now and how you think your business will grow in future.
*Verisign conducted an online survey in the UK in June 2016 with a sample size of more than 1030 respondents.