Gone are the days when you can get back to someone in a day or two. In our fast paced world where staying in touch is mobile and instantaneous, clients expect immediate responses to their inquiries. If you've ever returned a potential customer's email the next day to get no response... they've moved on.
Dreamscapes Design Group often sets up hosting (green of course!) and emails for our clients. We are always stressing the need to have professional email addresses and make sure they are being directed to the appropriate person. Branding and marketing are two extremely important factors in the success of a company and it is hard to keep that professional appearance when directing people to an @aol.com address. We know there will be those that disagree with us, but keep your aol, comcast, gmail, yahoo, etc.. addresses for personal use. Even the smallest of home businesses should at least have an firstname.lastname@example.org address for handling inquiries and contact with potential clients. It is important that every person who will be emailing from your business have their own email addresses as well, but by broadcasting your info@ email you never have to switch later when "Joe" has been replaced with "Sally" or you've finally grown to the point where you can have someone else handle those initial inquiries for you. It is seamless. We redirect who the email goes to on the back end, your clients see consistency on the front end.
Another benefit of having business emails, is it gives your company validity and allows you to have a signature at the end of every email that has all your contact information consistent with your company brand. You can also separate inboxes from different email addresses. This way you won't be slow to respond to a client because you were weeding through all your friends emails, spam and the newest Facebook alerts. You can check your info@, sales@, orders@ emails first... get the day started...make sure you are promptly responding to all business. Email your friends on your break :)
rachel | ernie