What’s your e-mail Address?

By Russell Williams

Many readers would have several e-mail addresses, perhaps one provided for you for work, a personal e-mail address perhaps one of the many free ones e.g. Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo or now even FaceBook.

Those of you who own or a planning to own your own business, should not be using these or even the one supplied by your Internet Service Provider or ISP. One reason is that you should make every effort to market your business and your e-mail address is one such opportunity of marketing your business.

Some weeks ago I attended an internet security workshop and one of the presenters warned against using free or web based e-mail services. The presenter’s concerns were fairly valid, and centred on where those e-mails are stored, who might be scanning the contents for keywords etc. etc. Another concern is that only a few months ago, some Gmail users could not access their e-mail and some were in fact lost.

I must say I have both a Gmail and Yahoo e-mail address, which I use for personal and essentially non-business or professional e-mail. However, for business one should ensure you secure a domain name for your business, e.g. acmefashion.com, so you can be e-mailed at joe@acmefashion.com.

There are several benefits to controlling your own e-mail address or domain; if you have ever received a message indicating that you are approaching or exceeded your mailbox quota, this problem can be resolved. You don’t need to share your e-mail address with staff/employees, in fact if your staff routinely e-mail clients for you then they should not be using their personal e-mail address or acmefashion@gmail.com.

Remember because an employee is sending e-mail related to your business it is not the employee’s e-mail, it’s a business record and so your business should have full control over it. In some jurisdictions, businesses are required to keep and maintain copies of e-mail for several years. So letting John use his gmail/yahoo account to send mail to your clients may well expose your business legally.

If you were to own your own domain, you would be able to set up several e-mail addresses for specific functions within your business and not necessarily with person’s names. We all know in the business world people come and people go, but the job function may remain. So consider setting up e-mail addresses such as sales@acmefashion.com or accounts, admin or perhaps purchasing. It’s a simple matter then of using the e-mail client to indicate that the sender is no longer Mary Jane but Jenny Penny

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