Many small businesses set up their corporate email address when they started their company on one of the free email services like Gmail, Yahoo or AOL and have continued to use that email address through the years. Even if a domain name is purchased and a website constructed, they often do not create an email address with their company’s domain name (yourcompany.com).

Developing a professional image for your company begins with your online presence and your email address is a clear extension of your business and your website. You need to treat your email with the same attention to detail that you treat your website, including a professional address and email footer with your contact information.

If your staff also uses email to communicate with customers, vendors and each other, it is important that maintain control of your email system to avoid any rouge employee situations. There are many different solutions available for email hosting and the options can be confusing. For small businesses we suggest one of two solutions – the very inexpensive GoDaddy email account or the far more secure and advanced Google Apps corporate email accounts.

GoDaddy – A Cheap Solution

If you purchase your domain name ($12.95/year) GoDaddy will provide you with a free email account to go with it. The email account can be accessed via to GoDaddy hosted email or forwarded to your MS Outlook, mobile device or other email solution. This is a simple solution that should be your bare minimum choice. GoDaddy does not provide calendar support, SSL certificates or other frills with this service.

Google Apps – Secure & Inexpensive Corporate Email

We are not talking about your Gmail account, but close. Google provides businesses with a similar solution to the free Gmail service, but specifically designed for business use. This service includes integration with all of the other Google services, including calendars, Google Drive, Google+, YouTube, search and more. Google allows you to use your own domain (you@yourcompany.com) and still utilize the security of Google’s servers. The service starts at $5.00/user/month or $50/user/year and enables you to connect your email to any web browser, computer, email management program, tablet or smart phone.

Conclusion

Having a professional email account has a minimal cost and provides a significant boost to the professionalism of your online and email interactions. A new email account is easy to setup and you can forward your old free account to your new email address so you don’t miss a single one. For businesses sending and receiving sensitive corporate or consumer information via email, it is a responsibility to protect that information as best as possible.

Ask yourself, who would you rather do business with; adamparks@brandingarc.com or brandingarc@gmail.com?