I travel among many networking groups in my area, and I collect lots of business cards. Generally, by first visual search is to the email address listed, followed by the website.
What makes me look harder than a scan is when the email/email domain isn’t associated with the website. Why? In this day and age, there is almost no excuse to not have an email that is linked to your domain. It’s inexpensive and….it protects you from the horrors of disconnection from the world.
Here’s the baseline issue: Using your home’s ISP email is a particular sticking point with me. While we’d all like to believe we’ll live there for a long time, maybe, particularly now, we won’t. What happens when you move? You may get the same ISP, but…you may not have that choice. Now, you’re on an entirely new email address, and tell me: How many people take the time to change their contact list when you send them the “I’ve changed my email address?” Some, but I guarantee not all of them. You just lost business.
Now, so you don’t move. One day, you get so aggravated, or to think positive, some one comes down the street with a better service/price, so you switch. Yep, same as before. You’ll have a new email address and lose some of your contacts.
Add to this you’ll be intermingling your person email, most likely, with your business might get buried under the pile of well circulated jokes the Internet is famous for, let alone the “If you don’t forward this to 10 friends a fire will consume you in the night!” (my personal ‘favorites’) incoming mail.
The solution: If you have a domain name and a website (surprisingly, many do, and they then use their home/free email), find out how to have an email, or maybe several related to your business, be set up. Yes, you’ll get disconnected, but you will still be getting emails under the home one, and you can keep reminding them to change. It’s the least painful and best probability to keep the information flowing method.
The other, lesser offense is the use of “free emails.” Yes, they will follow you all over, unlike the change in residence scenario, but what’s the impression you provide to a customer, as you say your are the professional/expert? If you market is single person businesses, then the impact isn’t much of an issue, but if you’re working to position yourself as a provider of goods and services to multi-person companies and corporations, you may want to rethink this.
Questions? The comment section is certainly open below.
Remember, it’s all in the message you convey, and Bob Turel, the Presentation Coach, says “its not the only thing, its everything!”