If you are a startup or a small company, bootstrapping marketing efforts for fast growth on a shoestring budget is totally understandable. But think about this: will cutting corners reach your potential customers effectively? This includes using free email accounts instead of paying for professional business email.
Whether you are in the tech, academic, creative, retail or other industries, a well-branded email is a great way to reach your customers. If marketing budget is your concern, I’d highly suggest that you take a look and survey on professional business email plans, and the wonders they can do for your business. Plus, there are affordable plans that do the job which I’m going to share the link with you at the end of this post.
EMAIL ACCOUNTS ARE EQUALLY IMPORTANT AS YOUR BUSINESS. SO, YOU SHOULD INVEST SMARTLY ON THE BEST ONE.
How Free Email Accounts Could Hurt Your Business
Business expenses are often one of the most important aspects in operation. But being thrifty in this case might cause more harm than good. Here are a few of them:
- Losing business credibility
- Likely to be mistaken as spam
- Hackers love free email accounts
- Annoying advertisements
As great as free email is, it can cause drawbacks for businesses — especially if you are a new brand who is building up your reputation online.
1. Losing business credibility
People perceive what they see. Had it not been so, branding would not stand its ultimate chance in business topics. Let’s try something here — You are a customer and you have just received business emails from the following accounts:
Which email send do you think you would trust? Definitely, the second! Although the free email is useful yet does the same job, customers may not take you seriously when it comes to business. Just like every day, when we encounter something unfamiliar, we tend to shun away or we perceive it as something new / inexperience — your free email would just do the same to your customers!
And the thing is, you might actually be doing so much better than your competitors, but because of your branding, your competitors might have better chances of converting the leads.
2. Likely to be mistaken as spam
There is a significant growth in the number of email spam filtering software and extensions. And most of these email filters these days are looking for free email accounts! This means your precious Hotmail, Gmail, or Yahoo could most likely be hibernating in your customers’ spam folder! The reason why free emails are more likely to be mistaken as spam because spammers choose to use free-of-charge methods to send their spam around.
So, before you could even reach your potential customers, your email which you put so much work and time into it might not even appear in their inbox in the first place. Plus, free email accounts also mean you could get suspended if a certain number of customers marked your email as spam. Don’t risk losing crucial data just because something is ready out there, free.
3. Hackers love free email accounts
According to The Statistics Portal, the number of active email accounts in 2019 have topped over 5000 million. I can only imagine how big a fraction of these accounts are still using free email like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! Because of the vast amount, hackers spend their time trying to hack into this large database of users.
In one of the most recent hack in 2015, “The discovery of 272.3 million stolen accounts included a majority of users of Mail.ru, Russia’s most popular email service, and smaller fractions of Google, Yahoo and Microsoft email users”, said Alex Holden, founder and chief information security officer of Hold Security. The huge data breach news reported by Reuters served as a wake-up call to many personal and professional email users to switch to paid plans and even encrypting firewall protection.
Once a hacker gains access to your email account, they can use it to send spam and unsafe links to your list of contacts. That means your clients, shareholders, business partners and more could receive risky content!
4. Annoying advertisements
While ads targeting features can be a powerful tool for advertisers, end users may pay the price. Do you know free email service providers can scan your messages to display targeted ads to you? Although this may not be an issue for some, to most of us, professionalism is a good practice without unnecessary distraction (not to mention snooping around our confidential emails).
Start using professional email today
Today, marketing mavens, large corporations and small businesses are investing in this feature —especially when it’s just less than $3.99 per month per user. First impression is always the most important, especially you are setting up a long term business, you would want your customer to view your service as a professional one.