Actually there are probably more than 5 reasons to not use service provider email addresses. You know what I am talking about. These are the email addresses we all get “FREE!” from our cable, telephone, or other service provider. The email addresses we might have for personal or small business use.
It’s a BAD IDEA to use those email addresses. Here’s why:
1. You don’t own the address, there is no branding involved
That’s right, the service provider owns that email address, not you. The service provider can cut off your email at any minute. Maybe your monthly payment was late. Maybe they sold the franchise. Maybe they decided they didn’t like you. It doesn’t matter, your email address is gone–poof!
2. Move your street address and you may be forced to change email address, too
You moved to a great new house or a fantastic loft? Congratulations! Did you also change service provider territories? Oops. Get ready to send emails to all your contacts that you now have a new email address and your old address is closing. Yes, it will be messy and some people will be scratching their heads on why their email to you keeps getting returned by daemon (who is this daemon).
3. A service provider address implies you are not really savvy online
This reason speaks for itself. You say you didn’t know that you would have to change email addresses? Noob.
4. Most service provider email tools are pretty poor in helping you deal with your email
You will get better email tools and easier access from an online email provider. The service providers are in the business of selling telecommunications service, which is really just bandwidth. Everything other than selling bandwidth is a distraction in their book, so they don’t supply the best of tools. A couple of them partner with Yahoo or Microsoft, or maybe Google, but those are few and far between.
5. Last, but not least, you don’t own the address
OK, this is a repeat from above. But really, you can have your own email domain name for pennies. I know you have email for your own business name, right? RIGHT?
OK, just who should you use?
Pick any online email provider you prefer (Gmail, Outlook.com, Ymail from Yahoo, or any other one, even AOL). Or go whole hog and buy your own domain name (maybe $10 at www.hover.com), which is essential if you own your business, and have a very personal email address–you could make all sorts of statements!
One last statement on business email: it is absolutely essential that you have your business domain in the email address you use for business. Without a business domain email address, you and your business appear less than serious about your work. The cost is minimal. Setting up the service takes a few minutes. Yes, you will need to inform people about the transfer. But you can force a shift in email address by forwarding your existing email to your new email address and people will naturally make the shift as they respond to your communications from the new address.
Enough said. Have a great day of business!