Small Business Tips

Why Using Free Email Services Are Bad for Business

hosted pbxIf you are using a free email service like Yahoo!, gmail, or hotmail for your business you could be risking a lot. Check out the following five ways free email services like Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail could be hurting you and your organization.

Hackers Love Free Email Services

Since the group of people who use free email accounts like gmail and Yahoo! is large and ever increasing, hackers spend a lot of time trying to hack into these accounts. When a hacker gains access to your email account they will use it to send SPAM and even possibly adult content to your list of contacts which could include your clients, vendors, business partners etc. Protect your business and save yourself that embarrassment by getting your own email address.

According to the FTC and PC Mag just two hacks last year cost consumers almost $2 billion dollars alone, with 45% of all digital security threats coming in the form of email. You have probably seen examples of this phenomenon and attempts to hack you yourself. Ever received odd email messages or links from someone you thought you knew? That person’s account has likely hacked and yours was actively being targeted. Besides the potential for completely destroying your computer system this could result in your identity being stolen. This doesn’t just mean losing thousands of dollars it can mean financial ruin and a decade of hard times.

Risk Getting your email blocked

If you are using free email services for business and storing your business contacts and your account is hacked, spammers can send out malicious messages from your account. Not only will this annoy your prospects and clients, resulting in them ignoring further messages from you but it could mean that your email address would most likely be tagged as an email address that sends SPAM and blocked by SPAM software all across the internet.

looks unprofessional

Despite arguments that free email services are easier to use the fact is a free email account just isn’t professional looking. What do you think of someone you meet online who doesn’t have a professional email address with a business domain name? Aren’t you wary of handing over money to them? You should be. This not only means far fewer responses and closed transactions for the effort and resources you assign to marketing activities but also lowers the perceived value of your products and services.

Lost Branding & Marketing Opportunities

Even if recipients don’t open your emails they are going to see your email address in their inboxes. This is an invaluable marketing and branding opportunity. If you want to win the business you need your brand’s name in front of prospects and clients 24/7. If you aren’t there, your competition will be. The few extra dollars per month is well worth the marketing and branding opportunity. Going further, how you format your business email addresses makes a big difference too. For example ‘This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ’ makes you sound a lot smaller than ‘This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ’ or ‘This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ’.

Possible damage by disgruntled employees

Providing your employees and contractors with professional business email addresses is also critical for minimizing losses. When an employee leaves, you can freeze their email account so that they don't harm your company by sending out emails to your company contacts saying bad things about your organization or by taking the list of company contacts with them to their next job. If they have been using a free service for their email, you have no control over their contact lists and cannot lock them out of their email should you have to let them go.

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