Monday, November 27, 2006

Marketing Your Consulting Business with Your E-mail Address

What does your e-mail address say about you? As a consultant, it can say a lot.

I’ve seen many businesses (consultants and business owners) use an internet service provider's domain name when they should be using a domain name they secure for their own business. Here's an example:

Let's suppose "John Smith" opens John Smith Consulting. John Smith gets an e-mail address from his local internet service provider (ISP) and his address is now That's fine, but only on a temporary basis. What John Smith should do is secure a domain name and establish an e-mail address using that domain name. Something like:

From the customer's standpoint, which of the two do you think is more professional and will prompt you to contact John Smith if you are in the market for his services as a consultant?

- or -

No offense to anyone using ISP issued e-mail addresses for their business, but to me it seems like the person tied to the address “” is dedicated to the success of their business and wishes to set themselves apart. In fact, I bet if I went to the web address “” I'd learn more about his business. This would be a good way for me to see if he is legitimate and has more information on his services.

See what I mean? Our customers are a lot smarter than we give them credit for.

I've seen many established businesses use ISP issued e-mail addresses in their daily business. I know of a health club here in Boise where one of their top executives uses a Yahoo! e-mail address they use for day to day business printed on their business card.

The point is if you have a business get away from the ISP issued address, secure a domain name (even if you don't intend to have a website) and create an e-mail address that will work for you and not against you by promoting the people who gave you the e-mail address in the first place. Stop using the MSN and AOL addresses. People get spammed from others that create accounts using these ISP's. You don’t want to be grouped with them.

If you are using an address from one of these ISP's, get a domain name and start using it with an e-mail address that will look professional and promote your business. Use signatures at the end of your e-mail messages to provide your contact information, the URL to your website (if you have one) and your blog address. If you don’t know what this is or if you don't know how to start, don’t worry. Begin by asking around. You'll find many web designers and developers can help out in this area and the cost is generally minimal.

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