What’s Your Email Address Saying About Your Brand?

If you're thinking that the only way to do it is to buy an expensive Exchange server and hire a full-time IT person, then you've missed two great solutions.

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photo credit: smemon87

Take a quick moment and look at the email address you hand out to your customers and clients. Does it end in any of the following?

  • @yahoo.com
  • @live.com
  • @msn.com
  • @gmail.com
  • @hotmail.com
  • @aol.com
  • @mac.com

If the answer is yes, then it’s time to think about the subtle message you’re sending every time you give out your email address.  There are really to things you need to be aware of when you make this choice.

  1. You’re advertising for someone else – not your website, not your business.
  2. Perhaps more concerning, it makes it look like either a microbusiness startup – or one that just isn’t serious.

Now, in some cases, intentionally choosing to either advertise for someone else, or appear to be a microbusiness can be the right choice for your business. However, in the majority of the cases, it’s not the image you want to portray. In the majority of cases, it simply means that you didn’t think you could afford to have a branded email address reflecting your domain.

If you’re thinking that the only way to do it is to buy an expensive Exchange server and hire a full-time IT person, then you’ve missed two great solutions. First things first though, if you don’t already have a website domain, you’re going to need to get one. The good news is they are pretty cheap, ($7.49/yr at GoDaddy) find a domain reseller you like and pick out your first domain name.

Once you’ve got your domain name, then it’s time to pick an email provider. GoDaddy offers several options: Group Email and Hosted Exchange Email. Group email starts at $1.99 a month and Hosted Exchange starts at $2.99 a month. The difference between the two is the difference between email and a full Outlook solution. If you like your calendar and/or tasks in Outlook, then the Hosted Exchange is the right choice for you.

If you’re a Gmail fan, or just someone who doesn’t care about having the Hosted Exchange system, then another consideration is Google Apps. If you’re a small business, the plain Google Apps account will probably be sufficient — and it has a very nice price tag — FREE. If you’re want an added level of support (which I highly recommend) you can subscribe to the Google Apps for Business level. Either way – Google Apps will sync with Outlook (if that matters to you), your mobile phone, your calendar, and your contacts list. Personally – I’m a big Gmail fan, I think they have the best spam control around, allow easy collaboration, and they have been making significant upgrades to the product. But Gmail isn’t for everyone – and if you’re one of them, then the GoDaddy options might be a good solution for you.

Any way you go, GoDaddy or Google Apps will allow you to import your current email account into the new branded email, so you don’t have to check multiple email accounts while you make this transition. Just look for POP3 or IMAP instructions in your new platform of choice. Either option will take you less than 4 hours to setup and will be well worth your while to establish a higher degree of credibility, and seriousness for your business. Each solution has good step by step instructions for getting it set up by an average user. And if you’re at the Google Apps for Business level or with GoDaddy, both provide good support to help you through the setup process.

Keep the @gmail, @yahoo, or @mac address for your personal correspondence, and upgrade your business email presence to a branded domain name today. Your business’ credibility will thank you.



Tisha Oehmen

Tisha Oehmen is a professional brand strategist and a leader in the branding field. She was recently named a member of the Global Guru’s Top 30 Brand Gurus. She is also the co-founder of Oregon-based Paradux Media Group and the best-selling author of the book, Finding Brand: The Brand Book Tutorial.

Possessing expertise in both front- and back-office operations, Tisha conceptualizes, develops, and implements initiatives to foster brand effectiveness like no other. With over 15 years of experience in branding and marketing, Tisha has successfully led large financial institutions and health care companies down the path of renaming their business.

Where Tisha really shines is in the work that isn’t done. Sometimes a name change for a business isn’t in their best interest and after meeting with Tisha, they are able to find the true value and equity that has always been in their brand. Tisha has a special knack of being able to communicate the value so that the CEO/Business owner can see its luster and then with a little polishing, make it shine company wide.

Tisha is best known for developing long lasting branding campaigns that speak to the heart of the business, the brand, and the community. True brand, no matter how big or small, has longevity. Creating branding campaigns that have longevity, that have a laser-like focus, is where Tisha thrives.

Tisha received her M.B.A. from the University of Oregon, from where she also earned a B.A. in Political Science. She enjoyed a distinguished academic career punctuated by enthusiastic and successful participation in competitive speaking events, and holds numerous awards for her skill in public speaking. Tisha is widely recognized for her ability to capture an audience’s attention with her straightforward and engaging speaking style.

When not working, she enjoys golfing, baking, reading, and hiking with her partner, Mike, and their two dogs, Chloe and Jackson. She’s also an active member of Rotary International, the Chamber of Commerce, and is a very proud supporter of the Oregon Ducks. Tisha lives in Eagle Point, Oregon.

Reader Interactions


  1. Nikolas Allen says

    I agree with the domain-branded email address for companies with more than, say, 5 employees. One the plus side, it gives a professional impression, as you stated. It’s also helpful for finding someone’s website when you only have their email address, since their company URL is part of the email address.

    However, as a solopreneur, I’m finding a Gmail account is essential because it integrates with all their products – which are growing in numbers all the time. From Google+ to Analytics to YouTube, not to mention their Docs, Calendar and recent purchase of Motorola lead me to believe we’re living in a Googlified world.

    In the past, I’ve tried juggling up to five different email accounts for different aspects of my brand, but these days I use Yahoo for personal and Gmail for business, and my life is a lot easier.

    • Tisha Oehmen says

      Thanks for taking a moment to comment Nikolas. I agree, gmail addresses are usually where it’s at for small businesses, that’s why I particularly like the Google Apps system, giving you all the power of gmail and a branded domain name. It’s free for businesses that have less than 10 users and are comfortable managing it without support.

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