05
Dec
2009
Why Real Businesses should not use AOL as their Email Address PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Administrator

Email is an indispensable tool for professionals today. Not only do professionals use e-mail at work for routine correspondence, e-mail is also used by many small businesses for client billing, marketing, and maintaining business-to-business and business-to-customer communications.

While e-mail is easy to get -- if you have internet access chances are it came with some sort of e-mail account -- getting an e-mail account that'll work for you professionally requires extra thought and planning:

The Downside of looking like you are from the last century

Use your name or the name of your firm. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it looks a lot more professional than This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Ten years ago, an AOL email address showed you were sharp, using leading technology. Today it says you’re ten years behind.

Advertise yourself, not your Internet Provider.

Stop Advertising for others. Many free e-mail hosts automatically insert advertising at the bottom of every one of your e-mails. You cannot control the content of the adverts and they may well be inappropriate and distracting from your business message.

Use Your Own Domain

If you have your own web site already, your web host should offer you multiple e-mail addresses at your domain name as part of your hosting. If you don't already have a domain name for your organization or firm, consider getting one: they're inexpensive.

Control/Portability

With you own domain based email accounts, you maintain control. You can move your mail to other servers, if necessary. Keeping your email and/or contacts archive when you leave AOL is a challenge and sometimes impossible.

Separate your work and home e-mail.

There are a lot of reasons this is a good idea: reserving an e-mail address for work not only may help you reduce junk e-mail ("spam") at work, it'll make your record keeping easier, you're less likely to miss an important work email, and it lets you avoid handing out your personal e-mail to strangers.

Don’t make your domain look like a spammer

Do not automatically forward all your work email to your personal AOL account. Forwarding all your mail from This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it sounds like a good idea if it was not for some of the anti-spam mechanism that AOL and other free email provides supply to their users.

The problem occurs in this way. Your Host forwards the email to your AOL account. You pick it up there. That’s fine, until some spammer sends you a nasty piece of spam. In your AOL interface, you click the “This is Spam” button. After all, it is spam. AOL identifies the email as spam, and attempts to set a filter to knock out other spam from the spammer. Sounds good, so far.

However, they incorrectly identify the source of the email as your business email server by noting the IP address. After enough “This is Spam” clicks from you, AOL’s automated system incorrectly flags your business email as the spam source and takes all of your business email forwarding to your AOL, and dumps it as spam.

Even worse, all mail sent by your neighbors sent from the same server to an AOL address gets dumped by AOL, as well.

Leverage your Brand

Your email address has become a major form of both marketing and branding. So much so that when you send it out to multiple people in the form of an offer for your goods or services, your company name could be read by thousands. So, why would you allow Yahoo, MSN, Hotmail, AOL or EarthLink to take some of the credit? Every time you send that email you're giving away a free marketing opportunity to your prospects and customers. It does not matter if you choose a name like This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , you are still giving AOL a wonderful way to market their services.

Keep these “free” email accounts for personal use (only) if you want; and bring more money, prestige and respect to your business by bringing more people to your website using email from your own domain name.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 February 2010