I’ve just read Merrie Marketing’s excellent weekly MerrieZine, which this week focussed on the impact of small details, both positive and negative. Immediately my beef with businesses running on non-domain email sprang to mind.
Every sector will have its own pet hates and appreciate that which the rest of us will barely register. There must be those, for instance, who swoon with horror at my business cards (to use one of Kim’s examples) as they aren’t printed on both sides, aren’t half an inch thick and don’t have a photo on them. On the other hand, they’re supplied by a local company, printed on paper from managed woodland, and they’re clean and without dog-ears. They have a QR code on them, which other tech-minded people will notice and excitedly go ‘oooh look!’ and fire up the barcode-reading app. Joking aside, our cards are smart, up-to-date and professional.
Can the same be said of a company operating via a Hotmail, Gmail or – perish the thought – a btconnect email account? I’m distinguishing here between a company promoting itself and its services, and someone making tentative first steps and using their existing arrangements. We forgive the latter (aren’t we generous?), but a company using a generic email account on advertising, business cards and their website is broadcasting to the world that they aren’t at all concerned with projecting a professional image, and that instantly makes me wonder where else their professionalism falls down. This is the problem with lack of attention to detail – it immediately raises doubt in your potential customer’s mind as to where else they might meet that in dealing with you.
Note the reference there to a website – the number of websites sitting on a small company’s domain but using a generic email account is quite shocking. If you’re in this position *please* ask us for help. We’re happy to explain how to set up email using the domain name you already own. It’s yours – use it. It will do wonders for the impression your company makes, and once you’ve done it you’ll wonder why you ever waited.