Why do some entrepreneurs continue to use a non-descript email address rather than choose a branded version?
Yahoo!’s Small Business portal published an article on this topic stating that generic addresses are a blight on business. This same logic is still discussed in articles weighing the pros and cons of using a post office box address for mail deliveries versus a street address. It doesn’t matter to me which address contracts and checks arrive, and as long as my service exceeds customers’ expectations, I know my mailing address choice won’t tarnish my image.
While I agree that branded email appears professional, generic addresses still provide advantages.
Smart entrepreneurs order business cards with generic details to distribute at trade shows and other business events. It protects their branded email boxes from being inundated with sales literature from firms that contact them after the event, firms they may not want as a connection. It’s easy to write the branded email address on the backside of a business card if there is true connection interest.
Every distributor of downloads, free courses, and the like want your email address before granting approval. Why provide your branded email when a generic address is satisfactory? Dot Yahoo! and dot Gmail addresses are perfect for handling such mail, leaving your branded name for lucrative communication. Thankfully, generic email accounts allow you to set up your deliveries to capture all mail so your review time (early in the morning for me) for both email types is maximized.
Years ago I recall seeing supermarket chain executives attending the grand opening of a competitive grocer. These good ol’ boys shook hands and talked shop as they watched customers navigate aisles. Such camaraderie isn’t welcome in every industry, so a generic email address is handy when requesting information from competitors. Super sleuth entrepreneurs rarely blow their cover when jockeying for top industry position.
What matters most
There was a time when I frowned on seeing generic email addresses from people I believed to have high stature in their profession, but now what counts for me is on-time communication, service, and professionalism. If those three areas are intact, the email address doesn’t matter.
I admit to owning multiple branded email addresses as well as three generic ones that are frequently used to gather intelligence under cover. How do you feel when receiving mail under a generic name from a person or company you believe ought to be represented by a brand?