Besides texting and social media, email is still a primary means of communication. And if you run a woodworking business or plan to start one, your emails make an impression.
Obviously, the content of your email matters. If you’re communicating with potential or existing customers, vendors, or business associates, make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Make it look and sound professional. Use complete sentences and be succinct in your conversation.
But even before the recipient looks at the content of your message, the first thing they see is your email address. Does your email address match the domain name of your web site? (You do have a web site, don’t you?) In other words, if your web site is located at XYZwoodworking.com, your email address should be the same. For example, joesmith@XYZwoodworking.com.
When an email arrives in my inbox from XYZwoodworking@msn.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, it takes away the credibility that the sender is a viable business and takes their online presence seriously.
The first step in creating domain email addresses that match your web domain is to set up email forwarding with the company that hosts your web site. I use 1and1.com to host CherryRidgeWoodworks.com. I set up email forwarding so that any email sent to any address with the suffix “cherryridgewoodworks.com” is forwarded to my email account at Outlook.com.
Outlook.com (or live.com) hosted by Microsoft allows you to set up email aliases. In other words, my default Outlook email address ends with “outlook.com.” But when an email arrives that has been addressed to cherryridgewoodworks.com, I have the option to reply to the email using the cherryridgewoodworks.com domain address. Google also allows you to set up email domains for business through their Google Apps. Check with your email provider to see if you can set up an alias for your account to use your web domain name. If not, it may be a good time to switch email providers.
And while I’m on the subject of email addresses, if you have employees or associates that work for you and they interact with customers or vendors, set up an email address for each of them as well.
In a competitive world, first impressions can be the difference between gaining a customer or losing a potential one. Make sure your email address is the first step that conveys a professional image for your business.