Email has been around for decades. Even with the emergence of other communication channels such as direct messengers, mobile messengers etc. email remains relevant and an important communication tool for business.

Email is usually the primary channel businesses communicate with their customers. This makes email a big deal. This also means that you should not skimp when looking for a reliable professional email hosting solution for your business.

However, reality is always different from ideal situations and many businesses today still rely on FREE email accounts (e.g. Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail) to run their business.

There can be many reasons for this. Some business owners are just not tech savvy and all they know are the big three email providers mentioned above.

Some business owners use FREE email accounts to try to save costs and maximize profits.

There are serious drawbacks to using FREE email accounts for your business. We will be looking at 7 ways FREE email accounts can hurt your business below.

FREE email accounts...

1) Makes your business look cheap

Let's take a step back and talk about how you feel when you receive an email from a business trying to sell you something, but you noticed that they're using a FREE email address. How did that make you feel about the business?

Now we can't represent your thoughts and feelings. However, every time we receive an email from a business that's trying to pitch products and services to us, and we see that they are using a FREE email address... We instantly feel that this business is CHEAP and may not even be serious about their business.

The thing is, FREE email addresses do not have any brand representation. We'd dare say that if we sent you an email using a FREE email address you'd probably think the same about us as well.

2) Hurts your business credibility

As we mentioned above, FREE email addresses make your business look cheap. The problem runs deeper than just that, FREE email addresses can really hurt your business credibility.

First off, anyone can sign up for a FREE email address. There's no authenticity linked between your business, and a FREE email address, meaning your credibility in the receivers books goes way down.

FREE email addresses may be a dime a dozen, but prospects and leads cost a lot more. If you're pitching to cold leads, you can be sure that you only have one chance at projecting a professional image to them.

Don't ruin your first impression and jeopardize the credibility of your business by using a FREE email address. Get a domain for your business, and host your email and you can be sure to increase your business credibility.

3) Gets mistaken for spam

Businesses receive hundreds if not thousands of emails a day. Decision makers do not have the time to go through each and every email they receive on a daily basis.

Now imagine you received two emails, one from [email protected] and another from [email protected].

Which email are you more likely to trust? Which email are you more likely to mistake as spam?

That's assuming the email from [email protected] even gets to the inbox. When you use a free email domain to send marketing emails, you run the risk of having deliver-ability issues.

There is a high chance that your emails will get stuck in a spam filter, and spam filters are a significant concern for email marketing.

So not only do you run the risk of your target audience mistaking your email as spam.

You also have a higher risk of being filtered by the email server's spam filter as spam and never get to the inbox in the first place!

The best way to avoid your email from being mistaken as spam is to get a domain for your email and use a professional email hosting solution.

That way not only does your email look professional, you will also inspire confidence in your target audience to open and read your message.

4) Has lower open rates

As we have discussed above, FREE email addresses tend to be mistaken for spam. This literally translates to it having lower open rates.

Think about it, if you thought it was spam, would you even bother to open the email? You'd be hard-pressed to just hit the delete button instantly.

Campaign monitor reports an average open rate of 17.92% in 2019 for all industries.

Below is a breakdown of some email related statistics such as open rates and bounce rates by industry averages. As we can see, the odds are not exactly in the senders favor. So don't further lower your chances of reaching out to prospects by using a FREE email account.

Seraph Studios - 7 ways FREE email accounts can hurt your business

5) Low deliver-ability

When you use a FREE email account, you are using a domain which you don't own. As such you have no control over the deliver-ability policies of your email.

Usually FREE email accounts are meant for personal use and not business use. If you plan on sending mass marketing mailers to your contact list then you are likely to be flagged as spam by the email provider.

So if you're planning to do mass mailing and don't want to ruin the chances of your marketing content reaching your audience, then use a professional email address. You will find that it will be worth every penny you spend.

6) Easy targets for hackers

Cyber security is becoming an increasing concern as we see more data breaches to large corporations with huge databases.

Yahoo! experienced a major data breach in 2014 which affected the account information of around 500 million users. The stolen information included email addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, passwords, security questions and answers. The kicker, Yahoo! didn't know about it until 2016 when they started investigating this major cyber attack together with law enforcement officers.

In a more recent data breach in 2015, popular FREE email services were hacked and over 270 million accounts were stolen. This included a majority of users of popular Russian email service as well as users of Google, Yahoo and Microsoft email service were affected.

Hackers are more likely to target large corporations and FREE email services such as Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft. This makes the hackers efforts more worthwhile compared to hacking a small organization's email server which would have a significantly smaller database.

There's a reason why large corporations are so adamant about cyber security. It would serve your business well if you subscribed to a professional email service which is not part of these large databases. Professional email hosting also boasts better security and support.

7) Lack privacy and support

You may have noticed how personalized ads are these days.

What you may not know is that FREE email providers scan your email accounts in order to gather personal data about yourself and serve up personalized ads to you.

It may sound outrageous but it's true and it's happening. If you care about the privacy of your emails, then you should not be using FREE email services in the first place.

Also, you do not get any support from the FREE email providers should you run into technical difficulties. You are left to troubleshoot any issues that may come up, and we all know that as a small business owner, you already have your hands full.

When you use a professional email hosting service, you are not only paying for the email account, you are also paying for technical support. That in itself will give you one less item to worry about in your business.

Your best solution... Professional Email Hosting

Remember that you get what you pay for, and when it comes to FREE services, you get nothing in terms of support. It also comes with all the drawbacks that can potentially hurt your business badly.

There are other options for email hosting for your business besides the FREE providers. If you would like to have professional email hosting for your business then don't hesitate to reach out to us. We are able to help you with your professional email hosting needs.

Please give us a call at +60 10 657 6688 or contact us via email for a FREE Consultation session. We look forward to helping you have a safe and professional business email hosting service.

Seraph Studios is a trusted boutique web design and digital marketing agency based in Penang, Malaysia.
We specialise in building beautiful, functional websites for businesses with elegant design and data-driven search engine optimization (SEO) to significantly drive visibility on the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Come with us on a digital marketing journey like you've never had before and achieve business success.
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