It’s no laughing matter: Using a free email provider like Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo! to represent your business is a bad idea.

How would your opinion of big companies or charities change if you received email from such an address as [email protected] or [email protected]? Would you still believe the correspondence was legit? Would you buy products or donate money from links contained within? I’m betting you wouldn’t.

That same distrust is being conveyed to your potential customers when you use a free email account for your business email address. You’re not doing yourself any favors by using an email address provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) either, such as [email protected] or [email protected].

The email address you use to represent your business should be based on your domain name. Period.

When I say your “domain name” I mean your website address. “” is the domain name for Amanda Mili Consulting. My email address is myfirstname@mydomain: [email protected]. Some businesses might use info@theirdomain or admin@theirdomain for general inquiries, any of which are better than the free or ISP email alternatives.

Consumers are leery of engaging with a business if the owner can’t be bothered to:

  1. Invest in a website;
  2. Set up and use the email accounts associated with their domain, if they already have a website; or, at a minimum,
  3. Buy a domain for their business just so they can get domain-based email addresses.

Using a free email address to represent your business is perceived as a lack of commitment, laziness, or even ignorance.

“Hmm, this business is using a free email address. Maybe they aren’t in it for the long haul, or it’s a scam. I think I’ll look elsewhere for a vendor to meet my long-term needs.”

“If this business can’t be bothered to get a domain name with email, I wonder what else they can’t be bothered to do?”

“Wow, this company is still using a Hotmail address? They must know they aren’t keeping up with today’s industry standards. Perhaps the same is true for their workmanship.”

According to a white paper by Visible Logic, when people were asked, “If a person’s business card has a non-domain-level email address, do you care?” 70% responded that they cared and that it looks unprofessional.

This is your business’ BRAND we’re talking about! Building the brand is the hardest and most time-consuming aspect of building ANY business, and therefore the most important to NOT mess up.


Considering that email is still the primary way in which business owners communicate, is continuing to use a non-domain email address worth the potential losses? 

If you need help setting up a website, a domain, or email addresses for your existing website, contact me. I’m happy to help get rid of that red nose for good.

Amanda Mili

Amanda Mili

Your Business, By Design

Serving the U.S. and Canada
email: [email protected]

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