I receive a dozen of emails like this one every week (I substituted the real name with “John Doe” for privacy reasons):

Hi There,

My name is John Doe, and I am the owner of a web design and development agency. We would like to promote our client’s services on your blog by purchasing a banner.

Please get back to me with rates and availability and we’ll discuss.

The fact that the person didn’t perform 5 minutes of research to find out my name and use it in the email doesn’t help, but it doesn’t close the deal right there. The rest of the email looks fine. But there was one thing that made me trash the email on the spot: the sender address. It was something like johnny772@hotmail.com.

I mean, the guy owns a web design and development agency and is using a Hotmail account? Nothing against Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo and the like, as I have email accounts on all those services, but on a business communication like the one above using such services sounds fishy.

First of all it makes me wonder if the guy really owns a web design agency in the first place. In the case he does, he must have a website/domain, so how come he is not using it to send the email? Is there anything to hide?

Not surprisingly, when I did ignore those warning signals in the past and replied to the person using a free email account the results weren’t that good. Most of the time I end up not closing the deal.

That’s why these days I tend to trash immediately those business emails that come from free email services. Don’t get me wrong, if you are writing to ask me a question, to offer a guest post or simply to share a link with me I don’t care what email service you are using, and I’ll reply to you if appropriate. The ones I trash are business emails, so someone trying to make a partnership with me, or trying to buy/sell something.

Bottom line: Are you going to send a business email? Make sure to use your own domain name for that.

A Domain email address would cost you as little as R40 per month and the amount of credibility it would give your business is outstanding.

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