Virtual Don'ts No. 2


2.  Use a public e-mail address.

I know, I know… I hear it all the time.  But Google is FREE and they provide me with so much storage.  I have followed lots of discussions recently on the perception of public e-mail addresses vs. private.  It ranged from the “you’re just a snob” to “branding is branding – why brand Google?”

Personally, on the perception front, I think anything but a private domain shows a lack of digital savvy.   Why?  Registering a domain and using it just for e-mail is not hard.  In fact, you can read the first Virtual Don’t in this series to learn just how easy it is.

I don’t recommend using a public e-mail address for more than just the branding/perception factor – I say don’t use a public e-mail address due to security and access issues.

For instance, were you recently one of the Gmail users who was unable to log in due to a Google server glitch? What if that was the one day you had to get at that one message in order to close the biggest deal of your career?  Ooops!

In any event, using a free, public service is cheap, but you give up control, true privacy and even access to information which may make or break you.   You also lose the ability to brand and connect with your e-mail recipients.  It takes 7-10 times for someone to even remember you – and the From and e-mail signature line are 2 opportunities to get your domain in front of the eyes and in the minds of your prospects and connections.

So the question isn’t really why not use a free/public e-mail service – but why give up privacy, control, access and two valid opportunities to get your domain seen by each e-mail recipient?