Why You Need Professional Business Email Addresses
It may surprise you to know that some dentists still use free Hotmail and Gmail accounts for business purposes
Today’s blog is quite short and to the point, but also very important. It’s born out of frustration caused recently when trying to help dental clients approve their Facebook accounts. You may well ask what that’s got to do with email addresses, so let’s take a quick look – hopefully it will help to avoid similar frustration on your part and also reinforce why a professional business email address is essential.
For those that are unaware, Facebook is now particularly strict when it comes to approving businesses for advertising on their platforms. It’s no longer a case of simply signing up for an account and away you go; often you have to prove who you are and that your business is legitimate. I’ll explain more about this in a separate blog but for now, please accept that getting your dental business approved by Facebook isn’t necessarily trivial.
So what’s that got to do with an email address? Part of the approval process is to demonstrate to Facebook that you own the online assets that you say you do; so for example verifying the domain name of your website etc. In some cases they will even ask you to submit documentation to prove that you are who you say you are. Part of this involves the use of an email address which is specific to your website domain, NOT a free address such as Gmail or Hotmail etc.
What actually surprised me and showed that you should never take anything for granted, is that a couple of the new clients we were helping set up Facebook and Instagram advertising, were still using free email addresses, in this case, Hotmail and Gmail. As expected, Facebook rejected approval when it was attempted using those types of addresses and they insisted on an email address which matched the domain name of the business concerned. This means that something like email@example.com has no chance of working whereas firstname.lastname@example.org would be fine.
It’s not just for Facebook verification….
Of course having a professional email address is not just about getting your account verified by Facebook and I acknowledge that most dentists completely understand this. However it’s clear that quite a few still don’t appreciate this.
Let’s reiterate why a professional email is essential for business these days:
- It looks much more professional
- It lends credibility to your business
- Better for compliance and privacy – e.g. Gmail apparently still scans mail content to target ads to users
- Flexible – whilst you can export email from free providers, it isn’t exactly straightforward. Professional business email services can make migrations of this type much easier.
What does a professional email service cost?
It’s pretty clear that a professional email account beats free email in virtually all areas. However, what does it cost to use a service like this? As you’d imagine, the costs vary depending on the type of service you choose. If you use a service such as Outlook with Microsoft 365, it costs around £120 for the standard business package. However, this is per user and so if you add more accounts and addresses, you need to think about multiplying this up quite significantly. Other services are available from website hosting companies where you can get an account for around £5 – £6 per month per user. Again you need to consider how many addresses you need and how this can become quite a significant cost as your business expands.
To assist our own clients, here at Dental Media we’ve developed professional email packages which are robust, flexible and scalable at affordable prices. Rather than charge an incremental price for each new email address you need, instead we provide an account which allows you to add as many email addresses as you need within a set storage allocation. A basic account will provide email for a typical medium size dental practice for three years or so. Account storage can simply be expanded later as required. The cost for this service ranges from £140 – £250 + vat at the time of writing.
To summarise, using professional, domain-related email addresses is essential if you want credibility for your dental business. It’s also essential for validation services such as the initiatives introduced recently by Facebook. Using the correct email service will also ensure that your email is secure, scalable, reliable and cost effective.
Providing excellent email services for dentists is just one area where we help dentists with their online presence – if you would like to know more, please get in touch with the Dental Media hosting team on 01332 672548.