Think of your business’ domain name as your own, branded corner of the internet. It is the space you own for business-related web and email traffic.
In today’s digital economy, most businesses own a custom domain for their website. However, it’s surprising how many aren’t using a custom domain for email and instead use generic email addresses like gmail.com, yahoo.com, aol.com, etc. Even if you have not yet registered a custom domain, the process is relatively simple and inexpensive, and the benefits to your business are significant.
Here are the top five reasons every business needs a custom email domain.
Your company and employee email addresses make a statement about you and your business. What would you think of a job applicant whose email address is email@example.com?
When your business email is firstname.lastname@example.org, potential customers may perceive you as behind the times, unprofessional, or simply someone who doesn’t take their business seriously.
A custom domain sends a message that you are established and committed to staying around for a while. Custom domains also offer a perception of increased security and trust. People have more trust that they’re communicating with you and not with someone posing as you.
Privacy and Confidentiality
Businesses that use a generic email domain often share one company email between multiple employees or business partners. A custom domain allows you to create separate mailboxes for different users. This is essential for limiting access to sensitive information.
With one shared mailbox there is no way to tell if the email stays with its intended recipient. Emails including Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or Personal Health Information (PHI) should only be sent to secure, single-user mailboxes.
Control and Security
When users delete messages from a public domain the information is lost forever. Custom domains give you more control of company data. If someone leaves the company, you maintain access to the data in their mailbox. This allows you to maintain ownership of company records and comply with any data retention requirements.
Additionally, security measures in custom email domains are more business-oriented than consumer email providers. Mailboxes can be set up with unique user permissions and allow for different permissions between users and admins rather than everyone working under the same security role.
Efficiency and Scalability
A custom domain allows you to add and remove mailboxes as your company grows and changes. Additionally, you can create shared group mailboxes for collaboration. Setting up your domain and mailbox now, before you need to scale will save you significant time, money, and headaches associated with migrating years of email to a new domain.
Service Provider Flexibility
Custom domains offer the flexibility to select the internet or email service provider of your choice. They provide the flexibility to move from one provider to another without changing your email address. You lose the ability to change providers when you’re locked into a generic, provider-specific email domain (i.e. email@example.com). You could choose to move away from a service provider for any number of reasons. For example, you could move your business to a location not serviced by your current ISP, or your email host could change their fee structure. This is especially concerning for businesses that require HIPAA-compliant email, as the free versions of most email hosts don’t offer the settings necessary for security compliance.
This article originally published at Innovative, Inc.
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