Does Web-based E-mail Make Your Business Look Less Legitimate?

Today is Small Business Saturday, “ a day dedicated to supporting small businesses on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year.” I though this would be a good time to discuss how small businesses use e-mail.

At a recent business seminar, the presenter made a comment that she does not pay attention to e-mails if the business is using a web based e-mail address. For example, Mary’s Flower Shop is a small but thriving business. Mary uses Gmail, a web-based e-mail platform, as her e-mail service. Her e-mail address might be If Mary comes to this presenter for help in the presenter’s area of expertise, Mary’s e-mail will be ignored because it is not from

You have no doubt seen hundreds, if not thousands, of small and medium-sized businesses that use a web based e-mail service. These are legitimate, successful companies. Mary may have elected to use a web based email service, even though she can use her ISP’s e-mail client available from the company that hosts her website. It may be for financial reasons. It may be because she does not have the technical knowledge to set up her email service through her website’s ISP. It may be because she wants to eliminate as much spam as possible from getting into her ISP’s inbox. It could a reason not listed here, or a combination of reasons.

Obviously, there are obviously two sides to this issue. During the seminar, the presenter mentioned that a web based e-mail address does not look professional therefore she interprets this to mean that Mary, in our example, is not serious about her business.

Does using a web based e-mail address make the business owner look unprofessional? Does having a .com at the end of the e-mail address mean the business is completely legit? Would you do business with a company that uses a web based e-mail address for their business communication? What do you think about companies that use web based e-mail?

One Response to “Does Web-based E-mail Make Your Business Look Less Legitimate?”

  1. I, myself, have always taught business owners to use their website in their email address for promotion and believability. However, I will look at such an address if I know them. One thing I have learned is that if you use or admin@, web-bots will boot them often as spam. I use for my radio show, but I am thinking of changing it to comments@ or something other than myname@ because my name is hard to remember/spell.

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