I was shocked after checking into printing rates this season after a client asked me about low cost printing options. What he wanted was a lower printing bill, and he was afraid that by asking me to handle it he’d end up paying for design time plus printing rates in the neighborhood of the rates he’d seen quoted online. If you’ve got a design you like already, I can still help you get the best possible printing prices with no extra charges for design time. I’m always frustrated when I hear new business or small business owners talk about finding great deals through online sources like Vista Print. Sure, that means I didn’t get their business, but more importantly it means that I know they paid waaaay too much.
Until now, it’s been pretty easy to skate into the professional world from a hobby, personal, or amateur email address. Free email marketing tools, like Mailchimp, required any email address for your username or email on their account. If you had a gmail, hotmail, aol, or another suffix in your email address, you could use that to create an account and get started using their tools. That was terrific…until bots, hackers, and others started to abuse the system by generating spam, pfishing, and spoofing campaigns that have cost email clients and providers grief and sometime a lot of cash, clogged their systems with unwanted traffic, and generally wreaked havoc on their servers.
Free email services, like AOL and Yahoo, responded by creating what they call a strict DMARC policy, which stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance. They’re evaluating incoming email to ensure it meets their standards, which include coming from what they see as a legitimate email address. If the email looks like it comes from a domain-based address, one that includes a legitimate company name at the end rather than a free email service name, they’ll let the email through.
For those of us who send our email campaigns from addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org, this is no big deal. But, if your business email address ends in .gmail, .hotmail, .yahoo or something similar, you’re in trouble. Worse, most email marketing services, like Mailchimp, won’t actually stop you from carrying on, even though a percentage of your subscribers aren’t going to even receive your email. At best, your email marketing service will warn you that the email policies of some of your recipients may not let the email through.
If you’ve got a website with a domain name that includes your company name, like www.huntercreation.com, you should be able to get an email address linked to it at no extra cost. Most often, those hosting services also offer a webmail interface, allowing you to access your domain-based email account from any web browser, just like all those free services offer. In addition, you can easily set your computer and mobile devices to access your domain-based email account from your favorite email app. That makes it a fairly easy transition.
Once you have a domain-based email address, ensure it’s the one your email marketing tools use for sending your campaigns. You can change this in your account settings in most cases. It may add a little time to the first email campaign you’re sending because you’ll have to wait for the service to send a verification email to your new sending address and then enter a code or click a link to verify that the address you’ve chosen is valid. To avoid that, you can make the change to your account settings before you send out your next email campaign.
If you host your website with Hunter Creation, feel free to contact us to help you make any changes you need to make to ensure your email marketing will stay as effective as possible. If you haven’t chosen a hosting service or have a service that doesn’t provide free email with your hosting, contact us. We’d love to talk with you about how we might be able to help you get the hosting and email you need to be successful.