The Merits of Free Email Accounts

These days you'll be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't have a Google gmail account for personal correspondence. For those of us who are more than 20-25 years old, there may be those of us with Yahoo! or Hotmail accounts for personal use. With the advent of the Internet also came electronic mail, more commonly called e-mail. Much like handwritten letters need a mailing address of the recipient and sender before it could be delivered, e-mail required both the sender and receiver to have e-mail addresses between which the message could be sent and received.

As e-mail proved very effective for quick communication, the need for professional e-mail addresses that could be associated with a company's growing web presence via their website were desired. And subsequently created. This means that since the 90s I could get an e-mail from someone at to my personal address that might include a coupon for a discount on a purchase made on their website or from a participating retailer.

And it is that distinction between and that is at the core of this post. If I were to receive that e-mail from an address that ended in then I would be far more accepting of its content compared to if I received that same e-mail from the address Sure, they both say nike in the address but only one appears to be from the company Nike itself. The other, for all I know, could be from some random dude in his mother's basement who created a fake account through Yahoo!'s free email service with the name "nike" as some attempt to make me think that he was affiliated with the legendary shoemaker.

Such deceptive and fraudulent actions are performed each day. As an IT Security consultant that works to help companies manage their data to minimize their risk to hackers, phishing attacks, and more, I'm familiar with the risks associated with opening e-mails from questionable sources, replying to messages claiming to be someone but using an unfamiliar address or address not associated with that person or group, and always remain cognizant of these things even when checking my personal e-mail accounts.

As a result of my non-literary related experiences in the IT world, I have repeatedly shut down people trying to solicit me to purchase their services if they choose to use free accounts like,,,,,,,,, or any of the other numerous free account service providers there are available out there. I stand firm in my opinion that if you are trying to present yourself as part of a company and not an individual then you should have a company email address. If your website is then I expect your email to be Anything less is a bad sign in my experience.

And to further drive home that point, for years before I joined the ranks of IT Security consultants, I was a web developer. I have built a wide variety of websites and web-based applications. I have registered domains. I have setup hosting accounts with a variety of web hosts. I have managed DNS entries to connect a web domain registered with one provider to point to a web host at another provider. I have written websites in a variety of languages that had to be deployed to a variety of hosts running different operating systems and hosting services (IIS, Tomcat, JBoss, etc.).

Many of those websites needed e-mail accounts too. As it turns out, most web hosts offer e-mail services too. I know, shocking! And most of these e-mail services are offered at very reasonable rates and can be configured to use the same domain as your website. This means that for only a few extra dollars a month on top of your hosting fees that you can have with almost no additional effort, only a minimal additional expense.

And when I say minimal additional expense, I mean minimal. has e-mail packages for as low as $1.99/month per user. $1.99 a month! That's pretty freaking cheap to have an e-mail address to send sales solicitations from that matches your website.

This means that there should be absolutely NO excuse for someone to e-mail me about a professional service they are selling for their company from any address other than I mean, if you can't spend $1.99/month for a professional looking email to go with your website then you are clearly not dedicated to the craft that you're trying to sell.

But I will clarify that if you operate as an independent vendor that makes their services available online through things like Fiverr, Facebook, or whatever then I don't necessarily expect the same of you. If I track down John Smith on Facebook where his profile says he does freelance editing, I'm fine e-mailing about securing his services. In contrast, if John Smith were to send me an unsolicited e-mail me to sell me services for his company Smithy Editing and he e-mailed me from I would be much less accepting.

It isn't that have anything against the use of services like gmail, yahoo. or hotmail for e-mail. It has more to do with the representation the address you choose to use for business gives to others. If I'm presenting myself as an individual doing freelance work a personal address like (not my real address) represents that. I'm acting as myself and the use of a personal e-mail address reflects the personal nature of that representation. However, if I'm presenting myself as an employee of a company sending an e-mail from, it does not represent that level of professionalism and infrastructure that is expected from a legitimate company.

When I've pointed this out to the saps who have tried to sell me things from their "company" while using one of these free e-mail addresses (most frequently, they've tried to counter my position with largely the same feeble point. They all claim that their companies are "new" and in the process of setting things like official e-mail accounts up for everyone. In almost every case where I've been told that, the company was far from new. New to me is having been created within the last few weeks but all of these contacts stemmed from companies that had been around for at least one year. That's not new. And 12 months, or more, is more than ample enough time to sort out your e-mail addresses, especially since it can be acquired and setup at the same time as your year old, or more, website!

The argument of a start-up using services like gmail for corporate communications is nothing more than an empty excuse. When you can get professional level e-mail addresses connected to your already registered web domain for as little as $1.99/month there is absolutely no excuse that can be given to justify not having that service on Day 1 of your business. I mean, you spent the time to develop a name, a logo, a web domain registry, a website, and more so how could you not think to address e-mail knowing that a large portion of your sales and communication would be conducted through that method? That's like designing a car but not thinking about what steering wheel to put in it so at the last minute you just grab a pair of rusty pliers to clamp onto the steering column. For an online digital business e-mail is a must, just like a steering wheel for a car. One without the other just doesn't work!

And if you want me to think that you are capable of handling my business with better forethought and consideration than you did your own business then you must be insane. If are you going to sell professional services under the guise of a professional company then you had better be prepared to present yourself and your company in a professional manner in all aspects of business. Anything less will tell others that you are not the professional service provider you are pretending to be.

I'll close with a sentiment I said to someone who I recently had a similar conversation with. If you want to be a professional, then be professional in all aspects or don't get offended when someone calls you out on it.



I often write my blogs in advance of their publication to my website. Partly so I don't feel rushed or pressured into getting something out on a deadline and putting stress on myself unnecessarily. This means that even though this article went public on July 3, 2024 that I wrote it several days before that.

With that in mind, imagine my joy and satisfaction when the day after I wrote this article I received an email from GoDaddy talking about professional looking emails!


Subject: Impress folks with an email address matching your domain.




The point here being that when you act as an individual the use from free accounts like (again, not my real address so don't message it) makes sense but the moment you shift from acting as yourself to acting as a part of something bigger, an entity, an organization, a collective of like-minded individuals under one banner, your approach to digital communication should shift with it.

The moment you choose to operate as something more than just yourself and develop a company name, a company logo, and a company website, you really MUST also develop a professional company email system, especially in today's online, digital market space. There's no justifiable reason not to have one. Expense is not justifiable. Time is not justifiable. Newness is not justifiable.

As this email from GoDaddy shows, the services are out there. It only takes a minimal amount of effort to add a much needed level of professionalism to your presentation. But if you can't be bothered to take what little effort is involved for this for yourself, for your company, and for your customers then you clearly aren't worth my effort either.

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