A friend of mine wanted a website built.  He’s a lawyer practicing in Saskatoon.  That’s a super-competitive market because the University of Saskatchewan College of Law pumps out a fresh crop of graduates each year.  When you’re in a competitive space, you have to compete.  He wanted a website and a professional email address, of course.

For me this was bad news, because I don’t like managing people’s emails and when you get down to it, people don’t like other people managing their email either.  Fortunately, we found an alternative.  I was able to create an email address on his domain, which is nothing special.  A little research, however, led us to GMail for Business.  The custom email address and GMail for Business worked flawlessly together and the result has been 100% functional, 0% down-time and 100% as good as Google Mail.

If you’re about to ask a web-designer in Prince Albert to manage your work email, I suggest you read on.

Why I Shouldn’t Be Touching Your Email

Well, not YOUR email, per se. It’s not personal! I don’t like managing a customer’s email for 2 big reasons:

  • Email is a communication tool, and communication works 2 ways.  It takes at least 2 to tango.  When something goes wrong in email communications, a customers first instinct is to tell someone to fix it;  Unfortunately, half the time (statistically speaking) the problem is with the other email address, server or settings.  Nothing that the customer or the service provider (whom they paid) can do about it.  This is likely to cause a disagreement between the customer and the web developer, because the developer will talk about “MX Records” and “Exchange Settings” while the customer watches money go down the drain.
  • What if you become spam?  This happens all the time.  One day you are sending and receiving emails, the next you realize no one is seeing your messages or responding.  Somehow you’ve slid way, way down from the inbox to the spam-folder.  First instinct?  Tell someone to fix it!  But we can’t.  If email servers have flagged your address or IP or proxy or MX as spam, it’s because of something fundamentally wrong with your email, something 1 guy is not going to “fix” for you.
  • From a customer point of view- when something goes wrong with their business email, the world kind of ends. Nothing is okay until that problem is fixed.  So you’re going to end up paying a developer or a designer to spend their time trouble-shooting.  And when you’re done, you’ll probably ask “Why did I have to pay you to fix it? My email never broke before you touched it.”

Your Email Shouldn’t Need Help From Me

When we think about email, we think: It should always work, 100% of the time and you should never have to think about it.  But that’s kind of a lot to ask, right?  Our cars don’t work that way, and neither does anything else on a computer.  Why do we expect email to be so flawless?  because that is our experience with it.  We are not used to having trouble with our email services, because Microsoft Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo employ hundreds of people to make sure that their mail servers are constantly working seamlessly.  They’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars to give you “free” email addresses!

Mashing it All Together

Gmail for Business charges my friend $5.00/month.  I spent one hour troubleshooting the connection between his new website domain and Gmail.  The rest is in Google’s hands.  Nothing ever goes wrong with my friends email address, but if it did, he would just call GMail for Business’ customer support line and they would fix it.  Sure he pays Google a little, but it’s money well spent.  at the end of the year it’s $60.  If he had to pay a local web designer or web developer to manage that email it would cost a lot more than $60 / year.

So there you have it: The business case for letting a bigger better firm manage your mail box.

If you’re in lovely Prince ALbert, starting out with business email or website marketing then maybe…

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