Despite being associated with spamming and phishing for much of its lifetime, Gmail has become a huge success story for parent company Google. As of late last year, it was reported that there were more than 1.5 billion active Gmail accounts, which is the equivalent of one account for every five people on Earth.
Google’s free webmail service has come a long way the first public beta was announced back in 2004. Teething troubles meant Gmail only exited its beta stage in 2009, but this decade has seen it heading towards seeming world domination. And given the huge number of active accounts, you’ve probably got a Gmail address squirrelled away somewhere. It’s quite possible that you don’t use Google’s service for your business emails, as lots of firms choose to use an email address with a custom domain – generally including their company name.
Should you use Gmail accounts for business?
There’s a reason why Gmail has got so many global users – at its core is a really good email service. In spite of being free to use, Gmail provides a huge number of useful features. Many Gmail features are invaluable to a business of any shape or size. First and foremost, users receive 15GB of free mail storage, which should be sufficient for any business as long as they don’t let their inbox get out of control. Effective virus protection and spam filtering also come as standard with the free version of Gmail. That alone is enough to Gmail account for business preferable to some rival services.
There are other compelling reasons to trust your business emails to Gmail. For instance, Gmail accounts can access a whole platform of other Google services. Services include Google Ads, Google Analytics, and Google Search Console. They can all be particularly useful for businesses, while it’s impossible to overlook some of the great organisational and administrative features that are part and parcel of Gmail itself.
Given all of the benefits of using a Gmail account for business, why do so many firms choose not to? The answer lies in perception. The one significant downside to using a Gmail account for business emails is how it’s viewed by customers, clients, and the public. If you received an email from a company you’re considering awarding a big contract to, what would your instinctual reaction be if that email came from an @gmail.com address? Chances are it wouldn’t be good. You might feel like there’s something dodgy about the company, or fear that you’re being conned. At best, you’ll probably feel like the firm isn’t as professional as you’d like. It’s not a real reflection on the quality of Gmail – more about how it’s viewed.
The vast majority of people are hardwired to think of Gmail as a personal email service which isn’t suitable for business. Even though there’s no real tangible reason why it shouldn’t be. It’s an unfortunate fact that perception is a big deal in business. That’s why this near-universal view of Google’s email service can’t be overlooked. It’s also what makes the decision about whether to use a Gmail account for business emails so tough.
Convenience and simplicity may be invaluable in the formative stages of establishing a new brand. But the lack of a proprietary domain name in emails will undoubtedly deter potential customers from becoming actual ones. And is that a price your firm can afford to pay?