When You See a Gmail Address for an Advertiser or SEO – Run

Professional Advertisers Do Not Use Gmail

When I was at my old firm, I constantly received messages from “SEO companies” claiming that they could get the firm to the top of Google for whatever keyword. Most of these messages were sent through the law firm’s contact page. Some of them came directly through email. Almost all of them used a Gmail.com email address.

Out of curiosity, I once asked one of these SEOs why he was using a Gmail.com address to contact me. He quickly informed me that he would use his real address once he knew I was interested. Oh, I thought, as I nodded sagely to myself, that makes sense.

Wait a minute. No. It. Doesn’t. What does that even mean?

Gmail.com is For Advertising Scammers

In this day and age, any professional business will have a proper email address using a proper domain name. That domain name should be connected to a website. Gmail is a fine service for individuals who are not using it for business purposes. For a business contacting you to offer you services, however, it is the sign of a scammer.

Scammers surf the web and send out hooks, hoping to grab people who don’t know better. They use Gmail or some other free email service because it is free and easy to set up. It is also hard to trace them if they know what they are doing. As a result, these free services are perfect for people who want to convince you they can help you when really all they want to do is take your money and give you nothing in return.

This is especially the case for those claiming to be marketing services. How can a marketing company possibly not follow one of the most basic rules of marketing? Brand yourself.

No Business Should Use Gmail or Free E-mail

Understand, I am not telling you that only scammers use Gmail. I know some perfectly lovely and capable attorneys who use Gmail, though I wince when I see it. What I telling you is that if a business reaches out to you first and it is using Gmail, it is probably a scam business.

At the same time, I also want you to understand that no business should use Gmail as their business email. It just doesn’t look good. There also could be ethical problems, if you are an attorney, as far as free email services. Such services often do not guarantee an appropriate level of privacy.

The number one form of communication we have with our clients these days is e-mail. Your e-mail is a valuable opportunity to brand yourself. As a result, every time you send an email from Gmail, instead of marketing yourself, you are marketing Google. Why would you want to do that?

Setting Up E-Mail

Setting up an email account that uses your own domain name is really quite easy these days. I recommend that you either use Office 365 or Google Business. Each of these cost about $60 per seat per year. All you need to do is get yourself a domain name and connect it to the service you choose. Not only will you have a proper email address, but also, you will be able to sync your email, contacts, and calendar across all of your devices. This is hugely important. It helps you avoid sending mail or email to the wrong place, calling the wrong phone number, missing appointments.

Please Don’t Get Scammed

If you receive an unsolicited email from a company with a Gmail account, please run the other way. It is extremely likely that the business is not legitimate. The business may even use a proper domain name with a Gmail account. That makes me wonder if the person contacting me is actually a representative of the business. If not, why would they have a website, but not connect their email address to that site?

Please be careful out there folks.

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