Business Email and Website

I would like to ask advice about getting a business email address and setting up a business website for just a presence at this point. I don’t have any income at this point and was looking for a free business email and a free website. Any help would be great. I needed to survey the cookie community. Should I set up a Facebook business account? Not that great at technology. Thanks to all who contribute.

Original Post

I'm not aware of any free email services (I use Campaign Monitor) or website builders (I had my website custom-built), but there are some cheap ones out there. Just google around, and you will find articles like this one (https://www.ventureharbour.com...ware-tools-one-best/) that compare various providers.

As for social media presence, I would suggest an Instagram account over a Facebook page (if you were to choose), as it's so hard to get anyone's attention on Facebook these days given how they've changed that platform over time. But it wouldn't hurt to have both.

Gmail is free. It used to be frowned upon for business, but like so many aspects of working online, that has changed. I now use Gmail almost exclusively since the email associated with my website gets TONS of spam and Gmail has a very good spam filter.  Alternatively, will your internet provider let you set up an email for your business? Most allow multiple email addresses per account. (I'm in Canada, so things might not be the same where you are.)

As for website builders, many small businesses that don't have a lot of content but want a basic presence use SquareSpace or Wix. Wordpress also offers free websites with templates, but you have to do a bit of work to make them look good. No matter which platform you choose, be sure to do your SEO so people can find you. 

I'm with Julie about using Instagram over Facebook for social media. I'm not sure if this is still the case, but FB used to throttle traffic to encourage businesses to pay for exposure (the old "pay to promote"). Of course, if your followers are on a particular platform, go with that.

Good luck! 

The Messy Baker posted:

Gmail is free. It used to be frowned upon for business, but like so many aspects of working online, that has changed. I now use Gmail almost exclusively since the email associated with my website gets TONS of spam and Gmail has a very good spam filter.  Alternatively, will your internet provider let you set up an email for your business? Most allow multiple email addresses per account. (I'm in Canada, so things might not be the same where you are.)

As for website builders, many small businesses that don't have a lot of content but want a basic presence use SquareSpace or Wix. Wordpress also offers free websites with templates, but you have to do a bit of work to make them look good. No matter which platform you choose, be sure to do your SEO so people can find you. 

I'm with Julie about using Instagram over Facebook for social media. I'm not sure if this is still the case, but FB used to throttle traffic to encourage businesses to pay for exposure (the old "pay to promote"). Of course, if your followers are on a particular platform, go with that.

Good luck! 

Does gmail allow you to cultivate private email lists (and categorize them in various ways) and to send formatted/designed e-newsletters en masse? I didn't think it had any of these features. 

I misunderstood the phrase "business email address".  I thought Tracy was  just looking for email, not a newsletter service. Sorry for any confusion. 

If you are looking for an e-newsletter, that's totally different. I use MailChimp. It's free as long as you have less than 2000 subscribers.  The next pay level is $10/month and allows for unlimited subscribers.  MailChimp allows for a lot of features/services including creating different client lists, designed templates and scheduling. It has a bit of a learning curve but they have online guides and tutorials to walk you through things.

I know people who use Constant Contact and Mad Mimi for their newsletters, but I don't know their fees or how complicated it is to set up. Regardless, I would recommend using an email marketing service for newsletters (as opposed to using your email provider) since they not only can handle the traffic, they will force you to comply with privacy regulations (opt-in forms, unsubscribe links, etc.), provide you with data, and even send out the newsletter at optimal times. 

Hope this makes sense. Good luck with getting your online presence set up.

The Messy Baker posted:

I misunderstood the phrase "business email address".  I thought Tracy was  just looking for email, not a newsletter service. Sorry for any confusion. 

If you are looking for an e-newsletter, that's totally different. I use MailChimp. It's free as long as you have less than 2000 subscribers.  The next pay level is $10/month and allows for unlimited subscribers.  MailChimp allows for a lot of features/services including creating different client lists, designed templates and scheduling. It has a bit of a learning curve but they have online guides and tutorials to walk you through things.

I know people who use Constant Contact and Mad Mimi for their newsletters, but I don't know their fees or how complicated it is to set up. Regardless, I would recommend using an email marketing service for newsletters (as opposed to using your email provider) since they not only can handle the traffic, they will force you to comply with privacy regulations (opt-in forms, unsubscribe links, etc.), provide you with data, and even send out the newsletter at optimal times. 

Hope this makes sense. Good luck with getting your online presence set up.

Sorry, I just assumed she was looking for an email management/newsletter system. Email addresses seem to be widely available for free. Might have misread her post though - not sure. Anyway, that's what my answer pertained to, @Tracy Dunlap - email management/newsletter platforms, not email addresses.

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