My typical Friday morning routine involves breakfast at a great little spot down the road. The kind of place that only serves breakfast and lunch, where the waitresses call you Hon and know your regular order by heart. I usually read the weekly newspaper while I eat, but the last time I went there was no weekly paper to be had. They hadn't published that week due to staff vacation. Okay, fair enough.
So I found myself reading the paper placemat. In addition to a few word games to occupy little ones the placemat features a border of advertisements for local businesses. Usually these ads are just reprints of business cards, and there's nothing wrong with that.
As I looked at the different ads I took note of how many businesses have websites and email addresses. No website? Okay, that's forgivable for some businesses. No email? Again, somewhat allowable, but it's becoming less excusable. Let your customer contact you in as many was as possible, and in the way they want. Most businesses wouldn't dream of placing an ad without their phone number in it.
What I found most confounding is the number of businesses who have a website with their own domain name, but their email uses a generic service provider. For example, a local pet groomer might display www.petgroomer.com in their ad, but their email address is email@example.com. Or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or email@example.com. Some folks would use firstname.lastname@example.org, and that's a little better.
My questions is: why not use email@example.com? Or firstname.lastname@example.org? Or email@example.com? I actually saw an ad for a local company that builds websites, and even they were using a generic email address! This tells me these businesses are either using the free webspace their internet provider includes or they didn't want to spend a few bucks to have somebody set up an email account using their own domain name. Either way it makes one question how serious these businesses are about making it easy for their customers to reach them.