email address

Street Walking: Get a Real Email Address Please!

mineral waterQuick quiz…

You’re a multi-national company that sells bottles of “naturally sparkling mineral water,” and you go head-to-head with Perrier and Pellegrino. What email address domain do you use for customers to contact you?


If you guessed C, you’d probably be surprised to hear that you’re wrong. Well, at least according to Gerolsteiner. The email address Gerolsteiner uses on their bottle label is

sparkling water contact

(Seriously? What year is it?)

Nothing says wannabe like a generic email address. Time to step up to the big league, boys, or go home.

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Street Walking is a weekly series that includes a photo showing poor marketing, exceptional marketing or something in between. If you have a marketing example you saw on the street that you’d like us to include in a future post, you can submit your photo here.

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  1. anita

    I think this post has an elitist tone to it. People in the marketing industry sometimes think people care way more about this stuff than really matters. It doesn’t matter what the email domain is as long as the emails are handled professionally, rapidly and effectively. Ask any customer if they would rather have a branded email address for a company whose service sucks vs an incredible experience with a company that has a yahoo email address.

    • Hi Anita, I agree that an email address is not indicative of the type of customer service that you will receive. However, in my opinion, by using an email address, you can help the customer get over some trust issues which may prevent them from doing business with you in the first place; not to mention it just seems more professional.

      In addition, with the plethora of spam and phishing emails coming from email services like Hotmail, a company runs the risk of their emails winding up in someone’s spam folder. And, finally, anyone can set up their own company email address with relative ease nowadays; it’s not just for the elite anymore.

  2. Anita,

    I could not disagree with you more. First, despite his going to Bentley, Jayson is so far from an elitist that it would make your head spin. He’s from NJ, there are no elitists in the state!

    Secondly, this is not a marketing industry “thing”. MOST studies show, consumers feel more comfortable and are more likely to communicate with a company when their email is branded and not a FREE email plan. A branded email addresses provides a level of confidence to consumers that they are communicating with a known entity and not some yahoo from the land of hot mail.

    Why would any consumer share their personal data with a company that does not invest in a sense of consumer privacy and assurances of integrity in communications. In fact, many spam filters have a higher degree of filtering based on FREE email. In turn, that company may have a world of difficulty in communicating with their public if these filters are in place.

    With that said, Jayson is NOT the elitist but you may consider me one. I am an elitist consumer – I am elite about dealing with companies that INVEST in my privacy with secure communications. By the way, this company invested in an 800#, do you think they could do the same with their email? Your point of customer service many never be experienced if people are hesitant about sending any email or making a purchasing decision based on the perception of the product.

    For The Record -Gerolsteiner does have a dedicated domain .DE – German Domain. The sole US Distributor is Consup located in Little Ferry NJ- THEY chose the Free domain. NOT a smart move, but the .com was not permitted to be acquired by the German firm due to brand restrictions. This is common with many Euro Firms distributing in the US, most times it is recommended to use a dedicated domain beyond the brand to assure the points made above.


  3. I am really surprised by their email. Of course, they do have a long domain name but…they should have their company email. info@ or contact@ but not what is printed on their bottle!

    A lesson for all small businesses…we all have yahoo, hotmail or gmail accounts but we should give out our true business email address.

    Thanks for this post!

  4. When I see a free generic address in use by someone I may do business with, my head talk is that they are either very inexperienced or very cheap. There is nothing wrong with either. But if I need support or collaboration, I want an expert. If I want a client, I prefer someone who will commit to paying for solving a problem.

    I would not dismiss the idea of working with a generic email user, but I may not immediately feel confident about him/her.

  5. Dina Eisenberg |Speak Up Powerfully

    I cringe when I get emails from clients with an AOL addy. Because what that tells me, and customers who are like me, is this person is behind on technology or doesn’t care to keep current. Then, I begin to wander about competency. It’s an ugly, slippery slope.

    Why bother to put doubt in someone’s mind when it’s so easy to set up a branded email?
    Maybe success is about doing as many as the ‘little’ things right as possible, instead of having a major marketing breakthrough?

    Pondering…. Dina

  6. Ok, I’ll bite, I am a very new WAHM and computer literacy is not high on my list of skills. Firstly apart from my home internet provider I dont know how to go about getting a business email address. I used my personal email address on my business cards. I am based in Australia so where do I look to get a business email address? many thanks in advance

    • Hi Debbie. There are a few different ways you can get a business email address. Typically, you’d start by registering a business domain name. Ours, for example, is Once you have a domain, you can set up a business email address at that domain through a hosting company (if you plan to create a business website), or even with the registrar (the company you registered your domain with). This article provides some useful tips for the process. Free free to email me for more help if you need it!

  7. If your product is good, your price is right and your service is no less than great, it’s a shame to give your potential costumers any kind of reason to choose another firm than yours.

    Using a free email address gives doesn’t send the signal that your firm is professional and established.

    I’ve worked as a marketing advisor for many Danish entrepreneurs over the years. It is my experience that a hotmail, yahoo or g-mail account is a classic mistake made by several beginners. Some of them to save money, but most of the entrepreneurs are simply unaware of the fact that these kinds of things are of importance businesswise.
    Odd that a firm like Gerolsteiner having 184 mio. EUR in net goods turnover acts like a newly established firm even though it was founded way back – in 1888!

    I agree with Dina – success is about doing as many as the ‘little’ things right as possible, instead of having a major marketing breakthrough all at once. Give it a thought and enjoy the holidays.

    Happy New Year everybody from chilly Copenhagen.
    Kind regards
    Søren Baron Rom

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