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Website and mail branding failures

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  • One thing I’m seeing on a repeated basis is email address that do not match the site or the business they were intended for. People seem to spend an inordinate amount of time and money getting their website so look exactly the way they want it, and in most cases, usually with highly polished results.

    They then subsequently undo all of that good work by using a completely different email address in terms of the domain for the contact. I’ve seen a mix of Hotmail (probably the worst), GMail, Outlook, Yahoo - the list is endless. If you’ve purchased a domain, then why not use it for email also so that users can essentially trust your brand, and not make them feel like they are about to be scammed!

    One core reason for this is design services. They tend to build out the website design, but then stop short of finishing the job and setting up the email too. Admittedly, with a new domain comes the pitfalls of “trust” when set against established “mail clearing houses” such as MimeCast (to name one of many examples), and even if you do setup the mail correctly, without the corresponding and expected SPF, DMARC and DKIM records, your email is almost certainly to land up in junk - if it even arrives at all.

    Here’s a great guide I found that not only describes what these are, but how to set them up properly

    https://woodpecker.co/blog/spf-dkim/

    I suspect most of these “design boutiques” likely lack the experience and knowledge to get email working properly for the domain in question - either that, or they consider that outside of the scope of what they are providing, but if I were asked to develop a website (and I’ve done a fair few in my time) then email is always in scope, and it will be configured properly. The same applies when I build a VPS as others here will likely attest to.

    My personal experience of this was using a local alloy wheel refurb company (scuffed alloys on the car). I’d found a local company who came highly recommended, so contacted them - only to find that the owner was using a Hotmail address for his business! I did honestly reconsider, but after meeting up with the owner and seeing his work first hand (he’s done the alloys on two of my cars so far and the work is of an excellent standard), I was impressed, and he’s since had several work projects from me, and recommendations to friends and family.

    I did speak to him about the usage of a Hotmail address on his website, and he said that he had no idea how to make the actual domain email work, and the guy who designed his website didn’t even offer to help - no surprises there. I offered to help him set this up (for free of course) but he said that he’d had that address for years and didn’t want to change it as everyone knew it. This is fair enough of course, but I can’t help but wonder how many people are immediately turned off or become untrusting because a business uses a publicly available email service…

    Perhaps it’s just me, but branding (in my mind) is essential, and you have to get it right.

  • @phenomlab oh no… so you are saying I should not have used my sexy_boy_2005@hotmail.com email address that I got when I was at the high school for this purpose? But everyone knows this email address… lol

    jokes aside, I totally agree with you. It looks way more professional and trustworthy. Although I do not know what SPF, DKIM, or DMARC means, I did those settings as well… and I learned what they mean from the link you posted 😄

    I have been using this service:

    https://simplelogin.io/docs/custom-domain/registrars/namecheap/namecheap/

    After adding a domain, it made me add the DNS settings for SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. I think you are using protonmail, so you should be familiar with simplelogin, because it was bought by Protonmail. I have been using simple login for quite some time and actually was worried when it was bought by Protonmail. It is just that… I could not trust protonmail brand yet… I believe the management does not know much about business and will collapse the company in the near future, so I did not put any of my eggs in the protonmail basket… I hope simplelogin will continue even if this happens.

    However, simplelogin is just a relaying service, so I wonder what your recommendation would be about the email service provider that we should use. Is Mimecast doing this? Because it looks like they are just providing security, right?

    https://www.mimecast.com/

  • @crazycells I’m not using ProtonMail for anything currently but I know a few people who do - @DownPW is one of them from recollection.

    Using a mail relay is actually a good idea as the sending IP addresses have built up a reputation with other mail networks and spam lists over a long period of time and are mostly trusted to deliver mail on behalf of another entity.

    The usage of spf, dkim, and dmarc, DNS entries is a recommended security practice as without these, mail delivery will almost certainly fail.

    The daddy of mail security is definitely MimeCast. They have a week reserved reputation for being one of the best around, but there are others who offer a similar service and come out cheaper.

  • @phenomlab said in Website and mail branding failures:

    @crazycells I’m not using ProtonMail for anything currently but I know a few people who do - @DownPW is one of them from recollection.

    oh yes, you are right, probably from those discussions on this forum, I misremembered it.

    I guess you only used Proton VPN at some point?

  • @crazycells yes, tried it and didn’t like it at all. Got a refund!

  • @phenomlab

    Only yesterday we got a windows and guttering flyer through the door, the email on it was Gmail and didn’t seem to exactly fit the bill for their business.

    I must admit I put it right in the bin, it put me off that they were using Gmail, it maybe shouldn’t do but that was my feeling at the time that it wasn’t ultra professional.

    I notice some comments about Proton mail…

    I know other services offer this but I’ve found Proton Mail to be useful and with the added Proton pass which allows you to use a spoof email address that hides your email address I’ve particularly found to be a useful feature, so you sign up to a site for example and use a false email which sends verification etc to your real email very handy indeed!

  • @JAC said in Website and mail branding failures:

    Only yesterday we got a windows and guttering flyer through the door, the email on it was Gmail and didn’t seem to exactly fit the bill for their business.

    I must admit I put it right in the bin, it put me off that they were using Gmail, it maybe shouldn’t do but that was my feeling at the time that it wasn’t ultra professional.

    Yes, we get this all the time with Window Cleaning services etc (to name one of many - hence the post 🙂 )

  • @crazycells said in Website and mail branding failures:

    oh no… so you are saying I should not have used my sexy_boy_2005@hotmail.com email address that I got when I was at the high school for this purpose?

    Just reading this again and laughing to myself. Years ago, I helped a friend’s daughter write a resume so she could search for her first job. It was all going well until I asked her if she had an email address that she’d like to use.

    The response was

    yes, “biggestbaddestbitch@hotmail.com

    And that is the honest truth. I reckon if I had false teeth, they would have fallen out of my mouth there and then!

  • @phenomlab said in Website and mail branding failures:

    The response was

    yes, “biggestbaddestbitch@hotmail.com”

    🤣 ahahah , that is an email address I would use to give in supermarkets when they asked…

  • @crazycells can you imagine the look on the checkout operator’s face if you did? Or, if you were asked to enter it at one of those self service checkouts, I wonder if it would accept it…


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    @crazycells if it does indeed materialise, then this could well be a landmark case that sets a precedent. But, I don’t hold much hope to be honest. I’d like to be wrong.

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    ah f5 need 🙂

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    I’ve been using this service for a couple of days now, and it’s made my internet access so much faster. That alone is a plus, and I never thought there would be a contender for Cloudflare in this area.

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    @mventures that’s not an issue provided there is a password to go with the username

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    Thank you mark @phenomlab for sharing 👏
    And good job for the new logo 🙂

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    https://news.sky.com/story/scarlett-johannsson-shocked-and-angered-after-openai-allegedly-recreated-her-voice-without-consent-13140514

    SCARLETT JOHANSSON’S STATEMENT IN FULL

    Last September, I received an offer from Sam Altman, who wanted to hire me to voice the current ChatGPT 4.0 system.

    He told me that he felt that by my voicing the system, I could bridge the gap between tech companies and creatives and help consumers to feel comfortable with the seismic shift concerning humans and AI.

    He said he felt that my voice would be comforting to people.

    After much consideration and for personal reasons, I declined the offer.

    Nine months later, my friends, family and the general public all noted how much the newest system named “Sky” sounded like me.

    When I heard the released demo, I was shocked, angered and in disbelief that Mr Altman would pursue a voice that sounded so eerily similar to mine that my closest friends and news outlets could not tell the difference.

    Mr Altman even insinuated that the similarity was intentional, tweeting a single word “her” - a reference to the film in which I voiced a chat system, Samantha, who forms an intimate relationship with a human.

    Two days before the ChatGPT 4.0 demo was released, Mr Altman contacted my agent, asking me to reconsider. Before we could connect, the system was out there.

    As a result of their actions, I was forced to hire legal counsel, who wrote two letters to Mr Altman and OpenAI, setting out what they had done and asking them to detail the exact process by which they created the “Sky” voice. Consequently, OpenAI reluctantly agreed to take down the “Sky” voice.

    In a time when we are all grappling with deepfakes and the protection of our own likeness, our own work, our own identities, I believe these are questions that deserve absolute clarity.

    I look forward to resolution in the form of transparency and the passage of appropriate legislation to help ensure that individual rights are protected.