Consider this: if you were thinking about spending a fair amount of money with a company, which salesperson email would you feel more confident in contacting first?
The goal of branding your company is to ensure that potential customers know exactly who your brand is, and that you look professional. Just like you’d have a custom URL for your website. You need a custom email address to provide consistent branding.
This is especially important as you grow your staff: when you have your own custom email address, you can use a format for all other email addresses. So maybe you use [email protected] or first[initial][email protected]. This provides consistency in your business, and customers can easily remember the formula for your company email addresses.
What happens when your marketing manager leaves, taking her personal email with her? If she was using it to conduct business for your organization, you won’t be able to access those emails.
Have you ever seen someone’s email address on a business card and looked up the website because you were curious? That doesn’t happen with free email addresses. But, if you use your domain in merchandise and cards, you’re getting your brand in front of more eyeballs.
Even if you’re a one-person operation, you can create emails for different purposes like sales, customer service, orders, etc. This can give the impression that your company is larger than it is (which is not a bad thing), and in the event that one day you hire for those roles, you can simply assign those email addresses to other employees.