You probably already knew that you should put thought into your emails, because what people can read into what you say. But did you realize that your email address itself says something, whether you want it to or not?
Let’s take a look at how you can select the best possible email address.
After the @ – Picking the right domain
If you work for a professional, established business or organization, you should have your own domain name. In fact, if you have a brand new business, you should really have your own domain name.
The domain name is the address of your website, but it’s also the part after the @ in your email address. Did you know you can get an email address without even having to set up the actual website? In fact, some companies have email-only hosting packages, GoDaddy included.
And remember, nothing says “I’m stuck in the late 90’s” like having an email address that ends in @aol.com. Having one that ends in your internet provider like @sbcglobal.net is somewhat better. And @gmail.com is currently probably the least offensive. But if you like Gmail that much, you can still set it up to use your own domain name.
Before the @ – Formal or informal?
There’s a difference between formal and informal. No business email address should ever be inappropriate or extremely casual. But it’s okay for it to be informal.
Let’s use my email as an example. My name is Timothy Priebe, so here are some examples of email addresses I could theoretically use. (For the record, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Really Formal: email@example.com
- Formal: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Formal: email@example.com
- Informal: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Informal: email@example.com
- Unprofessional: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Really Unprofessional: email@example.com
Whether you pick your own email or it’s handed down to you by an IT department, it’s worth remembering that others could base their initial opinion of you based on that address. Like your hair, clothing and speaking style, it’s part of your professional appearance. People will judge you on it whether you want them to or not.
So pick your email address carefully!