Tim Priebe

How to select the best email address

Best-email-address-video-screenshot-300x166You 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.

emailaddresses-flat-300x145The 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 tim@tandsgo.com)

  • Really Formal: timothy.priebe@tandsgo.com
  • Formal: tim.priebe@tandsgo.com
  • Formal: tpriebe@tandsgo.com
  • Informal: timp@tandsgo.com
  • Informal: tim@tandsgo.com
  • Unprofessional: supertim@tandsgo.com
  • Really Unprofessional: supermanfan2012@tandsgo.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!


  1. didn’t help much. I am paying $39 month for this silly earthlink thing and I was wondering if I couold get another free thing. Like @aol or something

    • You definitely don’t have to pay $39 a month. HostGator offers a Hatchling Plan that’s just $4 a month, and it comes with unlimited disk space for unlimited email accounts. Then you would just need to get a professional, personalized domain name for your company.

  2. Gmail has been so long in operation and only offers one domain choice. I have a common last name. Let’s say my name is Sam Smith. ssmith@gmail.com was taken long ago. I am not a fan of including numbers in a username. What about using a letter, like “x”: ssmithx@gmail.com

    Is that ok email etiquette?

  3. I have an old (very old) email address with yahoo which I’ve used for a decade and everyone knows it. It’s also kinda stupid in nature and many ask what it means. I also have several others which contain my name which I do not like to use (I’m hiding from the govt., lol) no really, I would rather not use. I’m having a hard time finding a good one with a reliable email domain that is well respected and doesn’t infringe on safety or privacy. Is there a good company left that believes in this still? What recommendations would you have for picking a good email address and choosing a good domain to go with?

    • Really depends on what you mean by “doesn’t infringe on safety or privacy.” But if you’re using it for business, you should definitely use a domain that ties closely to your company name, or at least what your company does.

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