What does your email address say about you? Does using a Gmail or Yahoo email address come across as professional as one using your own domain? Obviously, it’s subjective. But first impressions are important, so you should put thought into your email address rather than just using that Gmail address you’ve had for the past ten years.
Let’s take a look at how to select the best email address, how to set up an email address on your own domain, then I’ll share a few resources.
What is the best email address?
Let’s start with the part of your email address before the @. The key here is looking at formal versus informal options, although there’s a spectrum. I’m of the opinion that no business email address should be inappropriate. But informal is okay.
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
Now let’s look at the part of the email address after the @. If you work for a professional, established business or organization, you should have your own domain name. In fact, even if you have a brand new business, you should really have your own domain name.
Once you own your own domain, you can set up any email address for that domain. If your name is John Doe and you own example.com, you can set up firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or anything you want, as long as it ends in your domain name.
In fact, did you know you can get an email address without even having to set up the actual website? Some companies even have email-only hosting packages, GoDaddy included.
And remember, nothing says “I’m stuck in the late ’90s” 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.
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.
Setting up an email address on your new domain
Let’s assume that you’ve purchased a domain name at least in part to use for your email. If you’re like everyone else, you probably have some email address you’ve already been using for a while. Messing with two email addresses might be a hassle. Fortunately, there are options.
- You can take your new email address and set it up so that all those emails just forward to your preexisting address. The downside to this is that you’ll still be replying to emails from your old Yahoo, AOL or other email address, instead of the more professional looking address you just purchased.
- Email everyone in your address book and let them know you’ve changed email addresses. Keep the old one open for a couple months and go through it every week or so to make sure you’re not missing anything. You may even be able to set it up to forward to your new email address, though that depends on the company you were using.
- Set up your email client (Outlook, Gmail, or whatever you use) to check both emails. The vast majority of email programs can be set up to check multiple email addresses.
Again, I can’t emphasize how much more professional it is to use your email from your new domain for all business emails. Because of that, I recommend against option one, though I have had clients select that option.
Who is the best email hosting service?
It may be convenient for you to get your email, website hosting, and domain name from the same provider. Plenty of our clients do. But depending on your email needs, it could make things more complicated later.
It’s never too late to change! You can actually use a different provider for your email than you do for your website, all while using the same domain name for both.
So how can you tell who is the best email hosting services for you?
In a lot of situations, your IT company can provide email hosting for you. We usually see IT companies provide Office365 email hosting, although some will also provide G Suite email hosting.
Regardless, if you already have an IT company you trust, they may be able to help you set up higher-end email hosting than is provided with your website hosting. And if you need higher-end email hosting, that’s the route we recommend you go.
Many companies, including us, include free email addresses with your website hosting. But often people we talk with want something more substantial or have more than just a handful of people on their team, so we recommend they reach out to their IT company to find an email hosting solution.
Email marketing resources
Want even more information on email and using it to market? Since we do provide email marketing and email newsletter setup, training, and management, we have put together some resources you may find useful.
First off, here are a few articles we’ve written:
- A closer look at drip campaigns
- Six emails to include in a drip campaign
- When should you use email marketing automation
- 3 steps to build your email list from the ground up
- 3 ideas for smarter newsletters
Second, we run into a lot of people that are doing no marketing at all with email. That may be a huge risk! Check out PixelTV episode 4 to see why it’s important to own your list.
Finally, you may be interested in having someone else help you with your email marketing. We help clients with email drip campaigns, email newsletters, Mailchimp management, and more. If you want to have a conversation to see if we might be able to help you, we would be happy to talk.