Email makes the world go round, and it’s still vital for business communications, managing to remain relevant even as all sorts of other platforms have emerged to compete with it.
Having a professional-looking email address is a priority for everyone from freelancers to business owners, so how can you get one, and why does this matter?
Professional email address options explored
There are a couple of options for getting an email address that’s instantly recognized as being suitable for professional use, as well as a few points of etiquette to follow, including:
Using a recognized provider
If you’re happy to make use of an existing email provider, then you need to appreciate that some operators have better reputations than others, both in terms of how they’re perceived and what services they supply.
For example, Gmail is one of the most widely-used platforms with a lot of useful Chrome extension, allowing anyone to create an account for free. You can use a standard @googlemail or @gmail domain name, or have your own website domain used instead, while still being part of the Google ecosystem of products.
Of course this is not the only option, but the main point to remember is that even the domain name can determine whether or not your email address appears professional.
Paying for your own email hosting at a custom domain
Speaking of domain names, if you’re serious about email and you run a website then you really need your own setup that’s hosted separately and thus more secure and entirely under your control.
The good news is that finding a free domain with an email hosting plan is easy and inexpensive, putting you in the driving seat and instantly enhancing the professionalism of your addresses.
Harnessing your name
It should go without saying, but the best email addresses are those that are clearly and concisely linked to a specific individual.
This makes it easier for people who want to get in contact, because they’ll know instantly from the address they’re sending a message to exactly who will be the recipient.
For business purposes, going for a first name, last name combo is standard practice. If you’re doling out addresses to an entire business, you might need to mix this up to ensure there’s not any overlap. For example, you could use first names, middle initials and last names. This will help ensure consistency, specially when writing a professional thank you email.
If your organization is small enough, it might even be reasonable to just go with a first name followed by the domain name for each email address. This gives them a more friendly and approachable vibe, as opposed to the formality of having a full name being used when building a brand.
Keeping it concise & consistent
However you determine the username for your work email, making it short and sweet is better than going for a longer and less wieldy alternative.
Likewise, when deciding on the formatting for a business, use the same rules for every employee, so that each email address follows a consistent pattern. This will make it easier for colleagues to contact one another, more than anything else.
Every now and then a trend for business-based whimsy breaks out, and suddenly every piece of marketing copy reads like it was written with children as the target audience.
Don’t be tempted to jump on the bandwagon by labeling yourself ‘marketingpixie @ mybusiness.com’, or anything similar. This will only end up coming back to bite you, as not everyone will gel with this particular brand of left-field thinking.
What makes a professional email address impactful
Your email address is often the first thing that a prospective contact will encounter, and making a good impression at this early stage is essential.
If the address is unprofessional because it doesn’t conform to any of the points made earlier, then it puts you at an instant disadvantage. In fact people might not choose to get in touch in the first place if there’s something off about your email address.
Furthermore, you have to bear in mind that your email address will end up in all sorts of places. You’ll probably put it on your website, on your social media profiles, even on your resume when you apply for a new job. And in every one of these contexts, it will need to look as professional as possible.
You basically need to think of it as the digital equivalent of a business card. If it looks the part, it will open doors. If it isn’t up to scratch, then your whole reputation will suffer.
Getting a professional-looking email address isn’t something that needs to take long or cost the earth. And if you’ve realized after reading this article that your current email address falls below expected standards, then don’t delay in changing it.
If your email address appears professional, it will convey to your recipients that you are a legitimate person and not just a scammer. Additionally, if they can’t find your phone number, this is a terrific way for your loved ones or friends to quickly locate and get in touch with you.