What Does Your Email Address Say About You?
With the rise of internet culture has come a huge uplift in the number of ways that we can communicate with one another. No longer do we have to rely on two yoghurt pots and a piece of string; quite the contrary, we can now text, phone, tweet and email our way into anyone's world with just a few button presses. The latter of this list is particularly interesting because it has taken pride of place at the centre of almost all business: email. Practically all of us now has an email address, and lots of us have more than one, which begs the question: what does your email address say about you?
Keep personal email names, personal
We were all young once, and we've all had a bit of fun making calculators say rude words and generally using technology to slightly immature ends; but we also need to know where to draw the line. Got an email address like “firstname.lastname@example.org?” Bin it. Immediately. Especially if you use it to contact anyone in a professional capacity. Nothing is more embarrassing than discovering a business contact has an email address that looks like it was cooked up by a ten year old who's just discovered the internet. If you use your email for purely personal reasons, then by all means keep hold of that email address, but do remember what it's saying about you every time you send an email. People always read between the lines, and so should you.
Try to avoid ‘free’ email domains
Ok, so we've looked at the way you word your email address, but what about where it's hosted? If you're a professional trying to make a living, you probably have a website. That means that when you make contact with anyone, for any reason, in a business capacity, you need to make sure you look as professional as possible. So how do you think it looks if they receive an email from "email@example.com"? Not very good, that's for sure. By using an email address from one of the many 'free' providers (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo etc.), you run the risk of cheapening your brand. You put yourself right in the firing line of the question: 'why don't you use an email address from your own domain?' And that's a very good question, especially if you have a website. If you already have a domain, there's no excuse to not have an email address tied to it. It's easy to set up, but if you don't feel confident then consult Google or a 'techy' friend or colleague. Heck, even your hosting provider will be able to show you how. So don't spend another minute tarnishing your reputation, and get yourself a 'real' email address!
Maintain your professionalism
Whether they’re looking for moving services or a new set of tyres, customers will always respond better if they’re treated better. That means that whenever you’re in contact with them, especially via email, you need to stay professional. Believe it or not, the format of your email address has its part to play in this. Not only does it need to be appropriate to you and your job, it also helps if it’s easy to remember. So, if your name could be easily misspelled, or there are multiple different spellings, or if it’s very long, you might want to trim the fat (so to speak). This is especially relevant if you rely on people sending you emails as a first point of contact. For example, if you frequently find yourself having to tell people your email address, the more succinct it is, the better!
Your email address isn’t solely functional, it has something to say about who you are and what you do. To make that message a positive one, you need to be sure that your email address ticks all the right boxes. And if it doesn’t, it might be time to invest in a whole new one.