How Having a Professional Email Address Can Help Your Business
You should have a professional email address. Why? Because a professional email address gives you and your business credibility. Would you feel more confident sending an email to someone at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com? How about opening an email that you receive from any of these email addresses? I personally would prefer to see an email address like firstname.lastname@example.org. In fact, I never open emails when the email address looks like a jumble of letters and numbers, such as x2ho!uYcnTr@rGi25kew.xyz or it doesn’t have the company name as part of the domain. A legitimate person or business would not be using such an unprofessional email address. I mark these emails as junk or spam, and throw them away.
It is advisable to keep your business and personal emails separate. You don't want to miss any important business emails because they got lost in your personal email, and you will be able to respond to your business emails more quickly.
Set up Professional Email Addresses
Match your email address to your domain if you have a business or company website. It is not difficult to do. It is a matter of working with your web host to set these email addresses up. Sometimes, email addresses come with your web hosting package and sometimes you will need to purchase separate email hosting. I use GoDaddy, which has an email package that comes with a subscription to Microsoft Office 365.
Set up a separate email address for each employee in your company. You might also want to set up aliases or special generic email addresses such as email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com. When you use an alias, the email address points to the same email inbox as your regular email address. By using aliases, your customers will think that your small business is a bit larger than it actually is. If you have a larger business, you don't need to worry when employees are promoted and leave. You can easily give the responsibility of checking and responding to emails received by these email addresses to another employee. Also, these special addresses can help you determine the type of information or assistance your customer might need at a glance.
Accessing Your Business Email
It goes without saying, that you should check your business email regularly. If you have a contact form on your website, chances are that this is where your messages will be sent as well. Responding to business emails promptly is important for your business and will keep your customers happy!
Where do your view your email? You can view your email on your computer or device, or on your email server. When you view your email on your computer, you use a program like Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express, Windows Live, or Windows Mail. Once you set up your computer with the ID and password, your email program automatically downloads or syncs with your email on the hosting server. A copy of the email is stored on your computer. You can delete the email from the server upon download to your computer, keep the email on the server for a certain number of days, or choose not to delete the original email upon download. If you view your email from multiple devices, you will want to consider how you set up the options for each device.
You may also access your email from the email server directly by going to the internet. Many people access their Gmail and Yahoo accounts this way, but you can access most email from the Internet. You don’t even have to be at your own computer. You login and type your password each time. You can access your email from your smartphone or tablet. If you work for a larger company, they may have their own email server and you may use Microsoft Exchange to access your email.
If you are going to be out of the office for an extended period of time, you should consider setting up an auto respond message or forwarding your emails to a colleague, especially if you are in a customer service role.
Email Newsletters and Campaigns
One area that many businesses ignore is the email address they use with their email marketing service, such as MailChimp or Constant Contact. You will often see newsletters and other emails that you subscribed to coming from a strange email address, something that looks like "xxx on behalf of xxxx". This is not difficult to fix. Go to your email marketing service website and follow the instructions for authenticating your email address. Here is the description how to authenticate and verify your domain on the MailChimp site. If you don’t understand the instructions, ask the customer support department. They will be glad to assist you. Once this is done, all of the emails you send will display your proper email address. Proper email addresses will help the people who receive your emails add your email address to their safe senders or white list so your email does not wind up in their spam folder, which often happens to emails where the sender’s email address has not been authenticated. Also, the recipients who use Microsoft Outlook can set up rules to automatically display images in your email, move your email to a particular folder, or perform other automated processes when they receive an email from you.
One last item is to make sure that your email signature contains information on how to contact you, including your email address and phone number, as well as any additional ways to contact you. You want to make it really easy for your customer to reach you.
Now that you know the benefits of having a professional email address, you will want to take care of setting up professional email addresses, if you don't have them for your business, right away!
Author: Annette M. Lange, website and graphic designer at Lange Art & Design