You may think that picking the best email address for your company relies heavily on a great domain name. What if I told you other factors come into place as well? I’ve encountered the last example this very week! I bought a book 500 Social Media Marketing Tips by Andrew Macarthy. As much as the author’s knowledge of social media is exemplary, and has a great domain name for his online presence (AndrewMacarthy.com) where he dropped the ball, in my opinion, was at the end of the book. There he invited his readers to write to him at email@example.com. This is just the latest example where I’ve seen an expert not getting all the possible benefits.
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There are countless times where I’ve seen dentists use a free email service address on their business card, construction workers putting a sticker on their truck or business owners just telling you this awkwardly long email address from a free service. Free doesn’t have to do anything with the wrong choice, everybody loves free, but can you imagine Jeff Bezos operating from a “firstname.lastname@example.org” email address. Surely, there’s a way for him to send and receive emails from @amazon.com? You don’t have to be a billionaire to do the same!
I am not exaggerating when I say I received hundreds of offers in my inbox for various services. Web design, SEO, domain registration, social media, copywriting, and can you guess what gives the spammer away each time? Their email address! Here are just some of them: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org… I could go on and on. Do you want your clients to perceive you as a spammer?
Imagine having an email address on a premium domain name. Better yet, I’ll share a story. One time, someone contacted me from a two letter .com domain name. I dropped everything and ran to read what the email was about! Obviously, this was a person and a company of great importance, so I will keep their details private (since the nature of the email was private as well). People still check where the message originated from (including newsletter, autoresponder and marketing automation) and I think it is safe to assume you will get more replies to a legitimate sounding email address. For example, if you cold-email a potential investor or client, do you think they would be more inclined to answer email@example.com or “firstname.lastname@example.org”?
Your business stands a better chance if you conduct all your communication on your company’s domain name. Not to mention if you go ahead and promote your email on business cards, stickers, and ads.
There are countless articles online about choosing the best domain name, and they can surely help you since the domain name is an essential part of picking the right email address. In this post, I will focus on the email, and I will dive deeper into domain names another time. In short, the domain name should be:
Don’t take this as rules set in stone. Just the other day I’ve accidentally found about “MyWifeQuitHerJob.com.” This domain name obviously doesn’t fall into the category “short,” not even by a long shot! However, after I read some free content, I got fantastic value from this website! I also got the story and remembered the name in a heart beat! I got it! His wife quit her job, and now they are making so much money, and they are blogging about it on “My Wife Quit Her Job”! Brilliant.
Here’s what exactly I mean by that. Let’s say you have a long domain name like the one I just mentioned or something like FourHourWorkWeek.com. And let’s say your name is “Alexander The Great.” Your email shouldn’t be AlexanderTheGreat@FourHourWorkWeek.com. How is that going to fit your business card? How will someone write this down if you are sharing this over the phone or radio? What Alex needs to do here is register a domain name Great.com, and create an email “Alex@Great.com.” Or, if Alex, or in this case Tim Ferriss want’s to keep promoting FourHourWorkWeek.com, he can use contact@FourHourWorkWeek.com. Short first name, nickname or some other generic short word (info, email).
Using personal emails on company websites also makes sense with serial entrepreneurs, bloggers, affiliate marketers and online entrepreneurs. If you have ten websites that all generate a significant income for you, and you want everyone to be able to reach you. Surely, you can create emails on all ten domain names, and have them redirect to your best email address. Then later, you reply from that email address so that it appears like you are answering them from the address where the email came in (check “Send mail as” in a paragraph below). But here it also makes sense to use that same best email address on all ten websites, such as email@example.com
For example, my name is Goran Duskic. I own a domain name duskic.com. Now I can use my email firstname.lastname@example.org on all 10 of my websites, and it makes perfect sense. If someone wants to reach the owner of this website (DoradoHosting.com), they can just write to email@example.com. Or firstname.lastname@example.org, and then just have those messages redirect to email@example.com. This way I am not promoting DoradoHosting.com website, but if I own ten websites, it’s going to be very hard to have ten business cards, ten email addresses and ten of everything else.
In some companies, there are people with the same first name. Then you can add the last name to the prefix, and even separate it with a dot. Here are few examples:
Another example are positions that frequently change employees. Therefore in some cases, it may be wise not to connect an email address to a particular person, and create an email for that department, such as:
And of course, there are more generic examples that work well, like:
If you are thinking technology is preventing you from using an email address on your domain name, that means that you’ve decided to use gmail.com, yahoo.com, outlook.com domains. Let me ask you, have you heard of “Send mail as”?
Inside of Gmail, there’s this option called “Send mail as,” that allows you to reply from the same address where the sender sent it to. There are some “SMTP steps” so we don’t have the time or space to go through that in this post, but if you want to set this up yourself, you can follow Google’s instructions on this post. What this functionality allows you is to send emails from your Gmail, but the receiver will get an email from “firstname.lastname@example.org” instead of “email@example.com”. Have in mind that this is different from installing G Suite or Office 365 on your domain name, which you have to pay. Think of “Send mail as” as the “free technology” + “my branding.”
This leads us to the choice of the right technology. Too often do I encounter people with @gmail.com or @live.com emails. And then when I ask them why they don’t use their company’s domain name, the answer is “I am used to this service” or “I like Gmail’s functionality.” The two, do not have to be separated. As I have demonstrated in the “Send mail as” section, it is free, and it’s not that hard to setup. For example, if you are a client of Dorado Hosting, we can set that up for you for free.
Besides “Send mail as” feature, there are also solutions you have to pay for, as I already mentioned G Suite (previously known as Google Apps) and Microsoft’s Office 365. After you create a paid subscription, you need to install it on your domain name. This doesn’t interfere with your website in any way. I don’t want to get too technical on you, but let me just explain that the website runs on an HTTP or HTTPS protocol (you’ve seen that in the address bar of your browser), and the email operates through a POP3, SMTP protocol. After all, POP means “Post Office Protocol.”
Setting up a service like G Suite involves changing your MX records (Mail Exchanger), so it’s more complicated to setup than “Send mail as.” MX records are another type of resource record within the Domain Name System. G Suite and Office 365 allow us to seamlessly send text messages from one email address to another, without touching the website server. That’s because MX doesn’t impact the website or even touching the dedicated server that hosts the website. Are you now beginning to understand why I am sharing this technical information? Just one thing though, if your domain name expires, your email will stop working, regardless of being separated from a different service from your website.
Having a separate email service (like G Suite or Office 365) means that if your website is unresponsive, your emails are still working! This isn’t the case with the “Send mail as” option. To receive the message, the original server hosting the website and email must send the message to your Gmail account.
I know this was a bit technical, but as I mentioned, too many times I’ve seen people blame technology as their cause for fumbling. Technology is here to help, not the other way around! Put your best foot forward and promote your company, not Gmail, Yahoo, MSN or your local telecom provider. I remember one time, a company owner shared his email address with me. Big mistake, it had a telecom provider’s domain name. I teased him by asking if he loved his telecom provider so much that he wanted to give them the extra promotion? He exclaimed how he, in fact, hated them because he has all these issues with them and then went on for five minutes listing issues with them, but he had no choice but to stay with them due to the contract. Don’t be that guy.
Before we part ways, I just wanted to mention one last thing when it comes to emails. Don’t become a slave to your inbox like I was. If you are having trouble handling mountain of emails coming your way, don’t stress! You are not alone in this! Here are several steps and ideas you can take to handle your inbox. http://duskic.com/blog/productivity-tip-how-i-beat-email-and-got-my-life-back-inboxzero/
Let’s just sum up quickly what you’ve learned here today. The domain name is the most important part of your email (half of your email address is the domain name). It’s great if the domain name is short, but also to every rule, there is an exception. FourHourWorkWeek.com or MyWifeQuitHerJob.com. What ever you do, don’t let that domain name be a service provider. Put your best foot forward by promoting your company or one of your brands. Don’t let technology stop you! Use “Send mail as” option if you are tight on a budget, or get a paid solution with added benefits. For example, your email will work, even if your web shop, company website, blog) is down. And lastly, don’t become a slave to your email.