Remember the 90’s TV show, ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’? It was about a group of teens in an affluent area of Beverly Hills. In fact, the area was so “affluent” that those who didn’t live in the 90210 zip code region was not considered part of the “in” crowd. It’s a perfect example of how we judge people by where they live. Who ever heard of naming a television show after a postal code? Sheesh!
Well unfortunately, the same thing is true about your email address. Yep, that’s what I said, you are judged professionally, as well as by your friends and peers by your email address. And since the Internet is a semi-passive form of communicating, perception is reality online. Because we hand out email addresses so liberally, in professional and social situations, it’s worth taking the time to assess what your email address really says about you.
Ad-dress for Success
Like your clothing, your hair style and your manner of speaking, your email address is part of your personal image. Think about it this way. If you have a trendy, cutesy, or just plain stupid email address, a hiring manager might be prejudiced to not offer you a job. Sure it might seem unimportant or silly to you and you might say "I wouldn't want to work for that uptight company anyhow." However, it is worth taking your email address into consideration, because whether or not it’s a prejudice, fair or reasonable, the judgment is still there.
Double Whammy for Businesses
What’s more disconcerting than people using inappropriate email addresses on their resumes? The answer is: businesses that don't have their own Internet domain name and personalized email.
The email address is a critical part of any business that uses email as part of their business. Your email address is the first thing a recipient sees when your email arrives in their inbox. SomeCompany@sbcglobal.net or SomeDude2049@yahoo.com are huge turn offs to prospective customers, leading them to question the professionalism of a company with such an unpolished image. The end result is often having them do business with a competitor.
Using email addresses like those above, for business email communications, reflects not only a lack of tech savvy, but also a lack of understanding when it comes to the basics of online marketing. To appear professional and established, it’s a good idea for every business to use their ‘…@mybusiness.com’ as their email address.
Doing so is a minimal cost when you think about the marketing and professional perception it offers. Additionally, due to all the spam filtering going on, you want to be able to have new contacts get your email address in their address book or white list to ensure your email gets through. Many will assume your website address to be the incoming email address you will use.
By using your …@mybusiness.com email address, your email will be recognized as an expected contact instead of a spammer. The same goes for gmail.com, yahoo.com and msn.com free email accounts. These accounts are known as “throw-aways” and are used by spammers all the time. If you think about it, what does using a free email account for your business communications say about you and your company?
So, it’s time to take off the training wheels, get a domain name and email address like the big dogs if you are serious about online success.
John’s Techie advice:
Many business owners put their email address on their websites as the actual email address, or worse, as ‘name (at) mybusiness (dot) com’.
It’s worth mentioning here, that when your email address is written out as: email@example.com, and that email address is also a hyperlink, your address will be harvested by a myriad of spam spiders that crawl the web looking for these.
On the other hand, when you write out your email address as: ‘name (at) mybusiness (dot) com’ and tell your site users to replace the (at) and (dot), that just creates more work for your user and some people won’t take the time to communicate with you.
The simple solution is to have the words ‘Email Us’ with a hyperlink to your email address, and have the hyperlink encrypted. With this method the spam spiders will pass you over every time.