Imagine this scenario: you are an entrepreneur that supplies materials for end manufacturers. You register a domain name and hire a web designer to make you a nice web site to sell your products. You even come up with some very detailed and well-written pages which your peers consider authoritative. Naturally you would include a “Contact Us” page where your potential customers can get in touch with you. So you tell your web designer to type in your email address, and for the purpose of our illustration let us say your email is “email@example.com”. Your web site is up and running. Traffic to your web site is pretty good but you do not seem to be getting any inquiries. Your web designer shows you the web logs and the stats do not lie–the majority of your site visitors surf away the moment they open up the “Contact Us” page. What went wrong?
For businesses, an email address is not unlike a storefront. A neat storefront is more likely to attract customers to come inside. Same with an email address. An uncluttered email address, and professional looking one, is more likely to be received favorably by your prospects. Let us go back and examine the email address we used for our illustration. The first part of the address, which is the name, is twenty-eight letters long. The more the characters, the more confusing it is for a user and harder to remember plus also more likely to be misspelled.
The second part of the address is the domain name of the company hosting the email. There is nothing wrong with companies like Hotmail or any of the others that provide free email to the public. In fact they are wonderful for personal use, but certainly inappropriate for business use. The negative image of free email providers, and certainly no fault of theirs, is that they are the preferred facilities of spammers and scammers. If you take a close look at some of the junk email that you receive, the spammer almost always uses an address from a free email provider. You do not want your business to be associated with spammers and scammers.
If you have a business and registered a domain name for it, the short and neat “firstname.lastname@example.org” is the most appropriate email address to list on your web site. It comes across as professional because it gives your prospects the impression that there is at least someone who specifically handles inquiries. Now in case you are not the technical contact who registered your business’ domain, get a hold of the person who did and tell him to set up pertinent accounts for yourself and your staff. When your prospects communicate with you, seeing an officially registered domain name as your email address will surely give them the impression you are serious about your business.
If you have not registered a domain name yet but have access to email, at least use the email facilities of your internet provider. Of course you cannot use “info” anymore if you will be using their email facilities but choose a short and easy to remember name, one closely associated with your company name and preferably limited to between eight and twelve characters. By using your internet provider’s email facilities, the knowledgeable prospects will know that you are legitimate because no respectable internet provider is going to allow their domain to be used by spammers and scammers.
Your email address is a powerful tool. Why else would spammers and scammers harness its power in order to carry out their twisted intentions? In fact many of them have gotten away with so much just by using this little tool.
The right sounding and official looking email address will give your business not only an aura of professionalism, seriousness and prestige, but it can also be a badge of sorts. That it indicates your pride with your company, that you have worked hard for it and that your prospects can have full faith in you.
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