Emails are everything these days. If you use the Internet, have a smartphone, or are working then you’re going to rely on business email. While many of us will be familiar with a personal email, it is imperative to have a professional email – whether you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, or simply want to establish your personal brand. Many of us remember our first email addresses using various email providing services (I’m looking at you, hotmail). We could get away with embarrassing email addresses we made in our early days of the Internet (like [email protected], [email protected], or … well – just insert the cringer that you remember). If you run a business or work for a company today, you may need some fresh professional email address ideas to put your best foot forward in digital communications.
Your email address is the first point of contact with you. You want your potential client to see you professionally … especially if you are sending cold emails and reaching out to them first.
You want potential clients to get to know you from the start – that you’re serious, professional, and that working with you could be a great decision. You’ll want to get an email address on your own domain, and you’ll want that email to end with an attractive signature.
So let’s get into some brainstorming – I’ll offer some ideas for professional email addresses that you might be able to use.
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The Components of an Email Address
An email address has three components:
- @ symbol
Take the example of this email address: [email protected].
“johndoe” is the username. The @ symbol (commonly called the “at”) connects the username and the domain. The “iamanexample.com” is the domain name with the extension (.com).
This together sounds like the username is at the website when speaking in conversation – pronounced John Doe at I’m an Example dot com. Has a ring to it, doesn’t it? With this basic out of the way, let’s look at the best practices for creating a professional email.
Best Practice for Professional Email
Here are some of the basic best practices for creating a professional email address for your business.
Make Sure You Have Your Own Domain
Having a website (or at least your own domain) is an important thing that shows you’re a legitimate and serious business. Your email needs a domain, and when you register a domain you then own that web property and all of the email addresses that can be associated with it.
Owning your own domain brings the benefit of the freedom to create as many email addresses as you want to associated with that web address. The name of your website / domain should be the name of your business. This way, people can associate your email address to a business immediately, and if they get your email they’ll be able to easily navigate to your website to learn more about you.
When people see addresses with the domain name of free email provider like Gmail, Live, Hotmail, Yahoo for example, it is not seen as a professional email. They’ll assume you’re too cheap, or too inexperienced to get your own domain. Honestly, it’s a misstep that is easy to avoid and not very expensive.
You can get website hosting and a free domain for the first year at Bluehost, or find one for under $10 on NameCheap. You can also go directly through Google and get your Domain and professional Gmail right here. (Tip – you can use Gmail if you register your domain with Bluehost, NameCheap, or anywhere else – it’s really up to you, but if you go through Google Workspace there are some other benefits).
People will not only know your company through your email address, but a professional email will:
- Build the trust and credibility of your business.
- Protect copyrights and trademarks for your company.
- Increases brand awareness.
Using a domain name allows people to know that your brand and company exist online. Sometimes, this helps bring users to your website as well as acting as a marketing tool. So choose it wisely.
Personalize Your Company’s Email Addresses
Now that you have a domain, choose your name and/or naming structure you’ll use for your professional email address.
These email addresses are easy to understand, but can feel corporate and stuffy, which may not match the culture and vibe of your startup.
Personalizing usernames is one of the best ideas for a professional email address because it creates credibility and makes it personal for your customers. It can also make your email address easier to remember.
The recipient of your email, or the person who sends you an email, should know who they are communicating with.
What to Put in Your Email Address
While you may be starting to get some professional email address ideas for your business, it is important to consider the following when creating usernames:
- Use your name – You want people to know who they are writing to. Likewise, you want people receiving your email to feel they are being spoken to by a real person.
- Keep it short – Making it short allows it to be memorable because it is easy to recall.
- Make it unique – Making your username unique ensures that you are the recipient of emails meant for you. It also helps you avoid adding numbers, or other extra unnecessary alphabets to your email.
- Avoid using numbers – Using numbers can be annoying to recall. People are not going to spend time to recall the right number. Making it complicated to recall means they are less likely to communicate with you.
- Avoid using symbols and diacritics – This makes it not only easy to remember but also because it becomes difficult to type if you are looking for symbols (such as: “-”, “_”, “/”, “&”, “$”, “.”, etc). It is even harder to write diacritics (“é”, “ñ”, etc). Many people can forget the right accent or diacritic you put in your email address.
- Make it easy to pronounce – If it is easy to pronounce, it is more likely to be more memorable, and also easy to spell. Remember, people are more likely to email you if your email address is easy for people to remember and recall.
- Keep it consistent – However you set up your naming conventions for employee email, you should try to keep it consistent. Don’t have [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected]. If you are a small company, first names might be just what you want. For a larger company first.last or first letter/last name might be a better choice. But if it’s consistent across your organization, that will help your employees and clients.
Example Formats for Email Addresses
With that in mind, here are some example samples and formats to give you ideas for a professional email address username:
- First name and last name → [email protected], for example, [email protected], [email protected]
- Last name and first name → [email protected], for example, [email protected], [email protected]
- First name, middle name, and last name → [email protected], such as [email protected], [email protected]
- Use your first initial, middle initial, and last name → initialfirstname.initialmiddlename.lastna[email protected], for example, [email protected], [email protected]
- First name, middle initial, and last initial → firstname.initialmiddlename.initiallas[email protected], such as [email protected], [email protected]
- First name, middle initial, and last name → [email protected], for example, [email protected], [email protected]
- Initials → initialfirstname.initialmiddlename.initiall[email protected], for example, [email protected], [email protected]
- Shortening names → [email protected], [email protected]
- Adding your designation → [email protected], for example, [email protected], [email protected]
- Adding your location → [email protected], for example, [email protected], [email protected]
Of course, you can be creative about it as well. These are just some basic formats that a lot of people are familiar with. Feel free to create your own version, as long as your email address is memorable, short, and unique to you.
A Word about Group Email Addresses
One of the most common email addresses that a company keeps is using the username: info or information. These are usually used to allow people to inquire send general inquiries about something to your company. It allows companies to have a single place for questions to go to. This email account can be monitored by multiple people so prospective clients won’t have to wait while Janet is out sick, or Tom is at lunch.
Sometimes when people are looking for information from the company, they may not have the name of the person behind the department. It also allows privacy so the people working in your company do not get inundated by unnecessary emails. An “Info@” address allows you to filter out emails and send them to the necessary department or person that should respond.
While some level of privacy and personalization is reduced, group email addresses are better for collaboration within the department.
Another reason to have group email addresses are for automated responses. For example, having an email address like “[email protected]” allows your company to send invoices to clients only. This way, companies can track invoices in only one outbox, while having access to all the clients being sent invoices.
Keeping those communications separate can work well for a lot of HR departments.
Final Thoughts About Professional Email Addresses
Email is now one of the most common forms of communication. Just like your name is your physical identity, an email is an online identity. This identity is connected with you as a professional person.
For a more professional outlook, it is advisable to ensure that your email address does not deviate from it. Your email address is your company’s representation. It shows what you are representing.
Following these ideas for a professional email address will help you make a unique email for your company. Not only does it create brand awareness for your company, but it would also be memorable and recallable. Remember, to keep it short, snappy, and a full representation of you.