What Message Does Your E-mail Presence Deliver?

Why You Don’t Want to Use Your Personal E-mail for Business Communications

Have you considered the impressions people get when they see your e-mail address?
Does your e-mail address identify who you are, brand your professional image, market your service or products, create maximum exposure for your business, and attract your ideal clients or customers?

You wouldn’t wear your jogging suit to a business meeting, because it would not look professional and could damage your professional image. The same is true with your e-mail presence. Using your personal e-mail address for business communications causes confusion and detracts from establishing your business presence.

And if you don’t use e-mail at all, you are missing out on all of the benefits an e-mail presence provides for your business. Plus you risk being viewed as not keeping up to date with your competition that is e-mail savvy.

A business e-mail presence benefits your business in these ways:

develops and maintains a professional image
reinforces your business brand and promotes your business
makes it easy for clients and customers to quickly recognize your e-mails, so they will not be mistaken for spam and get automatically deleted without being opened
connects your name to your business, products or services
makes you memorable and easy to recall
Your e-mail presence is established by your e-mail address, your e-mail identity, and your e-mail signature.

E-mail Address
Your e-mail address consists of two parts – your e-mail name @ your e-mail domain.

Your personal e-mail address communicates a message about who you are or what is important to you. Common choices include nicknames, hobbies, interests, acronyms, or clever combinations that reveal something about your personality or identity. Examples: prettyinpink@aol.com / huskerfan@blackfoot.net

Your business e-mail address should include your name, your business name, or communicate a message about your business, the products or services you sell, or the benefits promised. Examples: loismcelravy@gmail.com / lessonsfromlois@onewest.net

E-mail Name (name or words BEFORE the @ symbol)
Common choices for a business e-mail name include your full name or your business name if combined with the e-mail domain provided by your ISP. If your name is difficult to pronounce or spell, use your personal name in the e-mail identity (see below) and use your business name in the address. Example: Lois McElravy This allows you to connect your name to your business and provide your contacts with an e-mail address that is easy to recall.

E-mail Identity (displays in recipient’s INBOX)
Be sure to set up your e-mail identity in your e-mail program to display your full name or business name on outgoing e-mails so your name also displays and identifies you in the recipients INBOX and not just your e-mail address. Example: Lois McElravy Not including your e-mail identity in your outgoing e-mails is a common oversight. When I switched to a web-based e-mail last year, I wondered why my name didn’t display along with my address. It does now.

Unrecognized e-mail addresses without any identifying names risk being perceived as spam and deleted without being opened.

E-mail Domain (words AFTER the @ symbol / contains a domain extension – .com .net .org .us .gov )
Your e-mail domain is pre-determined based on who you use for your ISP (Internet Service Provider) Examples: @aol.com / @blackfoot.net / @bresnan.net. Anytime you switch your ISP, your e-mail domain changes and you have to notify your contacts of your new e-mail address.

Purchasing your own domain allows you to replace the ISP domain in your e-mail address with your domain and offers you many other advantages. Here are a few:

Your own domain name identifies and markets your business.
You communicate with a consistent e-mail presence that is easy for customers and clients to recognize and recall.
You can change your ISP without affecting your e-mail address, so you do not have to notify your contacts of an e-mail address change. You simply redirect your mail to your new ISP through your domain.
You don’t risk losing contact with your clients or customers because your e-mail address changed and they didn’t white-list or approve your new e-mail address so your e-mails got lost in their spam filter.
You can use the domain name for your website address. Even if you don’t have a website yet, by using your own domain for your e-mail, your clients or customers will know how to find you when you do have a website.
You can purchase your own domain name for under $10 a year from a domain name service, like Go Daddy.
E-mail Signature (message at the end of your e-mail)
An e-mail signature goes at the end of your e-mail. At the very least your e-mail signature should include your name, title, business name, and contact information. Your e-mail signature also provides an opportunity for you to brand your image by including your tagline or market your business by adding information that establishes your expertise, makes announcements, promotes products or services, offers links to your blog, to subscribe to your e-zine or sign up for your teleclass. Signatures that include graphics can be risky and cause your e-mail to get blocked by spam filters.

Your e-mail program can be set up to automatically include your signature at the end of your e-mails, or you can manually insert it. If you hold a position in another organization, create a special signature that includes your title and the name of the organization your represent to add to those communications.

Your e-mail presence makes a statement about your business, one way or another.
Are you aware of the message your e-mail presence delivers? Are you using your personal e-mail for business communications? Are you missing out on the business opportunities an effective e-mail presence can provide? Invest the time to properly set up an effective business e-mail presence.

If e-mail confuses you, invest in your business by taking a class or hiring someone to help you set up your e-mail and teach you how to use it. Or ask someone to help you.

Article Signature:
Lois McElravy, Lessons from Lois, works with individuals and organizations who want to learn how to use the power of humor and the magic of laughter to handle the demands and pressures of work and home, adjust to constant change, deal with difficult people, cope with the unpredictable swift pace of life, product positive outcomes and have more fun.

Learning to laugh and “hangin’ on with humor” rescued Lois from the distress and despair surrounding her daily life, and initiated her recovery from a brain injury. Lois’ keynotes and trainings entertain, inspire and stimulate audiences to examine their own response to challenge and adversity. Hilarious personal stories, “Lessons from Lois” impart life-changing insights and equip participants with humor strategies and practical solutions to overcome the seriousness of their life challenges and feel happy.

Her universal message renews hope and motivates others to consistently do small things so they can achieve amazing results one day at a time.

©2012 Lois McElravy, Lessons from Lois – Permission to reprint or repost this article is granted by including the above byline and Lois’ contact information. http://www.lessonsfromlois.com