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What makes a good e-mail address?

9th June 2015

Your e-mail address is an important means of communication as a business, so it’s vital that your address shows professionalism and clarity.

Use your business domain name

When making communications with other businesses and individuals via e-mail, it’s important that they recognise who they are talking to as a legitimate representative of your company. Using your company domain name – i.e. mycompany.com – for your e-mail addresses will cement this.

It looks much more professional to see [email protected] rather than a generic free e-mail address such as [email protected]. This can be achieved even if you don't have a website - all you need is a domain name for your business and an e-mail hosting plan. Once you have an e-mail account set up, it can be added to many e-mail platforms such as Outlook, your smartphone or tablet. This way you can maintain your professional image in the office and on the go.

What prefix should I use?

An e-mail address prefix is the piece of text before the '@' symbol. No matter the size of the business or organisations, it's fairly common practice to have a generic address for general enquiries. An example of this would be [email protected], or even something a little friendlier like [email protected]. For employees, it's a good idea to use names for the prefix. If you have a large username, there's a high chance you'll have at least two people with the same forename. For this reason, you should consider using a format such as [email protected] If you have a small to medium sized business, you could use just first names, such as [email protected]. This is how Cosmic has e-mail accounts set up - we have [email protected] for general enquiries and first name e-mail addresses for each employee.

Using addresses of these type provides consistency throughout the organisation/company and also makes it easy for other people to know who they are talking to. Be sure to maintain the same uniform with e-mail addresses throughout the business - that means the same formatting of addresses (i.e. [email protected] or [email protected]).

What should I avoid?

You want to avoid putting the following in your e-mail address:

  • Numbers/year old birth/birthday: It's quite common for people to put in their year of birth or favourite numbers in their e-mail address, particularly when using services like Googlemail or Yahoo. This is mainly because those services are available to everyone, so simple names are taken in most cases, so adding numbers is required to get the name you want. This is not necessary when using a professional business e-mail address - you're using your own domain name so availability won't be an issue, and it looks unprofessional.
  • Nicknames: Unless you are known to your colleagues and clients by an alternative name, do not use nicknames for your e-mail address. We all have nicknames, but to maintain professional status, use your real name when e-mailing.
  • Popular culture references: You may be the biggest Exeter City fan in the country, but adding 'ECFC' to your e-mail address isn't going to do you any favours (especially not with Plymouth Argyle fans!). Keep personal things like this in your personal e-mail address and stick to the guidelines above to avoid any misreprentation and to maintain a professional image.

In conclusion, remember to stick to using your real names in your e-mail address and keep them consistent throughout the business to make yourselves look professional and trustworthy.

Seek professional, impartial, free advice from Cosmic

Cosmic are here to assist you in making the right decisions when it comes to what domain names and e-mail addresses your business or organisation should be using.

For any queries, please drop Jamie an e-mail on [email protected] or give us a call on 0845 094 6108.