AP4: Picky About Email
Everybody’s got an email address. But do they have one that is best situated to handle their business? If yours ends in @yahoo.com or the name of your ISP like @sbcglobal.net, think again. Today I go over strategic email addressing.
What’s in an address?
When it comes to business, you want to be taken seriously, you want security, and you don’t want to change it and reprint business materials to update the address. We should try to get it right the first time.
What to avoid?
In the 21st century, you don’t have to pay for an email address. That said, not every address is conveying the right image. Here’s my rules of thumb:
Avoid Yahoo and AOL. These are long declining companies. I know some reader has one of these, and it can be fine, but there’s higher risk with these. Yahoo has a reputation (well earned from my experience) of being hacked. Not that these companies expected to be in this position, there are stable providers like Google and Microsoft that may also one day diminish in stature.
Avoid the free account from your ISP. I know SBCGlobal.net has been around for a long time, but when you fire them as your ISP, you lose your address. In my experience, I change ISPs every ten years or so as one declines on quality and speed and a better deal comes up.
Avoid names that don’t reflect your name and business. I cringe every time I have to list my wife’s cutesy email address on a form. While it reflects her personality, it doesn’t look professional. If your name is Bob Smith, make your professional email address be Bob.Smith@gmail.com if you can.
You have three and a half choices to make on who will host your email address. There’s overlap, hence why the half choice.
It’s free, it can do POP3 or IMAP to pull email from other inboxes. I use it to slurp my old email address inbox into my gmail. Android phones work with it, and iPhones work well with it. It is the king of email for problem solving.
Microsoft Outlook (aka HotMail)
I got HotMail before Microsoft owned it and rebranded to outlook.com. It works, but doesn’t have as many options for pulling email from other systems. If your have Office365 or Microsoft Office, you have Outlook which is the email client everybody in business knows how to use. It’s not a bad choice.
Domain Provider Hosting
I used GoDaddy for my domain name and Wix for my web hosting. Both will be happy to charge me money to provide an inbox @klforslund.com. I assume that as a starting author (or business) that money is an object, so this isn’t ideal.
GoDaddy Email Redirect
I had a choice on who to buy my domain name from. Even Wix offers the service. But GoDaddy gives 100 free email redirects. That means email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com can be routed to the real email address of my choice (Gmail in my case).
The Synergy Bonus
I already had a gmail address when I started, and I don’t want to expose my full name in the writing world. It helps keep my day job and writing separate. The Redirect trick let me set up an address or two all routed to specific folders in gmail. Gmail also let me (with some effort) send emails out as firstname.lastname@example.org. For me, that meant I only have one inbox to manage, while helping me organize my two lives. You could just as easily have two gmail accounts, or stay on your old @sbcglobal.net and nobody would know when they got your business card.
The simple path
If you set u[ a new BobSmith@outlook.com and a web site at www.bobsmith,com, that’s perfectly fine. It’s easy to set that up, you need to remember to check that account. The two goals are to make it obvious you and your site and your email address are the same person professionally. And to make it easy to manage as your send out queries and respond to questions from your site.
For other articles in my Author Platform series, click here:
Unlike my usual References of source material, this time I wanted to get you to the technical how-to for getting the same automations I did.
Setup email address forwarding
Use the link below to activate and setup an email forwarding address with GoDaddy.
Configure gmail to send email as your domain name address
I won’t lie, this part was the most technical because I had to look up and test things. In Gmail, under Settings, Accounts and Import, there’s a Send Mail As section. Go there, we need to configure it to enable sending email out as email@example.com. Otherwise, when I reply or send new mail out, it will say firstname.lastname@example.org and my disguise will be ruined.
To do this, we need authorize Google to send mail as this email@example.com, and I had to hunt for an article to explain it. Here goes: