Your email address can be likened to a virtual business card. It's the first thing most prospective customers see when they engage with you, and it can have a significant impact on the impression you make. Whether you're starting a business, already running one, or expanding your network, it is essential that you take time to create a professional email address.
A professional email address uses a custom domain and is intended for business communication. Simply put, a professional email address features your business name in the form of a domain name.
It is best to utilize a professional email address for all your professional and business communications. It's what a prospective customer expects. If you don’t have one, you run the risk of appearing unprofessional or untrustworthy.
A professional email address that includes your domain name also makes it easy for prospective customers to research your company and visit your website for more information. That helps reassure them that you are a legitimate and well-established business, and that builds trust.
Tips for creating a professional email address
While creating a professional email address isn't difficult, there are a few things to take into consideration.
- Create an email @ a professional domain.
Whether you are starting a business or already running a successful one, it's a great idea to use a serious-sounding domain name for your email account—something that doesn’t end in @gmail.com. This reassures prospects that you are serious about your business and not just another fly-by-night startup or, worse, a scammer.
The domain name for a professional email address is usually similar to the primary domain name for your business website. In today's business world, creating an email account using a custom domain name is easy, and most email service providers will give you the option when you sign up for a paid subscription.
There are a number of reputable email providers that offer business email. They include Neo (even provides a free domain to help you get started), Google Workspace, Microsoft Office 365, Zoho Mail, FastMail, and more.
- Choose a good naming convention that's easy for customers to remember.
Choosing a professional email address can be hard, particularly since you can't make it as personal as your personal email address. Nonetheless, there are some tricks you can apply to choose a powerful, professional email address.
The most professional method to create an email account is to use your first and last name without numbers. For example, email@example.com. You can also use just your first or last initial (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).
If your name is already taken or if it's too long to fit in the required email length, there are a few other ways you can go about it. For example:
- Use your first name only: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Use a hyphen between your first and last names: email@example.com
- Use your first name, middle initial, and last name: firstname.lastname@example.org
These examples are short and easy to remember.
- Choose a good email provider.
To set up a professional email address, you'll need an email service provider. There are many options you can choose from, but the best option will depend on your business needs and budget.
For example, consider which features are most relevant to you, such as in-built calendars, top-tier security, email scheduling capabilities, mobile access, customer support, or integrations. Also think about how much storage you'll need and what kind of provider will be best for that.
You'll want to be sure your email provider has all the features you require and is straightforward to use. Once you prioritize all the features you need, you can better identify potential providers.
Neo, for example, has built-in features such as Read Receipts, Email Templates, and Follow-up Reminders. Neo’s calendar, contacts, and storage help you stay organized right from your inbox.
- Create generic email accounts.
If your organization has multiple departments, you may want to set up generic email accounts for each department in addition to your employees’ specific email addresses. You can create generic email addresses for sales, customer support, media contacts, and so on. For example:
- Customer service: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com
- General inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Human resources: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com
- Sales: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
After you've created a generic email account, make sure to set up email forwarding so you don't miss any incoming emails from customers or prospects.
If you run a small business and don't need multiple email accounts, you can simply create one generic account such as firstname.lastname@example.org. An email address like that can be utilized for all purposes, including general inquiries, support emails, or sales inquiries. "Hello" is a well-known greeting that works well in this situation.
Some email providers, including Neo, offer multi-account support that allows you to see all emails across all your accounts in one view. That is useful for small businesses whose employees wear multiple hats in the company.
- Display names should be visible.
Your display name is what appears in the “from” line of your recipient’s inbox. It should be professional and help identify you as a real person from a real company. One option is to simply add your first and last names as your display name (e.g., John Doe). Another option is to include your brand or company name in the display name (e.g., John from Neo). In either case, the recipient should understand you’re a real person, which will earn you trust and credibility.
It’s important that your sender name includes a real name and not just an email address. Aside from looking professional, you want to make sure your email doesn’t end up in your recipient’s spam box, which is a risk when omitting a display name.
Share your email and update social media handles and other end-consumer touchpoints to build trust and credibility for your brand.
Small businesses require email accounts that can be created quickly, easily, and inexpensively. Using a professional email address is critical in brand building and appearing to customers and prospects as a legitimate business. By following these tips to establish your professional email identity and prioritize the needs of your business, you’ll be off to a great start in establishing your online presence.