Is Your Email Address Undermining Your Domain Success?

I read an article at CNN.com the other day entitled What your e-mail address says about you, likely inspired by the Facebook messaging announcement. It basically spins through the spectrum of mail services such as aol, hotmail, gmail, etc. and how telling those domains are about the type of person you are. Aol being the least favorable and gmail ranking toward the top. But the article is clear to point out users that use their own domain, user@yourdomain.com, are considered at the top of their mail-o-meter graphic. That is, users that use their own domains are considered skilled and capable.

Now there is nothing official about this article, just some common sense reporting with a little humor. But the fact holds true that having an email address at your own domain lends credibility. Who would you rather let in your home, joescarpetcleners@aol.com or Joe.Smith@TownCarpets.com? Sure, an email is just an email, but it may be the first impression some people have of you. As a web designer, I have clients that, although they have their own domain, still insist on using their old aol, or similar email address.

I have also fallen into this. While I have my own domain email for web design purposes, I use my gmail address for most of my domaining needs. I can’t honestly say why I chose to do that over creating a new address at SullysBlog.com. I recognize that it’s difficult to make the switch, but it’s probably something I should do.

If part of your domaining strategy is to send emails to end users, this could be an important lesson. If you are positioning yourself as a professional and your email address doesn’t reflect that, you may be putting potential sales at risk.

20 Comments Is Your Email Address Undermining Your Domain Success?

  1. TeenDomainer

    Just from reading this I am setting up a new email. I have one for my blog but use my gmail for most other things but I am going to make a new one just for end users. It really does send a better image.

    Reply
  2. Jeff Edelman

    As a site for students, it always amazes me how many students use really inappropriate email addresses in situations where they sure should know better. So our site put a comedy video up on our YouTube channel about this very issue. I hope you don’t mind me mentioning the video here and giving the link in case somebody wants to see it. We got 3 popular YouTubers to star in the vid and it got over 138,000 views. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnBJehdQUfI

    Reply
  3. Mike C

    not only does having an email address from your own domain lend credibility, but this is also a good reason not to choose a lackluster domain name for your website (which I’ve been guilty in the past). for example, how does it affect your domain sales if you are trying to contact end-users from your email address Joe@CrappyDomains.travel … (extreme example).

    Reply
  4. Poor Uncle

    I have been wanting to ask a question about this for some time. When I started an affiliate site a couple of years ago, I use an email with my domain name, which was with Godaddy. But, I quickly find out that Godaddy’s email is not as good as Yahoo’s or Gmail. Subsequently, I hardly ever go to my site’s email address.

    And, recently I realize that if I rely on my domain’s email, I’d also be tie down by the hosting service. Meaning that I’d have to do something to move my email to another hosting account if I ever choose to go with another company.

    Is there an easy way to “mask” or “forward” my email address so that the recipient will see user@mydomain.com but it’s actually sent from user@gmail.com; and also when the sender send an email to user@mydomain, it get sent to user@gmail.com, instead?

    Thanks.

    Reply
  5. Poor Uncle

    One more thing….last year I tried to sent some email to a dozen of merchants to ask for affiliate approval. All my email were rejected by the recipient’s email system.
    But when I re-sent the same email with my yahoo email account, they all went through. It’s weird.

    Another reason why I stay away from my domain’s email account. Yeah…it’s also with Godaddy. I suspect other hosting company probably have similar issues with their email accounts.

    Reply
  6. Dan

    When I’m wading through piles of resumes – I’ve always felt that I’m unconsciously checking the email address. Definitely seen some very interesting choices (some of which would be unpublishable).

    When I’m working with new companies I tend to start with my @domainname address – and then move over to my gmail. Gmail works well as an aggregator of all my email accounts.

    I’m not sure if they are still doing the ‘sent via’ when you use a third party account, which I never liked.

    Reply
  7. Sam Pfanstiel

    Mike (and others),

    For the benefit of you readers who are ready to “make the jump” to using their own domain, but not sure the best service; and to clarify earlier comments about Gmail offering domain branding; the service you are looking for is Google Apps (http://www.google.com/a/). It is commonly referred to as Gmail, because they are both built on the same platform, but going to gmail.com will not likely direct users in the correct path for using your own custom domain.

    For about a dozen years I hosted my own email (and still host web hosting email for clients), but I made the switch to move all of my email addresses (about a dozen of them) to Google Apps accounts, and have been very pleased with the results. Besides being a free service backed by a solid service provider, Google Apps Email is accessible seamlessly with Outlook (Outlook 2007 is preferable to 2010, due to a glitch in 2010 that does not support archiving), iPhone, Blackberry and of course Web. Add to this the contact and calendar synchronization also provided by Google Apps, and the mobile professional is finally able to reach unified communications (or a form closely resembling UC) without a dime out of pocket.

    Sam Pfanstiel

    Reply
    1. Sam Pfanstiel

      Addendum: I should add that the FREE version of Google Apps is called “Standard”. By default, you will be directed toward a Google Apps Premier trial, which becomes $50/user/year. To start out as Standard (and avoid the sales process), go to Apps Editions in the menu bar and select Google Apps (Free) (http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/group/index.html). Aside from the size limit and lacking up-time guarantee, API access and phone support (none of which are necessary, IMHO) the only limitations of the free version that may give pause are the lack of contact synchronization to Outlook, and the 50 user limit. But accounts can be upgraded/downgraded easily, so it is worth starting out with a free version until you decide whether the bells and whistles are worth the additional cost.

      Sam

      Reply
  8. Tim Kissane

    I have always suggested using your own domain email to anyone running a business. It lends credibility and authority to your business, especially if the business has to do with domaining or any other computer/internet/tech market. Great post, wish I’d thought of it.

    @Jeff: Great video. 🙂

    Reply
  9. Joseph Slabaugh

    Hey, I have [mylastname].org (actually I have a few other extentions of it), and then I point the domain to my hostgator, and then the mail server is set to google’s Google aps (google.com/a), and then the I log in at mail.google.com/a/slabaugh.org, which I have a link on my slabaugh.org site. That way when I want to log in at the library, I just go to slabaugh.org, click the link, and log into my email. The username is “joe”, making it really simple for me to log into anywhere I go to.

    The other day I was in Domino’s and the manager had a business card, on it was a email address, dominos_rick[at]yahoo, so I asked him what he likes about Yahoo, and he was like, he does not, so I told him I have mine up, and he was like that would look a lot better on a business card.

    I said yes, and you would not be promoting Yahoo with your own domain name. Being a general manager, weather at a pizza shop or a body shop, having a yahoo email address does not make you look as professional as you may want to show to others.

    Sully, you may want to register and (if available) yourname.com’s, maybe a lastname, or full name, and use that rather then using the blog name.

    Ok and yes I have a gmail address, and it is also “slabaugh at gmail dot com”

    Reply
  10. npcomplete

    My standard reply to people using gmail, etc., is:

    “I have a firm policy of not discussing business with people using gmail, yahoo, or any other free email service.”

    and no, I really don’t care if I lose business over the policy.

    I have had a few people get upset and ask why I have the policy. If they are really interested, they always seem to find a more professional address.

    Reply
  11. Nadia

    I always use my business email for anything domain related, and have my personal domain for my music business. I agree that it looks more professional. As for a blog-related email, I have yet to establish one of those, and I have no idea why. Laziness, I suppose. 🙂

    Reply

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