Email is probably your primary form of communication in the workplace. Each of your team members needs an email address to sign up for online accounts, schedule meetings, and communicate with each other and clients. But not all email addresses are suitable for professional settings. Your middle school nickname probably won’t catch on in a business-oriented environment.
Need help deciding how to structure your company’s professional email addresses? In this article, we’ll cover the basics of email address structure as well as some of our top tips for creating a professional email address.
Parts of an email address
Every email address consists of four main parts:
These components appear in the same order each time. While the username and @ symbol may be self-explanatory, the domain name and top-level domain can cause some confusion.
The domain name refers to the mail server – in other words, the repository where your email is kept. Examples of domain names are Gmail, Yahoo, or your company name. The domain name of your email is separated from the domain (such as .com, .org, or .edu) by a period.
Format options and examples of professional email addresses
There are many email address format options that are professional and cause fewer hassles each time a new team member is onboarded.
Common email address format options
Form 1: [email protected]
Smaller organizations often opt for [email protected] as an option. This format has a fatal flaw: as your business grows, you could hire two people with the same first name. Additionally, if your team members correspond with clients who might have that first name, this format option will inevitably lead to confusion. It works for tight-knit teams, but it’s not a practical solution in the long run.
Form 2: [email protected]
Format 2 helps address some of the concerns raised by Format 1 by appending an initial or two of the user’s last name to the end of the username. It’s also easier to remember than some longer username options. But it doesn’t completely solve the problem since two team members could have the same first name and the same last name.
Form 3: [email protected]
This is another common business email format. It sounds more professional since it includes both the user’s first and last name.
It also virtually eliminates the problem of duplicate email usernames, since it’s relatively unlikely that multiple people in your organization will have the same first and last name. Format 3 is a great option for both large and small companies to communicate professionally both internally and externally.
While the three formats above are among the most popular for business email, they are far from the only options. Some companies like to get creative when creating email addresses. Or maybe they prefer to direct customers to departments rather than individuals. Here are some alternative professional email address formats:
Tips for creating a professional email address
If you’re still in the process of deciding on a professional email format for your business, here are some helpful tips:
Keep the address concise
When it comes to email addresses, the golden rule applies: the shorter, the better. Business communication is easier when customers and partners can easily remember your email address.
Avoid accented and obscure characters
If you do business only in the United States, you should not use accents, obscure characters, or non-Latin alphabet letters in your email address. This can cause confusion and waste of time as users may need to search for special characters just to send an email. However, when doing business abroad, you can use accented characters and non-Latin characters as needed.
Be aware of the risks of some email address formats
Your email address should be pronounceable and legible. There will be times when you need to read your email address out loud over the phone or in person. It may be tempting to shorten long or unusual surnames, but remember that doing so might work against it Diversity, equity and inclusion Gates. Also, always be aware of username combinations that may form offensive or inappropriate words.
How to use a custom domain for email
So you’ve decided on a combination of usernames and now you’re focusing on the domain aspect of the equation. Here are some helpful considerations:
Should You Use a Custom Domain Name?
When you first start out, you can keep costs down by opting to use Gmail or Yahoo as your domain name instead of paying for email on top of web hosting. But as your business grows, you’ll hit the free account limits and need to consider using the same domain for your website and email address.
Of course, this means moving all your contacts, email exchanges, and calendar data to a new account, but it pays off in the long run. A custom domain gives your business more authority and security while increasing the overall professionalism of your business.
How to choose an email host/client
There are a few important things to consider when choosing an email host:
- storage capacity
- user friendliness
Depending on the size and scope of your business, some of these factors are more important than others. As long as you follow the suggestions we’ve laid out in this article, you’re bound to find a professional email address combination that’s right for your business. Then you’ll be prepared to confidently correspond with clients or even launch an email marketing campaign.
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