Is your Address helping you or holding you back?
What does your email address say about you and your Business?
When it comes to physical addresses, we all know the best streets in our towns, and those that are not so good.
.... Anyone had to deliver a bouquet and thought
Oooo, Goody, I get to look down that street......
Or received an address to deliver to and thought -
Oh! better lock the car there.....
And then there are all the names and addresses in between..... For them to be easy to deliver to, we want good labelling (numbers in an obvious order, or easy to spot Name plates for named houses) and we want the roads to be easy to find by postcode. The address isn't really the important thing here, It's if it tells us what area we can find it in, and who we're delivering to, that's the important thing
Well it's like that with Email addresses too.
Does your email address say who the email is going to?
Does your email address say what the address of your business is? and does it give the impression of being at the smart end of town, or on the less expensive estate?
Does your email address say what you do as a business?
Email addresses have only been around for the last 25 years or so, - whereas physical addresses have been developing over hundreds of years. 25 years ago, My husband's 1st email address was Ashley@btinternet.com.
He was working on the first big BT website and web shop, and BT wanted everyone to equate the names of important staff with the site that they were working on. - Good idea but it was such early days of emails that they hadn't worked out there might be more than 1 person with each first name working at a multinational company.
So then they invented Info @ email addresses (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org), which could be directed to whoever was working on that project at a time, and that meant that if someone left the company, or was on holiday the email still got answered.
But thing was that they were impersonal, and people didn't know who they were contacting, and people buy from people. So then they invented redirects and autoresponders and tried using first name and initials, My first email address at the RHS was Claireb@rhs.org.uk (in 1998) but even in the 6 years i was working there, we had 2 more Claire's with a surname beginning B arrive, So now most corporate email addresses are email@example.com. If someone leaves, the email is taken out of commission and the address bounces back. If someone is on holiday then there is an autoresponder to tell you who you should be contacting instead, and when you can expect a response.
Now we're small businesses, so i'm not suggesting that we copy the Corporates exactly, BUT
- Having your name in your email address means that your customers know who they are contacting
- Having your Website address in your email address means that the customer can see which end of town you live at (i.e they can look at your "Real estate" and work out for themselves how good and professional you are likely to be by the state of your website)
- If your email address starts with "intheshed@" or "smiles@" or "hello@" then you are missing out on a way of getting a customer to connect with you by using your name
- If your email address ends in "Virgin.net" or "gmail.com" or "hotmail.co.uk" you are telling your customer that you're using a free email address. Does that equate with a professional business?
This is one of the cheapest ways of marketing your business, - you need a website domain that reflects your business address, and an email address attached to it. If you've already got a website, email addresses will almost certainly be part of the package, and you can probably set up redirects, so that you can use your normal email package. Changing to a new improved email address will be FREE if you can follow the online help from your service provider, or the cost of half an hour of your IT support.