Small Business Month was so busy for me that I found myself handling a really high amount of new business cards recently. In fact, I added so many new email addresses to my personal database through public speaking, conference coaching and networking events that I started noticing something very strange about the business cards I was getting: some email addresses were turning me off BEFORE I even knew what a person did for a living!
As a living and breathing guru on marketing, I decided to write about my thoughts in the hopes that it will help businesses who are struggling with growing their client base and who are wondering why they don’t get as many leads as they’d like.
If your email address is from a free account such as Gmail or Hotmail, I have already lost respect for you as a business. For me, you are a hobbyist, a small timer and too cheap with your marketing. I wonder what else you might be cutting corners on when you do your work…
Pretend it’s a conversation
Amongst the hundreds of cards I was handed, I was stunned to see some email addresses with whole phrases strung together. Here were some examples (changed to protect the innocent)
Not only did I kill myself typing these into inboxes but they were so long that there’s every possibility that I misspelt, misunderstood and just generally made myself miserable about emailing these addresses. As small businesses, we need to make ourselves easy to access, not make our email addresses into a spelling bee or a dyslexic challenge of Olympic proportions.
Yes, GE and GM are household names. Yes, it feels as if companies with acronyms (letters instead of words) supposedly look more professional but I’m here to tell you, your email address as an acronym is ripe for misspellings, it’s completely forgettable and it’s missing the big SEO opportunity to get some brownie points from Google. I guarantee nobody is looking for HMS consulting but they are looking for home maintenance systems consulting. (whatever the heck that is)
Your email address might mean the world to you because it actually was the pet name that your grandma (God bless her soul) had for you. It does nothing for your brand, your business or your prospects. It’s exactly that, an INSIDE joke. Why not turn it around and make it a joke everyone understands and reflects your personality? Why not make it easy to spell and heck, why not throw in an SEO goodie and make it relevant to your industry’s key search words?
Email addresses that start with the words ‘info’ or ‘admin’ make me feel like I’m writing to a robot. It makes me feel like there’s an interchangeable nameless faceless entity at the other end of my communication line. Small businesses are more successful if they can engage their clients on a personal level. Why not use your email address as another way to connect deeply and personally with you?
If you’ve been wondering why your business isn’t growing as fast as it should and people who seem eager to meet you in person are never heard from again after you hand them your business card, reflect on the above points-this might have been the wake up call that you needed.
Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk
- Get Your Emails Opened, Read and Clicked! 20 Tips That Really Work (business2community.com)
- How To Build An Email List That Converts Like Crazy (shoutmeloud.com)
- Should You Brand Your Business Email Address? (waxingunlyrical.com)
7 comments on “Why Your Email Address Is Turning Me Off”
great post! Though I’m wondering if you could share some examples of good addresses! I’m just getting ready to launch and I opted for “hello” instead of “info” or “admin”, but I really wanted my email address to be “meagan[at]stola[dot]ca”. However, I know from a lifetime of experience that my name is constantly misspelled and I would lose a lot of potential business there!
Meagan, thanks for your questions. Best email addresses are your name at your company name like what you mentioned. If you think your name is misspelt, imagine Chala! You could also go with a nick name as long as it’s a human name like Meg or Maggie or something. A good example of a brand name in the bunch was foundit.com or onedoor or the golden example of brand names is Staples-a simple word in the English language that is taken from the industry it belongs to. Hope that helps,
I agree with you with respect to Hotmail–in fact, I have a policy of NOT doing business with anyone with a Hotmail account–but GMail (which does have Google standing behind it!) is a bit more acceptable.
Still, I would argue that everyone should have their own domain and a proper email address!
How are you Lawrence, thanks for the comment. Isn’t gmail free? I could be wrong but if any email extension is free, I still think it’s a bad idea.
With all due respect, I would like to defend the “innocent” ones. Nowadays, so many domain names have been already taken and it’s very hard to choose a company name that would well describe your business and was easy to remember.
Agreed Blanka, it is a competitive and overcrowded marketing world. That’s why it’s even more important to rise above all others and stand out. A great example of a business name I saw was foundit.com from your industry. Thanks for sharing!