Your New Website & Business Needs the Right Emails!
Author: Chang Han (Google+)
Email addresses are ‘signals’ to the world and to the person you are corresponding to about who they are ‘speaking’ to.
Imagine sending a complaint to amazon and getting a reply from “firstname.lastname@example.org.” Now imagine you’ve just arrived at some random website after doing a Google search for a new mouse for your computer, a spare part for your car, or even an engagement ring (yes, a lot of people look for and buy each of these things online now!). You send an inquiry email and you get a response from “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org” or even “email@example.com.” You may find the strange email address endearing or interesting, but more likely you will find it triggers a lack of trust and ‘strangeness’ you can’t quite put your finger on.
I am describing the power of the ‘signals’ we give off with the simple things like our email naming convention and the generic emails we designate in our organization or small business. In addition to the signals we are communicating to the public and to our potential future clients and customers, these words are also indicators of convention – that incredibly powerful background, unconscious indicator in our brains that say “familiar” and “trust” versus “unfamiliar” and “distrust.”
If you got a response to your complaint from “firstname.lastname@example.org” or “email@example.com” you automatically ‘know’ that you are speaking to the right person or department with your email correspondence!
So, let’s look at the generic email addresses that you simply must create as soon as you have set up your first domain, url and company website. Even if you are a company of 1 person – you still need these email addresses because you don’t need to publicize to the world that you are merely a company of 1 person! Even startups can look like an established, trust-worthy business organization from day 1.
1. email addresses
In today’s business world – especially in any western English speaking locale, in the United States, in Canada, in the UK, or Australia, etc. – it is imperative that you have some basics set up for personal privacy and complying with your local privacy laws. Often, you will also have to comply with other countries’ privacy laws as well if you are actively seeking clients or customers from that country! A great recent example is Canada’s CASL – the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation. It went into effect July 1, 2014 and it allows for severe monetary penalties if you do not comply, even if you are not in Canada!
This also looks more professional and the email can then be set up so that you or anyone else can access it easily without having to give access to your personal email. Of course, you can have this email address be forwarded to your personal account, or to your ‘work’ email or both to start off. The nice thing is that you want to keep all the emails that come in to this account in this email account’s inbox as well – and voila, instant record-keeping for purposes of privacy all in one place for as long as you want. (I usually keep the email there and store it myself on my own servers for safety and security for years even if a website I created or hosted were to get shut down, in such a worst case scenario, if need be)
2. Typical uses for email for any business are the following generic email addresses:
2.1 info@ – also used interchangeably with contact@, useful for giving an organizational feel to a website to have this in a few places where it’s appropriate (i.e., all questions about content might be directed to [your email naming convention]@ but any ‘general’ questions being directed to an anonymous info@ or contact@ will actually feel ‘safe’ to a few people who don’t want to bother the main man (you, in this case) with what they perceive as a minor question.
2.2 webmaster@ – used at the bottom for any website or IT administrative type emails. This is a typical thing for mid to large organizations, so having it available is a ‘signal’ that this website and the organization has its processes in place and is legit. Of course it can just go to you – or it can actually go directly to whomever deals with your website and IT issues (for me and the businesses I work with, it would be me) so that if there is a legitimate website related issue, you can get notice of it immediately and handle it directly. This is what I like to do.
2.3 sales@ – all businesses have sales. You may do all your own sales – or you may not – but sometimes it is important to have an email address that specifically signals to either the recipient or to the sender that the email represents a ‘conversation’ that is designed / has the purpose of ending with someone paying money to [your domain].com. Hence, a very useful email address.
2.4 yours – you need a good email naming convention. Don’t take this lightly, as the wrong choice will cause confusion for your clients, missed opportunities and customers for you, and even spam attacks and website/password hacks! I advocate simple – it makes sense to have an email that ‘signals’ you are a part of a legitimate organization and can be trusted with information related to the work, business, product or service that you are focusing on without you having to explain it to someone in a long conversation. Try [first name].[last name]@ or [first name].[first letter of last name]@, or even [first name]@ if you are small enough and personal enough as a company or product/service.
Keep it simple and quick, set up emails with all the right generic signals and conventions and have it forward to your current personal email, and continue to send emails from your personal email. But ‘give’ people your preferred ‘work’ email address or appropriate generic email address for when they send you emails. Little to no effort and cost and a big return on the subconscious impact of who you and your organization is to the recipient/sender!
2.5 support@ – a signal that the person is dealing with a person/dept that is specifically attuned to and intends to provide solutions for any problem that the person may be having related to the website, the service, or any person related to the service.
If you find this useful and would like similar suggestions for email signatures, please contact me and let me know! : )
Send me a message on LinkedIn – you can connect with me by joining our LinkedIn Discussion Group and you’ll also find an entire community!