Judging a business by its email

judge book by its cover

They say “you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover” but lets face it, we do.

It just about makes me cringe when someone is investing proper time, effort and money with me to design a brand identity for their new business, and the email address they provide for their stationery is something like fuzzy_woodle_376@hotmail.com.

Plenty of people end up with casual/fun/odd email addresses. Whether they set the email address up years ago when it wasn’t important, had a younger family member set it up for them, or whatever the case may be, it happens. At the time it wasn’t important, but now it is.

Obviously it’s possible to get a more sensible email address from free providers such hotmail, gmail etc. but the obvious choices like john.smith@gmail.com are snapped up quickly, often forcing you to add a series of random numbers to the end of your email address if you can’t find a free combination of your personal or business name.

I often speak with people who mistakenly think that registering a custom domain, e.g. www.andrewkeir.com, and the corresponding email addresses is part and parcel of a full website design project. But this isn’t the case.

You may not need or want a website at this particular moment in time, but the custom email address is still available without undertaking a full website design project.

A custom email address just requires a registered domain name and hosting service. Cost varies from provider to provider, but around $150 a year can cover you for both (or a little more if you want higher end web hosting). A simple 1 page website with contact details can also be created relatively easily for your new domain to provide customers with further contact details.

This is a reasonably minor expense when you compare (a few fictional details…) big_scotty_j_213@hotmail.com to scott@jacksongardens.com, and the level of professionalism they convey.

A custom email address doesn’t cost a lot, but can cast you in a more positive light, and that’s always good for business.