By Oren Todoros
Updated on October 26, 2023,
12 min read
In today’s digital-first world, email is an indispensable part of both our personal and professional lives. But with the sheer volume of emails that flood our inboxes every day, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get our messages noticed, let alone get a response. In fact, studies have shown that the average open rate for marketing emails is just over 21%. That means nearly 80% of all your hard work and effort is going to waste!
You may have tried spicing up your subject lines and crafting killer content, but have you ever considered the impact of your actual email address? It’s often overlooked, but recipients aren’t just looking at what you’ve sent, but who has sent it. And that’s because trust is crucial in online interactions. Recipients need to be able to quickly and easily identify the sender before they make a decision about whether or not to engage.
It’s a process that goes something like this: first, they check the sender’s email address to see if they can be trusted. If the answer is yes, they move on to the subject line to see if it’s worth opening. And if that passes muster, they finally read the content to see if it’s worth responding to.
So, if you want to increase the chances of your emails being opened and responded to, the first step is to create a professional email address that inspires trust. And that means retiring those old, unprofessional email addresses like “gam3rbo¥firstname.lastname@example.org”. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are ten simple rules for creating a professional email address that will help you get the responses you’re looking for.
What is a Professional Email Address
A professional email address is an email account that is associated with your business or professional identity. It typically includes your name and your business’s name, and uses a domain name that is specific to your company or organization.
Having a professional email address is essential for building your brand and establishing your credibility with clients, customers, and colleagues. A professional email address shows that you take your business seriously and that you are committed to providing high-quality services or products.
In contrast, using a personal email address, such as a Yahoo or Gmail account, for business communications can make your company appear unprofessional and may even lead potential clients to question your legitimacy.
A professional email address also offers a number of practical benefits. For example, it allows you to separate your personal and professional communications, making it easier to manage your inbox and prioritize important messages. It also provides a consistent and recognizable identity across all of your communications, helping to build trust and strengthen your brand.
When creating a professional email address, it’s important to choose a domain name that is relevant to your business or industry. This will make it easier for people to find your email address and recognize it as belonging to your business. Additionally, it’s important to choose an email address that is easy to remember and professional-sounding. Avoid using nicknames, abbreviations, or overly complex domain names that may confuse or alienate potential clients or customers.
1. Professional Email Needs to Stay Consistent
Making a professional email is part of making your brand, which is why it’s so important to ensure that it is consistent. It represents what you do, who you are, and what you stand for – and will do so long into the future.
Perhaps your company is just you and the cat for now, but two years, five years, 20 years down the line? Who knows how big you’ll be! Always plan ahead, including for your professional-sounding email to ensure that it can scale with you. There’s nothing worse than spending time, energy, and money on communication to then have to switch all your emails.
As such, make your email match your company name. If your company is PJ Construction, for example, your email should be: “email@example.com.” Then, whether it’s you or your new hire, recipients will know exactly which company is reaching out to them—helping to build trust.
In practice, let’s look at what you started with vs what you’ll have now:
Which email would you be more likely to open? Yup, your old address hasn’t even got a fighting chance.
It can be tempting, especially as a small business, to use a free email provider such as Gmail or Hotmail, but this immediately detracts from the credibility of your email. In addition, it gives the impression of a hobbyist playing at business rather than a professional email address reflecting a true professional. If you absolutely want to use your old email address as a catch all-inbox, you can use a domain name such as pjconstruction.com and forward that email to your personal account. Many services all you to send as a different address or alias as well.
2. Avoid Using Nicknames
Just as we separate our work and home lives, it’s important to separate our personal and professional email names. Your business email address should reflect how clients and partners see you – and this means cutting out the nickname. For example, if your name is Robert, but your email is firstname.lastname@example.org, it can quickly get confusing.
Even if your team members know you by your nickname, it should still be avoided since they aren’t the ones who will judge your address. That said, if you only go by your nickname (i.e., don’t ever use your full name), then it should be your email to avoid confusion.
If, for example, you only ever introduce yourself as Matt to clients, partners, or other external individuals, then that’s what they’ll expect of your professional email address. Alternatively, if you don’t want to choose one or the other, you can always use initials or a combination such as email@example.com. This is very common in larger companies where there are likely to be people with the same first name.
3. Avoid Using Numbers and Special Characters
The number of email users was more than 3.8 billion in 2019 and is expected to be 4.2 billion by the end of 2022. That’s a whole lot of people all looking to get a unique address. While firstname.lastname@example.org might work for a business in a pinch, you’re very unlikely to be the one with that address.
This inevitably leads to variations on common names, which is how we end up with things like “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Using digits or special characters does create a unique free address, but unfortunately, it’s useless for business.
When it comes to professional email usernames, using numbers or special characters (#$%=) is considered a big red flag for reliability and credibility. Having these numbers or symbols can even trigger a spam alert from the receiver’s email provider, meaning the message might not even make it to their inbox.
If you absolutely have to include a non-letter character, then use a period (.). Many email providers already have rules in place that stop the use of special characters, but keep it in mind when you create your professional email address.
Be A Pro. Use The Communication App That Goes Beyond Email
The fastest way to get lost in the clutter is to make your emails look like a mess. This starts with an email address that should stand out from the chaos of names, subject lines, labels, and buttons that clutter most inboxes.
Using your business name (which should already be memorable) and a simple first name as discussed should already set your emails apart from the competition. First, however, it’s worth looking over your inbox to see what stands out to get some ideas.
It’s also essential to keep your inbox organized so you don’t miss the replies!
5. Test and Experiment to Find What Works Best for You
While these rules are a helpful way to start creating a professional email, what works best for you will only be discovered through trial and error. When creating a new address to begin reaching out to clients or marketing, test a few of them to see which gets you the highest open rates and the most engagement.
When doing this, it is essential to try to reduce the number of potential variables so you know if it is the name creating the impact. This means using the same subject line, message, buttons, etc. Of course, this is only possible if you already have large lists to email, so work with what you’ve got.
6. Create a Dedicated Email Via Your Website Host
So now you may be wondering how to create a professional email address from a practical perspective? If you already have a website, there’s a good chance that you can quickly make your own dedicated email address using your website host.
The exact process for doing this will differ depending on your host, but it usually is relatively simple and can be broken down into some basic steps:
- Log into your host provider and navigate to the relevant website (if you have more than one).
- Navigate to the “Email” section for your website.
- Select “Accounts,” “Email Accounts,” or similar.
- Enter your desired professional email address and click “create”, “generate,” or similar.
And you’re done! Now use a modern email client to send, receive, and stay on top of your business emails.
7. Don’t Have a Website? Create a Business Email with a Dedicated Email Host
Even if you don’t have a website yet, you can still create professional email addresses using a dedicated email host. The first step is securing a domain for your business – this will usually be your company’s name. Then, you can use online tools such as this one to check if it’s available.
Hosted business email is available from some big companies that you probably already know, such as Office 365 from Microsoft, Google Workspace, and Zoho Workplace. In addition, numerous smaller email hosts offer excellent and affordable business emails, such as Rackspace or Private Email.
However, most of these only offer web-based email clients, so you’ll still need a decent desktop and mobile email client to make the most of your business account. If only a solution provided hosting and incredible tools for all of your workplace needs in a single place.
8. General Addresses for General Purposes
Out on the web, coming across email addresses such as “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org” is very common, and they play an essential role. It is quick and precise what these email addresses are used for and why you might contact them.
However, you should avoid sending individual emails from these addresses since they don’t reflect an individual within a company. This can make recipients less likely to open then and less likely to respond as it doesn’t feel like there is a person on the other end but a brand.
9. Don’t Go Overboard on the Signature
Professional sounding emails often include a professional sounding email signature, but be careful not to go too far. It can consist of some information about you, such as your full name and title, and contact information like your website, email address, and phone number. Many signatures also include a small image that reflects your brand—such as the logo.
However, before you start attaching big hero images, keep in mind that large images or a bad image to text ratio can send your emails straight to spam. Less is often more when it comes to a professional email signature, with simple messages winning out.
10. Spike’s Email Client for Desktop and Mobile
Spike is an advanced email client and team chat solution that not only loves own-domain email addresses but also works seamlessly with all major email hosting services. With Spike, you get a new kind of email interface that includes Conversational Email and a Priority Inbox, helping you cut through the clutter and focus on what’s important. Conversational Email turns traditional business messages into Instant Messenger-style chats, while the Priority Inbox keeps important messages front and center, sorting everything else into an “Other” box to be read at your leisure.
Spike also offers a suite of essential tools like read receipts for sending emails, 1-click video meetings, voice messages, online notes, to-do lists, tasks, and an built-in calendar. With Spike, you’ll never lose sight of an email or team chat alert again, and you’ll be able to stay focused and productive all day long.
So whether you’re using Google, Microsoft, or any other major email hosting service, Spike has got you covered. With its many features and seamless integration, Spike is the perfect email client and team chat platform for any business looking to streamline their communications and boost productivity.
Bonus Tip: Is Gmail a professional email?
Although Google offers Gmail addresses that are free, they do not use the gmail.com domain and aren’t appropriate for business communications. Google Workspace is Google’s business email hosting where you can use your own domain name with Google’s email service.
How to Make a Professional Email – A Recap
Making a professional email is largely about stopping and thinking about what “professional” looks like in your day-to-day. Would you introduce yourself to a new client using your high school nickname and a high-five? Probably not, so why do it in your email? Professionalism is as much about what you say as it is how you say it. The goal of making a professional email is to communicate clearly, concisely, and with the right level of formality. You want to look like an expert who knows what they’re doing—not someone who just woke up from a nap.
Final Tips (TL;DR)
If you’re building a business, you know that every detail counts. From the quality of your products or services to your marketing strategy, everything plays a role in shaping your customers’ perceptions about your company. One aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked is your company’s email address. While it may seem like a small detail, it can have a big impact on how customers view your business and whether they want to do business with you.
To create a professional email address, start with using your name, such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Avoid using hobby-related words or anything that might make it look like you didn’t put much thought into it. For example, “email@example.com” might not inspire confidence in potential customers.
But having a professional email address is just the beginning. It’s also important to make sure that your emails look professional and well-crafted. After all, your emails are a reflection of your business. They should be clear, concise, and easy to read. Test out different email structures and hosts to find what works best for you, and invest in a quality email client to make sure your messages always look professional.
When you use a professional email address, you’re sending a clear message to your customers that you’re a legitimate company and that you take your business seriously. So don’t overlook this important detail. Take the time to create a professional email address and craft well-crafted emails that reflect the quality and professionalism of your business.