Everyone has an email address these days. Sure, some people say they’re “not into email”, or claim that they “just don’t check it”, but there are so many services everywhere in society that require you to have an email address if you want to participate.

Let’s play with some numbers. Some studies predict that by 2017, there will be over 4.9 billion registered email addresses in use. The world’s population is predicted to be around 7.4 billion at that same time. That is just staggering. Even when you try to account for people who don’t have email addresses, or email addresses that don’t belong to specific people (such as “info@” or “office@”, two common handles for business emails), the numbers are still incredible.
So we’ve established that pretty much everybody you know has an email address these days. What does yours say about you?

– What is your handle? 
The “handle” is the part of the email address that comes before the @ symbol. This is the most easily customizable part of the address. While it’s perfectly acceptable to use whatever handle you want for your personal email address, the fact is that people are not going to take a business email seriously if it’s coming from “iluvdogs333221@whatever.com”. The best approach is to come up with a concise and unique handle that represents your identity instead of your interests. One popular choice is the combination of the first initial and last name.

– What is your domain? 
The “domain” is the part of the email address that comes after the @ symbol. There are many free email services available, like gmail, which typically uses the domain “gmail.com”. The downside to using popular free email services is that there are not as many handle choices available to newly registering users. For a low cost, you can register your own custom domain (you can check to see what’s available elsewhere on our site) and get a truly custom email address. This will also help bolster your business reputation because consumers expect businesses to have a strong web presence.

– What is your top level domain? 
The “top level domain” is the very end of the email address. In most cases this is “.com”. However, there are several different top level domains that are frequently used. You can always tell when you are dealing with part of the government online if they are using “.gov”. If you want to sound professional, fork out the extra cash for a “.com”, or spring for a “.org” if you don’t want to sound so corporate. Anything less is going to seem like a cop-out, like wrapping a gift for your boss in newspaper instead of using real gift wrap.  Stay tuned for a future article explaining more about how top level domains work.

– What is the protocol for employee handles? 
Most companies take full advantage of email to increase productivity both within and outside of their office space. For maximum professionalism, all email handles should use the same scheme. Small companies most likely won’t have an issue using first names – that’s what we do here at inConcert Web Solutions. Larger companies may need to factor in the possibility of duplicates. The key is to make the email addresses as easy to remember as possible, to make life easy for your clients and business partners.

– Do you have additional company email handles for specific services? 
Make life easy for yourself and let your emails sort themselves into the right departments. Use custom handles like “socialmedia@” for registering on all social media accounts, or “quotes@” for incoming quote requests. That way, you don’t have to feel overwhelmed when notifications start pouring into your inbox. You also don’t have to worry about employee turnover – whoever sets up social media accounts won’t necessarily always be the one to manage them.

Contact the team here at inConcert Web Solutions for answers to all your questions about email.