I don’t mean to be snooty (well, maybe a little) but some of you business owners need to turn in your cool card. When a “professional” hands me a business card with an email that says, “BusinessName@BELLSOUTH.NET” or ending in ATT.net or even the otherwise-cool GMAIL.com, you are immediately marked as a cheapskate and your street cred’ takes a hit.
I know, this seems silly and vain but its the truth. A “free” email address is almost the equivalent of having a cardboard sign for your business. A survey was done recently asking groups of industry representatives what they thought of various email addresses. Information Technology people (like Yours Truly) are especially perturbed when someone applies for a tech job using an AOL address, for example.
Whether you think it’s petty or not, the fact is that many people tend to look down on “professionals” who do not have a “domain based” email address such as “YourName@PhotographyBusiness.com.” Having a domain-based email address on your business card is one sure way of lending a bit of credibility to your business--and you get to hang with the cool kids.
If you are an individual, there is no urgent need to change an email address you’ve had for 15 years just so you can join the cool club. Just know that your email address really does send a message about you. Individuals should know that, to many of us, an AOL address screams, “Hi. I'm from 1996. What is this internet you speak of?" Hotmail addresses are almost as bad. Free Gmail addresses are still considered cool. That’s probably only because I have one.
So if you are job hunting (there are, unfortunately, lots of those here in the Shoals), you want that message to be something neutral such as JohnDoe@Gmail.com and let your resume do the talking. The same thing goes for applying for college. Thus, the email address you had as a teenager (Sk8r15@msn.com) just won’t cut it anymore. You may be hot and/or sexy but FoxyHot@bellsouth.net is not ever acceptable--even if you are running a massage parlor. For personal email addresses, you just can’t go wrong with some combination of your first and last name--unless you name happens to be Hugh Smelly.
So how do you get a “vanity” domain-based email address for your business? It’s super easy. There are plenty of websites you can visit to purchase a personalized, professional “domain” to host your email. They generally cost $10 to $30 dollars per month depending on features.
There are a plethora of websites that will host your domain based email. I recommend taking a look at Godaddy.com and Namecheap.com. If you need to know more, call me or send an email to SnarkyComputerJerk@Compuserve.com.