Your Professional email Account

Are you still using your personal AOL or Yahoo! account for sending and receiving email messages, yet you own a domain name for your business?

If so, stop and think about it. How professional do you think it appears?

Sending emails to your clients with your “oh-so-cool” vanity email, tiger_eyes1969@hotmail.com does not convey a professional vibe. Most likely, the only reason that became your email address was that someone else has the same name as you. That’s right, they snagged bobsmith@yahoo.com before you even registered at Yahoo! for the first time back in the late 1990s. After typing in countless amount of address combinations, you finally arrived at one that no one else in the world has. Gee… I wonder why?

Think about how you used that ridiculous email address for the past 10 years – sending out resumes, corresponding with potential clients, and writing to existing customers. It’s time to get more professional!

Let’s say you own a domain name or two. It may be for your small business, jazz band, or start-up. Maybe you purchased your “own name”.com. (I think a lot of people are guilty of doing that, including me.)

Now is the time to utilize the domain name you own and use it for your new email address.

Pretend that your domain name is widget-central.com and your name is Fred. Your new email address can be fred@widget-central.com. Now, when you send out an email, it will come from fred@widget-central.com instead of tiger_eyes1969@yahoo.com!

In order to set up an email account through your domain, there are several approaches to take. Simply ask your hosting service or Webmaster to help. You may pay a fee to get an email address from most Registrars (the place you registered your domain), but I don’t recommend it.

Where will you be checking your email most often? At the office, home, school, library- or on the road via your laptop or phone?

Basically, your email will either be “online” or “local”. Online email is an internet program included with your hosting account or a service such as Gmail. A local, or offline email program is one that resides on your Mac or PC like Outlook Express or Apple Mail.

Let’s begin with online email. I prefer to use Gmail since it allows the user to login anywhere in the world and still have control of your local email program.

Create a Gmail account if you don’t already have one. In my opinion, it’s the best thing since cable television! The spam filters of Gmail are far superior to other email programs (online or local) and it includes several great features. Best yet, it’s free! Ensure that your new Gmail account is as professional as possible. Choosing an address like widget-central.fred@gmail.com will suffice.

Once you have your Gmail account, you will need to set up your new domain name email account through your hosting account. If you hired a Web Master or website company to take care of your hosting, they can take it from there. Essentially, you would need to access your fred@widget-central.com through your hosting control panel and then have it forwarded to your new Gmail account. Then, all emails to fred@widget-central.com will be routed to your Gmail account.

You will be able to make all of your outgoing email default to showing recipients your address as fred@widget-central.com instead of your Gmail address. You can also update your settings to always reply from the default address. If you have multiple domains and/or email address aliases, you can interchange them,

For setting up your local email program, you must go into your program’s settings to configure for POP3 access. This will vary from program to program and depends on where your email account is hosted. I think it is beneficial to forward all emails from the host to Gmail and then to the local program. This method allows Gmail to filter out any spam before it reaches the local email program. By using Gmail first, you can actually filter spam twice before it reaches your inbox!

So yes, it is more professional to use an email address showing your domain name rather than a Yahoo!, AOL, local ISP, or even Gmail suffix. It can help you, and your business, stand out in your customer’s inbox.

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