Ever thought about the message your email address sends to outsiders? If you're interested in growing a business on the web, it's one of the first things you should "fix" about your current image. This is so elementary, I cannot even believe I'm writing an article about it. Consider these points, and then make a motion for self-improvement.
Take a good look at yourself.
This goes for not only email, but every single thing you put out there for public consumption. Literally pretend to be an interested party who is reading your stuff and who does not know you from a hole in the wall. Have you made it clear what your name is and what line of business you are in? To check this, send an email to yourself. What's it look like sitting in your Inbox? Are you just a first name? Did you type your name in all lowercase? To the busy 'netpreneur on the receiving end, emails like this look like spam that slipped through the cracks. Imagine how you'd react to an email from someone who calls himself "jim dandy" - or worse, JIMDANDY?
Remember that the web isn't as "anonymous" as it appears!
When you click SUBMIT on that newsletter sign-up form, your info is likely NOT going into a vacuous hole - it's being read by a pair of human eyes! Yes, the web is small biz territory, and that means there's a live body running the show. If you don't want the person who's viewing your information to know you, okay, be "firstname.lastname@example.org" and continue to live out your web existence incognito. But if it's your main objective to make connections, let people know who you are. It's the first step in being noticed for all the right reasons!
Try to work your brand name in if at all possible.
Even though that email profile entry form says FIRST NAME and LAST NAME, you've probably figured out that what goes in these boxes can be whatever you'd like. If you're smart, you realize that free space means a free branding opportunity for you. Why not key in your company name in one of those boxes! Say you want to be known as Jill at Preciousgifts.com. Simply type "Jill" into the FIRST NAME box and "at Preciousgifts.com" into the LAST NAME box. Now send yourself that email again to see what it looks like from the outside. Hey, now that looks like a legitimate businesswoman!
Choose domain-based email instead of "freemail."
Most webhosting accounts include multiple email addresses. Set up an email account that includes your domain name, such as email@example.com. Your account should be hosted by a pop3 sever. All the better if your email can come in via Microsoft Outlook, which is the most efficient way to receive and send email! If you need help setting up your account, call your webhosting provider's customer service line, or do a search for email configuration in their Help Menu.
Just a few minutes of your attention to these small details can mean the difference between getting that phone call or being glossed over and quickly forgotten. Which one do you choose?
Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.
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