Tuesday, June 28, 2016

"A Proper Email Address Is An Important Part Of Our Overall Brand"

We work hard to create and maintain our personal brand so that people will want to contact and do business with us. We want them to ask us to renovate their homes for them so they can remain living in them successfully as they age over time, and we look forward to being used for these important tasks.

Therefore, we need to be ready for people to contact us, and our email address is at the heart of this. Sure, our phones are a prime source of contact for actually speaking with people who call us or want to text us, but we can’t overlook the importance of using our email. We must present a professional look to the public that includes either a business name, our own name, or a branding message, such as something including words or phrases dealing with remodeling, renovation, universal design, or aging-in-place.

We need to save the “cutesy” or creative names or ones with numbers, nicknames, or those that identify or signify our hobbies or interests for personal use or when we are trying to maintain some level of privacy or anonymity.

Unless we are known by a nickname, it appears on our business cards, and we expect people to address us that way, it should not appear anywhere in our email address. The email address needs to be as professional as possible – identifying the name of the business, our name, or the service we are providing. If it doesn’t do any of these things, we need a new one.

We want people to feel like they are sending an email to a professional and not to someone who may have only a casual interest in helping them with their concerns and issues. When we send them an email, we want and need for them to open and read it. If it doesn’t look like it is coming from a professional (remodeler, contractor, consultant, builder, health care professional, designer, or other aging-in-place professional), it may go to the junk folder or be ignored.

We need to ask ourselves how we would feel if we received an email from a business that had an address similar to one we use. Does it look professional, or does it look more like one that would be more appropriate to use with friends and family?

If it doesn’t immediately identify us by name (first and last name and not merely a first initial), have the company name someplace in it (such as the domain name), or convey a service or type of business (aging-in-place, therapy, remodeling, construction, or design, for instance), we aren’t taking full advantage of the branding opportunity that an email address offers, and we may not be creating the level or trust and confidence in the public that we strive for and desire.

While gmail, yahoo, and other public domains that offer free email accounts are fairly common and widely recognized (and they make a great secondary address or backup to our main email address), this doesn’t help brand us as much as a domain name with our business entity in it.

By having an email address with our registered domain name that includes the name of the business (or our name if we are the sole practitioner), people will more easily understand who it is from and we'll have a better opportunity to brand our company or business.


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Steve HoffackerCAPS, MCSP, MIRM, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.