Did you know that a startling percent of agents do not use permanent email addresses? At a time when email is almost passé and companies are merging and or closing, many agents are still clinging to outdated or very possibly useless email addresses. There really is no excuse to not be sure that your electronic messaging is branded in the world on a permanent level. Having a permanent email address is the first step in building a strong digital footprint on the web.
When you get internet service, you are assigned an “account” name that serves as your email address. As an example, if you sign up with a local provider, you will most likely get an email address on their system. That email is really your “account” on that service, in the form of an email address, and should be viewed as such.
What is a permanent email address? Your email at YOU.com…
Every time you change your internet service provider, or switch offices, your email address can become obsolete or dead, unless you have been directing your email provider to send your email to your own domain, www.YOU.com, a URL that you have registered and you “own.”
To avoid losing any connection from a discontinued email address, your best strategy is to get your own domain and permanent email address. Having your permanent email address on a domain that you own will ensure that you get to be consistently using the same email address forever and will avoid the dreaded email dead-end.
What happens is this:
When you activate an internet service provider, you are provided an email “address” as one of their customers/subscribers. As an example, if you get your email through Comcast your email may be YourName@comcast.net. Like many novice professionals, if you use this address instead of “pointing” your email address to a permanent email address, you will be committing to a temporary email address situation. In the event that you ever switch from Comcast as your internet service provider, you will lose that email address. Besides, by using their account email address, you are “advertising” for them, and they like that! But you must remember that by the time you’ve been a customer for a long time and have been using their email account name, it has most likely been uploaded into a million other databases, making you have serious second thoughts about changing from their services. Being held “hostage” to a provider and using their email account as your email address may be easier, but it is truly a fatal mistake in business today.
When you switch your email providers, your previous email address will simply “go away” along with all the people who have that email address in their contact system. The next time they send you an email, they will get an immediate response that states your email is DEAD…..not a smart business strategy!
Unprofessional and Bad Branding:
Not only is it a bad business move to “lose” your email address, there are other diminishing factors that a non-permanent email address reveals about your net presence.
When another business professional sees that your email address is provided by a “content” provider (like AOL) or has a free provider (HotMail.com) you convey a message about how you run your business and what your online business brand or lack thereof may be. If you want to communicate a strong, consistent and professional business brand, invest in getting and using a permanent email address.
Here are some tips:
Purchase a new domain that you own and control; and buy it at a registrar that includes email forwarding (most do, but check). Check out www.GoDaddy.com and get a domain that often is under $10.00 to “own”. If your own name is no longer available or hard to spell get creative about investing in one that is more about what you do than who you are. As an example, if you specialize in a segment of an industry you can go that route. Your Name@LuxuryHomesDallas.com clearly offers a digital impression of what you do and what market you serve. Domains are inexpensive, so make sure that you choose one that is memorable, brands you, isn’t too long and is easy to remember.
When you decide on this foundational URL, be sure to “buy” it for at least a 5-7 year period. This will boost your Search Engine Optimization if you use it on a web or blog site.
Set up your new permanent email address “you at yourdomain.com” to forward to your old email address (“you @yahoo.com” or firstname.lastname@example.org are examples).
•Be sure to set up your email program (like Outlook) to send email “from” you at your new domain.com. This will avoid having mail sent from your account come from what looks like a different provider.
•Before dropping your old email account, do a set up an auto-responder (or have your kid set it up for you) that will “automatically” be sent when someone sends you an email to your “old” address. This response will notify them that you have a “new” email address and they should “replace” the old one with your new email address.
•Do a general email to your database informing everyone about your new permanent email address. Start using it yourself in all your email responses and postings everywhere on the net and off.
•Add an email automated signature when you sign off on an email. Don’t’ make it too long, but give enough information so that the intended receiver can determine what you do and who you are. Include your website, a tag line, perhaps your Facebook, LinkedIn links and Company URL. This is easily done in Outlook and other email management platforms. In the early switch over, you might include a note that states: “Thanks for responding to my NEW email address”.
•Monitor and remind people who continue to use your old address that it’s changed and will be discontinued by a certain date. You may need to continue this strategy for several months, but it depends on your database and how often you have contact with some of these contacts
•Be sure to change all printed and online channels with your new information. Make a list and include business cards, website contacts, office rosters, etc. and replace the OLD email with your new PERMANENT email address.
Change can seem overwhelming, but going down the wrong road a long time often proves to be a business disaster. Help is everywhere, so start now. Begin building a permanent digital footprint on the net starting with something as simple as your email address to ensure your customers, clients, prospects and friends can find you!
Bio: Terri Murphy is a communication consultant, speaker, and a published author of 5 books, including her latest with Donald Trump. She is the founder of WomensWisdomNetwork.info, Pres. of Terri Murphy Communications and serves as CIO of U. S. Learning in Memphis. Email: Terri@TerriMurphy.com – And for more info visit: www.TerriMurphy.com