When it comes to choosing an email address for your website you have a few choices as to how to handle this.

You could use the Hotmail account you’ve had for a few years that everyone knows and is still on those old business cards you had printed way back when. You could choose to not publish your email address on your website so that you don’t get any more spam or you could choose a professional solution and demonstrate your commitment to your online visitors.

What are you going to choose?

Choosing Hotmail

Way back when email was first discovered by many people, they chose the first available, free email solution to make themselves contactable. They chose a Hotmail email address. This works fine, you can do everything that you want to do with this and why should you change?

Well, using a Hotmail email address for your preferred business email account just doesn’t sit well at all. People know that Hotmail accounts are easily setup and that they are effectively untraceable. Anyone can set one up and run a business from it. But there’s just something missing. Hotmail accounts don’t help to build your brand reputation. Sure you may have mybusiness@hotmail.co.uk but that’s not quite good enough is it.

Online visitors to your website just don’t gel with a mobile phone number and a Hotmail email address. There just isn’t the inherent trust with this type of email account.

You really should be using something based upon your website address. This demonstrates that your email address is related to you business website, people trust it more, it’s more memorable and will help you to do more business online.

After all, which email address looks more professional ? juleswp4077@hotmail.co.uk or julie@clarkedesign.co.uk

You also need to be aware that Hotmail email accounts can be considered to contain more spam by certain Internet Service Providers and emails may not get through as quickly or even at all.

Do yourself a favour and start to use a professional email account. It will reward you in the long term.

No eMail Address

Seriously, don’t choose this option.

How many times have we heard people say that they don’t want their email address publishing on their website because they don’t want to get any spam? Are you kidding us?

Seriously, if you don’t publish your email address you won’t get any spam, but you won’t get any business either.

How are people meant to contact you? It’s one of the most expected things to have on a website.

Yes you will get some spam from those naughty people out there, but we’ve had our email address on many websites for many, many years and the spam we get we can handle. Just invest in a decent piece of anti-spam software. Most email hosts can add this onto your account and get it dalt with it right at the source.

No email address means no business – you may as well just turn off your website.

Professional Email Account

The professionals choice is to have a website email address related to your website domain name (the www bit). This is just so glaringly sensible, but how do so many people miss this and stick with an email address from Hotmail or their Internet Service Provider.

Which email address would you just instinctively trust more: web@clarkedesign.co.uk or clarkedesign@hotmail.co.uk ?

We know what we’d choose every single time without a shadow of a doubt. (The first one by the way)

The email address that’s part of the website name you are visiting just helps to build that trust a little bit more. You know that it’s related to the website and it makes you feel more comfortable with it.

But what about my old email address?

People ask “Well if I start to use that new email account you’ve given us on the new website, what happens to our old emails?” – Nothing, if you’ve been using Hotmail or some other freebie email address for the past six years, you can still just keep on using it to receive those old emails.

All that happens is that you now on you start to use your new professional email address instead to send any new emails from. Slowly over time, people will start to use your new email address to get in touch with you.

Hey this is also a great excuse to market yourself to everyone to tell them you’ve got a new email address. You might sneak in a bit of self promotion whilst you are doing it, we would.

I’ve got my current email address on my business cards and van

Excellent. That means people can email you. All that you need to do is the next time you need some new cards, you just get the design updated to use your new professional email account rather than your old freebie email account.

If you can, get the wording on your van, adverts, leaflets and flyers changed next time they need updating. You don’t have to do it right now.

Just because you now have a new email account, doesn’t mean that your old one falls off the face of the earth. YOU JUST USE BOTH for the interim until everyone is converted and starts to use your new email account. Just remember to SEND from your new one, so that people get used to it.

This is a slow transition.

It’s all about being more professional

This is all about your professional image. The easy (and lazy) option is to just carry on using that old email address that you are comfortable with.

Making the change to a new email address will take a little effort; you’ll have to configure some software and tell a few people about it, but hey that might take all of an hour.

Starting to use your new professional email address will just add that little bit more to your brand, image and identity. It’s the little things that make the difference and it’s the little things that can let you down.