What Does Your Email Address Say About You?

I recently read an article titled AOL Email Address Brands You As Technologically Obsolete. The article said that having an outdated email address from a company like AOL brands a person as being someone who is not willing to move forward with technology. The article specifically discussed people looking for a job and how an employer might question a candidate’s suitability for the job simply because of the email address he or she uses.

The same can be said for insurance agents. What does your email address say about you?

I am intrigued by how many agents are using various “old” email addresses as their primary means of contact. I have a rather large database of agent email addresses due to my weekly email newsletter (TechTips) that I send. So I did a simple search for some common email domains with the following results.

  • AOL: 105
  • Yahoo: 174
  • Hotmail: 90
  • Gmail: 452

Each of these email addresses is free. But in this case, “free” may be costing you a lot.

When I receive a business email that is using one of these free services I—correctly or not—make some basic assumptions. My first assumption is this person is not really serious about building and marketing their agency. Second, while they may be serious, they just don’t understand how to keep up with today’s technology changes and improvements.

Every communication leaves an impression. Your agency website is your online front door. Emails you send to prospects and clients invite people to come to your “office” (your online storefront) to learn more about what you have to offer.

You may question my inclusion of Gmail on this list. I have a Gmail address. But I don’t use it for business purposes or as my primary email address. Feel free to use Gmail as your email client to manage your incoming email. It works very well for lots of people. Just don’t send me a message from your Gmail account if you want me to pay attention to it.

Setting up a hosted email account with your own domain email address is easy and inexpensive. I don’t know why everyone doesn’t do it!

For example, GoDaddy.com offers email hosting services starting at $16 per year for one email address. A bundle of five email addresses starts at $32 per year. Using a hosting service like this allows you to read, reply, and store your email in the cloud with their Web-based email, or you can set up your email on your computer with your favorite email client, like Microsoft Outlook. You can also access your mail from your iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android devices.

There is simply no reason not to have a unique email address that reminds people about your brand. And every time you send an email from one of your email accounts, you’re telling the recipient your domain name and encouraging them to visit your website.

I realize that most people who subscribe to TAAR are not likely to have this problem. But I encourage you to help your fellow agents who might be using these outdated addresses to spend the small amount of money required to get a real email address.

Steve Anderson provides information to insurance agents about how they can use technology to increase revenue and/or reduce expenses. He speaks professionally to hundreds of agents each year on the future of technology, the social web, and how insurance agencies can establish their Internet presence.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “What Does Your Email Address Say About You?

  1. Jason, I think using a generic email address like you have described is a good idea. I do the same. However, I forward these emails from the other account into my main account. And I usually reply from my main “branded” email account.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. We have a die-hard aol user at the office. We make frequent jokes about the service, but I do have to admit, I still have my aol email address and use it specifically when I know the email will be sent to a spam/marketing list. it does serve its purpose. But on the professional front, I completely agree that an older or “free” email address portrays an image that might not be the one you want to convey. I have the same sort of thought about the copyright on agencies’ websites!
    Regards, Jason