ACWC Writers Blog

Oh! I Need a Professional Email Address?
Tuesday, January 16, 2024 by Cindy Sproles

Who doesn't love a fun email address? JollyRoger@pirateplace or Bubbles@gumballsunlimited. Fun right? Uhhh. Well, maybe, maybe not.

A fun email is perfect for friends and family, but it's not great for your writing career. Here's a strange story why.

Several years back, I kept getting emails from lickmylollipop@. (Do not judge me.) Of course, I chuckled when I saw it land in my email box, and there was no question that I would NOT open it. Who knows what lurked on the other side of that email address – a virus, a less-than-savory person? It could have been anything. Still, it bothered me since I was in the middle of preparing for this conference. What if it was a potential conferee, and I didn't respond? What if it was laden with a virus?

The message sat in my box for a couple of weeks, haunting me every time I opened my email. I finally succumbed and opened the email. To my surprise, it was perfectly innocent. It was a conferee. Once I read the email, I contacted her and asked her to call me. In just minutes, she was on the phone.

"I need to talk to you about your email," I said. I proceeded to explain why I had not responded sooner kindly. I couldn't be sure the email was safe. After we had a good laugh, she let me know that she was the owner of a candy store. That made perfect sense, though it still sounded less than appropriate, so we chatted for a minute, and I explained my reasons for her needing an appropriate business email. (By the way, she gave her permission to share this story. She has since changed her email.)

Here's why you need a professional email.

  1. You are allowed to have more than one email account – just an FYI.
  2. How does your email address make you appear to business professionals?
  3. Find a combination of your name to use in your email.
  4. Professionals can't locate you with a cutesy email.

 

Let's dig in. Many folks do not realize you can have more than one email address. Grant you, the more you have, the more you have to keep up with, but there are easy ways to manage those addresses. You can forward additional emails to one primary account. Managing emails is easily done through Gmail, AOL, or Outlook and is accomplished through your email account's settings or preferences tabs. Take time to get yourself a professional email and veer away from Hotmail. Not that Hotmail is a bad email, but the name lends itself to less than appropriate. It's fine for your personal email, but steer toward a more professional-sounding carrier like Gmail, AOL, or Outlook – even local internet carriers have email. Check those out. If you choose Hotmail, then use your name or some form of it and steer clear of the cutesy stuff.

It's important that you present yourself as professional. If you were in the corporate world, would you want your biggest client to think of you as Lickmylollipops? Of course not. You'd want to be recognized for who you are – professional, serious, and well-versed. Though your email address will probably not cause you to lose a contract, it does certainly make professionals wonder what sort of person they would be working with. Are they reliable, like-minded, and serious about their work? And this is only if the email address squeaks through their internet security. Many companies' internet security will stop questionable email addresses and/or remove them. Your work may never reach the editor's desk that you are sending it. Perception is important. Start your career with good perception.

Find a mix of your name for your email. The reason is simple. An editor will search their email for your name. If it's not there, you may lose out. In my early years of writing, I named my personal ministry – mountainbreezeministries@. The sheer length of that email address is terrible, but I realized after my first conference that those editors who took my work couldn't remember Cindy Sproles was really mountainbreezeministries. I'd shot myself in the foot before I'd gotten started. I simply didn't know, but I quickly learned that I needed my name there.

If you have a common name like Sue or Bob, you may have to tinker with different combinations, for instance, SueS or StattonS1981. At least, this is a version of your name that an editor can search. They can type in Sue, and all the Sue's come up. Then, they can scroll down and find your email by your business card.

As you start your writing career, these are business decisions – career decisions that will help you as you move forward. Get a professional email address, and you'll be glad you did.

Your assignment this week is easy. Look at your email address. If you do not have a professional email, consider making one using your name or some portion of it. Then begin to use this email address for all your writing. You'll not regret it.

 

Photo 1 – Image by Anna from Pixabay   Photo 2 – Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay  Photo 4 – Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay


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