Is Your Email Address Hurting Your Business?

We all use e-mail every day. And while social media gets most of the buzz, it’s really e-mail that gets the work done, day in and day out.

All of which means that if you own and operate a small business, you need to be sure that you’re taking full advantage of this wonderful tool. Step one is paying attention to how you come across when you send emails to other people.

Here are two big mistakes that I see in my work with solo professionals and small business clients:

1. A generic or hard to understand “from” line. Most of us pay a lot of attention to the “subject” line of our emails. It’s the headline, and the thing that entices people to open our emails in the first place.

But the “from” line is even more important. Why? Because that tells the recipient who is sending the e-mail in the first place. If it’s a friend, relative or company I do business with, I’m very likely to open it (regardless of the subject line). If I don’t recognize the sender, I’m very likely to assume it’s spam and click delete.

What’s the solution? Try something like this: First and Last Name | Company.  For example, I use Marci Reich | Load Lightener Virtual Assistance. Both of these pieces of information will help the recipient realize who you are. (You’ll find the vertical separator line that I use – “|” – above the backslash, near the top right of your keyboard.)

2. Not using a custom domain for email. You may not know this, but if you own a domain (e.g.,, you have the ability to create e-mail addresses ([email protected]) that use that domain name (usually at no additional cost).

Unfortunately, I frequently see emails from small businesses and solo professionals who use Gmail, Verizon, Comcast, Yahoo! and other providers to act as their domain. An example is [email protected].

When you create an email address that uses your custom domain, you are constantly advertising your company and where it can be found on the web, as well as presenting yourself as a legitimate business.

Like any tool, e-mail is only as good as the way in which it’s used. Polish up your approach and start getting the full benefit from this important aspect of your business!