Maintaining professionalism is really important when you’re starting a business. If people think you look sloppy or unprofessional, you lose credibility instantly. Businesses and individuals trust those who appear to have themselves organized, systematic, and seemingly successful.

Although @gmail.com might be largely exempt, when you use a free email service for your email address (for example, @yahoo.com or @hotmail.com), or even worse, an ISP provided email address, it sends the message that you haven’t reached a level of professionalism that allows you to be completely branded yet.

For this reason, you should consider using your own domain for your email. Additionally, you should learn to organize and optimize your email addresses to be most efficient for you.

How Many and What Email Addresses Should You Have?

There’s no set number of email addresses that your business needs to have. However, I always like to plan for growth. This means, I like to be able to have separate spaces for all of my email needs so that if my business were to expand over night (however likely or unlikely that is) I would be able to give someone access to email for one part of my business, without giving them free reign over my entire company’s email.

Here are the basic email addresses you might want to setup, and why:

  • myname@my-domain.com – This email address is self explanatory. You give this to personal and business contacts to network and communicate with you on a personal level. I recommend against giving this to clients specifically unless your business model requires that.
  • clientcare@my-domain.com or support@ – Client care is an email that your clients and users can email for general help and inquiries. Usually, this is the email address I set up for my contact us forms.
  • pr@my-domain.com – PR (or public relations) is the email address I use for marketing and publicity related emails. I would put this email on the “advertise here” and the “marketing information” page of a web site. Likewise, you can include this in your press kit once you create one.
  • feedback@my-domain.com – In a nutshell, this email address is used for complaints. People will also send positive feedback here, but you might put this at the very bottom of your site under the footer. “For feedback and comments, please email feedback@my-domain.com.

sales@ might be another one to add.

Managing All of These Email Addresses

So, in case the thought of multiple email addresses is making your head spin, don’t worry. You can streamline these emails into one location so that you’re not checking them all. You can also configure your mail client to have a folder for each of them.

If you want all of these emails in one central inbox, I would recommend using filters or forwarders. It’s important that all of the email addresses exist, so that you can create several “reply-from” email addresses that allow you to reply from wherever the email was sent to.

However, you can have all of the emails forwarded to one location (like yourname@my-domain.com) and sent to a folder (using filters) so that you know where it came from. Likewise, if you prefer not to setup the filters, you can simply read the headers of the email to see where the message came from.