All about Email
If you are in business then you will certainly need to use email. In the second of our beginners guides we look at how to get an email address, what your email address says about your business and the basics of what you need to do to start sending and receiving emails.
Over 100 billion emails are sent and received each day … that’s equivalent to 14 emails per day for every single person on the planet! Email is the predominant form of communication in business and there is no reason to see why that will change … with estimates suggesting this number could be closer to 150 billion by the end of 2017.
So you probably need an email address! In fact you probably already have one … be it your email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. These are generally classed as personal email addresses but if you are in business you probably want something a bit better.
Getting an email address
To get an email address along the lines of email@example.com then first off you will need to register a domain name. Take a look at the first in our beginners guides All about Domain Names to find out how to do this.
- If you have registered your domain name then the company you did this through will more than likely also offer a ‘Domain Name plus Email’ package. This will allow you to register your domain name and also set up a pretty much infinite number of email addresses – sometimes called mailboxes.
- If you already have a domain name (or if you already have a website) then the same company should be able to help.
- If you have a website and are still using something like firstname.lastname@example.org then shame on you … but more on that later.
What should my email address be?
Assuming you have a domain name then your email address should be email@example.com. But what should the something be? And should you have more than one something? If you are a sole-trader then firstname.lastname@example.org is probably the best idea. If you employ a few people who need to use email on behalf of the company then it will be worth setting one up for each of them as well.
When I first set up Sour Mash I created info@, sales@, accounts@ etc etc etc. which was a pretty pointless exercise in vanity and just added to the pain of setting up and maintaining them. Now we just use hello@ for general enquiries and name@ for personal business mailboxes.
What’s wrong with still using my personal email address?
Where to start. At Sour Mash we don’t do a massive amount of marketing and generally rely on word of mouth and our website to generate business. However we do understand how important first impressions are and along with a business card and a website your email address can be a very important part of creating the right one.
A little bit of me dies every time I see someone who has spent a fortune vinyl wrapping their van or shelled out for some great looking business cards only to see ‘Email us at email@example.com’. Getting a business email address costs peanuts but is a key part in building your brand.
When an email is sent from firstname.lastname@example.org it implies that you’re already established, professional and take your business seriously. If you send them from email@example.com it implies that you can’t be bothered to switch from the personal email you have used for years or to spend a few quid and an hour or so of your time getting it sorted out.
There is no reason why you should stop using firstname.lastname@example.org … it is a fairly simple exercise to forward emails from such an account to your new email@example.com if you are afraid that people will no longer be able to get in touch using your previous email address.
Setting your email address up
So you have decided on your email address but now you need to set it up so you can send and receive them. There are basically two parts to this.
1. Create the Mailbox.
The first part is setting the mailbox up on the server where your domain name is located. This is basically the yourname part of the email address and is normally done through something called a ‘Control Panel’ which is used to access and maintain the settings of your email / website on the server where the domain name is located. Email and Hosting Companies all differ in how they allow you to access and make changes to the relevant information but when you purchased the domain name or email package they probably sent you log in credentials (via email!). If you have chosen well the company may even set the mailboxes up for you.
2. Set up an email client
The second part involves connecting to this mailbox from your computer, tablet or phone so that you can send and receive emails. To do this you will need to use an email client such as Outlook, Mail or Windows Live. A decent email / hosting company should have a resource centre which will include articles about how to set up the more popular email clients.
The steps required to create a mailbox or setting up an email client differ so much across companies / clients that it is impossible to provide a worthwhile overview of the steps involved.
At Sour Mash we offer domain registration and email packages to get you off the ground and onto the internet. If you have already purchased these we can help you set up the mailboxes and email client. For more information please get in touch to find our how we can help.