Monday, February 06, 2006

Think Before Choosing an Email Address

I will refrain from giving real examples to protect the offenders but I must address the subject of email addresses.

In the last few weeks, we have received quite a few emails in reference to our March seminar From seeing some of these emails, I feel compelled to issue this warning -- please think hard and long when composing the email address at which you will receive business communication from prospects, clients, etc. This is the email address you put on all of your materials, including your business card and website (and yes, in 2006, as a business person you must have and make available a working email address).

I have seen all kinds of email addresses, from HotBabe@talkdirty.xxx to mailto:HiredGun@abc.xxx and even as bad as PooPoo@buttdr.xxx (these are made-up, but I assure you, the real ones are just as bad).

Avoid referring to your hobbies, being silly or using an email address that is obviously shared with your spouse, roommate, etc. This may seem overly nit-picky to some, but,believe me, it matters. When an attorney is deciding on an expert to contact or is choosing among several experts for a specific case, your email address could be a turn-off. If your email address indicates your penchant for the Steelers and large quantities of ale, does that provide the credibility you want him or her to see? Everything 'legal' has a confidential component; if you share an email address with your spouse it, one, indicates a lack of sophistication that you don't understand the nature of this kind of work and, two, it is a risk for an unknown entity to know anything about the case.

Email addresses are easy to obtain through your regular Internet service provider or the many free email services such as Hotmail and Yahoo. If you feel you must have an email address declaring your allegiance to competitive frog racing, get a separate email address to use for business purposes only.

As you know by now, one must tread carefully through the legal labyrinth -- everything you say, do or write can and will be cussed and discussed by opposing counsel. Your email address can signal a lack of professionalism, injure your credibility or just make you look silly.

So, please, create a dedicated email address to use for your expert consultant practice and/or other business and choose your identification with care to project the image that will prompt your prospects to call.

1 comment:

Cindy Pinsonnault said...

This is very good advice. Confusing and difficult to spell addresses can also be problematic. More and more people meet us first in cyberspace and one's email address helps establish that first impression. It seems like a trivial thing but you are so right -- it is very important.

Thanks for a great article.