Domain-Based Email vs. Generic Email for Business: Which Should You Choose?
When it comes to representing your brand, every detail matters. How you communicate with your clients can either build or break trust, and choosing a domain-based email address vs. a generic one plays an important role here.
Imagine you are browsing a business website that offers exactly what you need. Intrigued to learn more, you look for contact information only to stumble upon an email address that reads email@example.com. How do you react? Do you feel confident about using the services behind such an email address? Probably not, and that is why using a generic email for business is not a good idea.
The choice of email address speaks volumes about the professional identity and credibility of a business. Naturally, generic email addresses often cause people to feel uncertain or skeptical about doing business with an unfamiliar company. Fortunately, it doesn’t take that much effort to set up a professional business email and establish a positive first impression that builds trust with potential customers.
Now that you have an idea of how a simple email address can impact your business’s professional image, let’s dive into the details. What are the key differences between domain-based and generic email inbox addresses? What are the formats you can use when creating business email addresses? Let’s find out.
5 reasons you need a business email address
In the business world, first impressions matter. Every touch point between you and potential clients, partners or returning customers is an opportunity to portray your business as credible, professional and trustworthy. This is the easiest way to build business contacts.
Creating personal email addresses with popular providers may seem quick and convenient, but having dedicated business email addresses for customer or client interactions is in your best interest. Here are five most important reasons why this matters.
Reason #1: Credibility
Customers are used to receiving business emails that are sent from a dedicated email address. The email address format behind such business emails normally includes the domain name of the company sending the emails.
Using a business email address to communicate creates the perception of a legitimate and professional business. Naturally, generic email accounts raise doubts about your sender’s authenticity. Would you trust a company that sent you an email from firstname.lastname@example.org?
Reason #2: Enhanced brand identity
Your email address is an extension of your brand. When you use a custom email address, you introduce yourself to the recipient and reinforce your brand identity whenever you send an email. It’s a subtle but effective way to promote your business and make it more memorable in the minds of your recipients. Remember that this extends to the handles of business email addresses too!
Reason #3: Trust-building
People are more likely to engage with and share sensitive information with a business that communicates through a dedicated branded email account. It assures them that their interactions are secure and reliable. To put it simply, scammers do not always bother to pay for dedicated inboxes to scam people, but they take full advantage of generic inboxes to fool unsuspecting victims.
Reason #4: Greater control and security
When you have a business email address, you have greater control over your email infrastructure and security. You can implement protective measures to safeguard sensitive information and reduce the risk of data breaches. In essence, by using professional email addresses, you create a safer communication channel for both yourself and your clients.
Reason #5: Streamlined communication
With customized email addresses for different departments, like the technical support or customer service team, you can efficiently manage inquiries and ensure that messages reach the right person within your organization. This structured approach can improve the customer experience and internal communication.
Professional email address vs. generic email address
Let’s start by looking at the structure of a professional email format and a generic email format.
A professional email address uses a domain-based email address format. The domain name is expressed after the @ symbol. For example, email@example.com.
Generic email addresses are supported by popular free email service providers like Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook or Zoho Mail. The domain part within generic addresses represents the domain names of email providers after the @ symbol. Therefore, the username before the @ symbol is often used as a business identifier. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Such email addresses lack the personalized touch that a professional email address with your domain name can provide. While using generic email addresses for personal communication is perfectly fine, using them for business purposes can work against you.
A generic email address can undermine your business’s credibility. It may give the impression that you are not invested in your brand’s identity or that your operation is not fully established.
Let’s take a closer look at examples of email addresses that are not fit for business purposes.
Examples of generic/unprofessional email addresses
- Personal nicknames: Such addresses as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org do not offer a clear identity of the sender, which automatically makes recipients suspicious.
- Random numbers and characters: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org might work for personal email communication, but they do absolutely nothing for building a credible brand.
- Words unrelated to the business: If you are trying to promote consultancy services or an ecommerce startup selling candles, do not use email addresses that have nothing in common with your business. For example, 90sKid@emailprovider.com, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Scammy phrases: It’s easy to sound like a scammer even when you are running an honest business, so stay away from using email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and similar phrasing.
- Misspellings and abbreviations: Nothing highlights unprofessionalism as quickly as misspellings, slang and weird abbreviations, including email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you received emails from similar addresses before? If you avoid such emails yourself, why would you use one to represent your business? Always remember that your business email accounts should build credibility and brand recognition while maintaining a high level of professionalism.
In short, your goal is to make sure your email address clearly conveys to your audience that you are a serious, reliable and trustworthy entity.
How to create a professional email address
So, now you know how generic email addresses can work against your business, and you must be eager to set up a custom email address that incorporates your domain name. Let’s discuss the essential rules to follow when crafting professional email addresses.
- Make it memorable: A professional email address should be easy to remember. It should include your business name or your name if you’re a freelancer or sole proprietor. Avoid complex combinations of numbers, characters or obscure terms.
- Identify yourself: For individuals who directly communicate with clients, including sales representatives or project managers, identifying oneself in the email address helps establish an instant connection with the intended recipient. Consider using your first name, last name or both, or even your job title along with your business domain. This clarifies who the email is coming from and adds a human touch to your correspondence.
- Keep it professional: It goes without saying you should steer clear of using email addresses your audience could interpret as offensive, controversial or unbecoming of a business setting.
- Match your domain: One of the fundamental principles of a professional email address is that it should be closely tied to your business’s domain name. For instance, if your website is www.companydomain.com, your email address should follow suit (e.g., email@example.com).
- Avoid abbreviations and slang: Remember that abbreviations or slang are mostly used in informal communication or settings. So, do not make your business email address seem unprofessional. Clarity is essential in business communication, so opt for straightforward, easily understandable terms when creating company email addresses.
5 business email address types and business email address examples
Here are five common formats you can use for your business email address. If you have a hard time deciding what your address should be, these business email address examples and templates will take the pressure off your head.
First name only
Email addresses with a first-name-only format are simple and easy to remember. Plus, it adds a touch of familiarity to business communications. If you want to establish a personal connection with your recipients, business emails that include your first name can prove effective. Of course, this only works if no two employees within the company share a name.
Last name only
Creating a business email with a last name is ideal in situations that may warrant appearing unique in a recipient’s inbox, such as when you have a common first name or when another team member shares the same first name. This approach can make you appear unique in the recipient’s inbox.
First name and last name
Using first and last names in a business email offers a professional yet personable image. You can use this approach to create distinctive email addresses for employees or team members.
Initials and name combination
When you have a long name, using your initials and name combinations can create a compact and recognizable email address.
Example: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Email address for specific purposes
While personalized email addresses are often recommended, you may find that you need more generic business email addresses as well to serve different functions.
Public or external group email accounts like firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com allow customers direct access to the appropriate departments for inquiries or complaints. In this case, the shared inbox is accessible to multiple people, which removes the need for one specific person to maintain that inbox. So, the email format is more generic, but it works.
Let’s say, you are accepting multiple job applications. In this case, you might benefit from a dedicated firstname.lastname@example.org inbox. Or if you want to streamline and organize the internal processes of internal group email addresses, you may have a need for email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org inboxes.
How to get professional business email addresses for your WAcademy website
Clearly, a business email address can enhance your online reputation and credibility. At WAcademy, we understand that portraying a professional brand image is pivotal for your success. Your website is often the first point of contact with potential clients, and having a business email address that matches your custom domain name not only exudes professionalism but also instills trust.
With our commitment to helping small businesses thrive online, we’ve partnered with Getspace, a terrific hosting provider that offers a cost-conscious hosting package. It includes WordPress hosting, SSL certification, data backup and, of course, professional email inboxes. With Getspace, WAcademy clients can create up to 5 professional email inboxes.
Please note that hosting and domain name registration fees are outside the WAcademy free web design services. Once you handle hosting and domain name registration, our project managers and interns can support you with a professional, mobile-friendly, custom-made business or ecommerce website built for free in just 20-30 business days.
If you are intrigued by WAcademy’s free website design services for small businesses, click the button below to discover how we can help you launch a professional and credible site that helps you reach your business goals!
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