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What Does Your Email Address Say About You?

December 1st, 2010

I see a lot of real estate photographer’s e-mail addresses and I’m continually amazed by how many either in business or in the process of starting their own business don’t use e-mail addresses in their own domain. This is a marketing oversight!

First of all, your e-mail address gets seen by a lot of people. Why not take advantage of this fact to promote your website and business? If your e-mail address is in your own domain, people will naturally look at your site.

Secondly, and probably a bigger reason to have an e-mail address in your own personal domain, is that in the tech world (real estate photography is in the tech world) it makes a huge statement about you personally whether you like it or not.  For example, an e-mail address at  aol.com says, “Hi. I’m from 1996. What is this internet you speak of?” E-mail in other popular free e-mail domains like @yahoo.com, @hotmail.com and @gmail.com make similar statements. Here is a version of the cartoon that was going around earlier this year on this subject. Like your clothing, your hair style, and your manner of speaking, your email address is part of your personal and business image.

My main point here is, it’s easy and inexpensive to have you e-mail address in your own domain where your website is, so take the time to get your e-mail address setup in your own domain. Here are the typical objections:

  1. People shouldn’t care what my e-mail address is, they should just pay attention to my photos and the work I do. The fact is, they will pay attention to this whether you like it or not. This is just one of the many little branding details you need to take care of if you are in business for yourself.
  2. I like the convenience of a web based e-mail reader like hotmail, yahoo and gmail. No problem, at least with yahoo and gmail you can still read your POP3 email server with yahoo mail or gmail web interface. This allows you to have your e-mail in your own domain and read and send e-mail from gmail or yahoo.
  3. It’s a huge hassle to change e-mail addresses. This is probably the biggest reason people don’t change e-mail addresses. But e-mail addresses are extremely important in branding an marketing yourself. It really is worth the hassle to change your e-mail to your own personal domain.

I think the subject of e-mail, along with getting your SPAM filtering under control, is right up there in importance with having a website in the scheme of starting running your real estate photography business. I have a whole chapter in my Business of Real Estate Photography eBook on this subject and I’m in the process of expanding it.

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8 Responses to “What Does Your Email Address Say About You?”

  • Another very important reason to no utilize the domain of your ISP… they change!

    In our area, several years ago, there was a large ISP called Roadrunner. One day, all Roadrunner customers were told the company was sold to another very large national company (forgot the name) and they had 6 months to change their email addresses! That meant that all of their friends and customers needed to be notified that their Roadrunner email was now XXXXX.com! What a nightmare, and of course anyone you missed or anyone who doesn’t bother to change their address book will no longer be able to easily find you.

    Fast forward 1 year later…. Comcast bought this company! And customers had 6 months to change their email a THIRD time in a year to a Comcast email – going through the same procedure, no doubt losing even more contacts in the process.

    So not only is it far more professional, it’s also hugely beneficial in the long term. As long as you pay your $8 a year or whatever for your domain, that email address (in the eyes of your clients) will remain the same, regardless of whether you change ISPs or move to another location across the country! It’s the same reason it’s smart to get a Google Voice phone number…. one number for life. No matter where your business takes you, people will always be able to find you! And for free, it can’t hurt!

  • I think an email address is a big deal.

    Yeah, it may not be an issue once they finally stumble to your photographs on your website, but I just can’t get passed the email address. It doesn’t look professional or that your are serious about your craft. There must be continuity.

  • Anyone claiming they like web based email should do their homework and get a Gmail business account, it’s free and is by far the best option out there as it let’s you use your personal domain and has countless other options such as sync with iPhone, blackberry and android.

  • Couldn’t agree more.

    Gmail works geat for us. In addition to e-mail, we use Google Docs to share some of our files. Can access them from any machine with internet connectivity.

    And the price is hard to beat—FREE!

  • You do NOT have to be limited to one email address. One for business, one for personal use, another for personal business use and so on. Think you get the idea. IMO using gmail is fine, but one should have another on a normal POP3 server that is your own domain. Things change with time. Google might start charging for the use or fail to some clever hacker, who knows? Google has been good to me and I use many of their services. That doesn’t mean I don’t have backup plans.

    As Chris points out Google will support your business domain. Free? There is the advertising angle, but no out of pocket….

  • I have my own domain but forward everything on to my gmail – all the good stuff of an exchange server but for free!

  • I agree. Gmail is our choice and works great. Many options, like syncing calendars and Google Docs.

  • Another consideration, if you have developed a website and have “yourname@website.com” there is an easy way to avoid forwarding an co-mingling with others. With a Blackberry, and other smart phones, it is possible to program in multiple email addresses (7 in the case of Blackberry.) While my Gmail account is swamped as the primary email, the Blackberry downloads from each site so I know when there is a specific request at one of the other sites without having to launch Outlook or logon to webmail. IMAP leaves on server so still there if wanting to reply with something more sophisticated than Blackberry – but I can give a quick reply.

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