People (friends, family and clients alike) complain that they have many email addresses attached to my name and so they ask me which one to use. I get tired of saying “it doesn’t matter, it all goes to the same place” but I recognize the potential negative impact to business branding. I wonder why other people don’t seem to have this problem.
I personally prefer the address “firstname.lastname@example.org” becasuce the “onlineadviser” part reflects my business trademark and the “live” reflects that I am actually accessible in real time, something that I think differentiated me from many others in the field. This is the address listed on all of my business and personal communications. Yet one adviser recently remarked that this address seems unprofessional. Hmmm.
We know the conventional wisdom is that email from a business domain is considered more professional than a public domain. Yet CPAs seem to have bucked that trend. Almost half of the accountants I know still use an AOL domain or something similar. A few senior but powerful CPAs I work with are still learning how to use that new AOL tool. My business email is actually handled by Google servicers through the domain wealthmanagement.us.com. I don’t like to use that address because of its length and because I think that the term “wealthmanagement” sounds stuffy to some people.
In addition, whenever I do email work for a client I use their domain and not my own. This seems to be an appropriate and solid professional practice yet it confuses some people. I could use an alias but that would be unprofessional and, in some cases, possibly even illegal. They get an email from “tnovak@XYZfoundation.org” and want to add that to my personal profile on their contact list. Then when the client’s domain forwards incoming mail to my business server, it apparently always adds its own mark to the “from” field when I reply. The whole issue remains confusing.
I welcome any suggestions! Email is so “old school” that we should have all of the details worked out by now but apparently I do not.