A Blast From The Past
Remember Hotmail or, better yet, Angelfire? Remember how, when you first signed up for an email address many moons ago, you thought that being ~kooky~ was the key to standing out online?
Perhaps that was true back then, when you required dial-up to access the Internet. But, much like those wayward screams from your modem when you tried to connect to America Online, having a throwaway email address has gone the way of the dodo.
It's time to, well, get with the times. To look professional, your firstname.lastname@example.org Avril Lavigne tribute email address just doesn't cut it any more.
Who Are You? Who, Who? Who, Who?
You've probably seen the countless think pieces, both serious and not-so-serious, that tell you what your email address says about you (our favourite is from The Oatmeal). Despite how humorously it may be presented, there is a lot of truth in these articles. So it's time for us to drop a truthiness bomb.
In a totally scientific poll on our Twitter account, we asked our followers if they thought having a custom personal email address made them appear more credible in the eyes of others. Prepare yourself for the absolutely SHOCKING results!
You can see from this quick poll that simply using a custom email address will immediately make your business more credible. Or you more credible. Either way, only 5% of trolls, I mean, people, think it's not important.
Here’s The 411
MailChimp recently did some digging into the age ranges of their subscribers based on their email addresses. Here is what they found:
This shows a far-too-large number of Millennials using Hotmail (and, to a lesser extent, Gmail and Yahoo) as their primary email address. This means that they are also probably putting Hotmail email addresses on their resumes.
They. Are. WHAT?!
If this is you, we're going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume that you are at least using a Hotmail address that consists solely of your name - or a very close variation of it. If you're using the aforementioned Avril Lavigne tribute Hotmail address, you're doing yourself an incredible disservice.
Don't know where to start? Don't fret. That's why you're reading this guide. We're here to help guide you to email glory.
To Domain Or Not To Domain
Frankly, not having a custom personal email address in this day and age is going to leave you in the dust. With so many businesses depending on new technology and searching for candidates who know their way around all the latest and greatest IT advancements, simply having an email address that is based on your name will put you leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. You can have email@example.com (which, let's be honest, was probably snapped up long ago) or you can have firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and pretty much anything else you can think of. Which one looks more tech-savvy and professional? (Read 8 more reasons why you should secure your personal domain on the Rebel blog).
You may be asking, "But won't I also need to have the corresponding website in order to use that email address? And what am I supposed to put on it?"
A domain can be used as an email address or a website. You can have a custom email address and do nothing with your domain. If you choose to leave it unresolved, you can - no fuss, no muss.
When we asked our Twitter followers if having a personal email address made them look more professional, they also noted that they would expect someone to use the domain they get with their email address. However, there's no need to rewrite the rule book here - you can simply use it as another place to host your resume or portfolio.
No longer will you be beholden to third-party sites having access to your personal information - now you will hold all of the cards.
Going one step further, what about when you decide to start your own business? For brick and mortar businesses, it is a no-brainer to have your own website and custom email address. But for those virtual businesses/side hustles, such as a freelance designer or a roofing contractor, it might not seem as obvious to secure these things.
The truth is, if you want your business to look as professional as you are, regardless of whether you have a store front or not, you need to have a custom email address. Have you ever been handed a beautiful business card only to see a Gmail address printed on it? It immediately takes away part of the trust you have built. Even worse, your emails to your customers are more likely to end up in the spam folder instead of in their inbox where they belong.
And when you email other established businesses from a free account? Well, many of them have blockers in place to send emails from free accounts straight into the trash to help reduce spam and viruses.
Pugs And Caffeine (This Title Will Make Sense In A Minute)
Perhaps you have come up with the coolest business name ever. Something like, say, Pugs-R-Us. Why wouldn't you lock that epic name down to ensure no one else can grab it out from under you? Just registering the email address only costs $0.99 a month. You spend more on that per day for your coffee fix. While caffeine is amazing, what's even more amazing is controlling your own identity online. And for just $0.99? That is the easiest decision in the world to make. So much easier than what to order at Starbucks.
Brand Awareness – Even When That Brand Is You
When you send out a resume or put your portfolio online, you are essentially marketing yourself. When you are your brand, you need to put your best foot forward. That starts with the most basic item you can have - a personal email address. We've already talked about what your email says about you, so why wouldn't you make the investment and give yourself the gift of a custom personal email address?
The job market seems to become more and more competitive each day, and branding yourself is one of the smartest ways to stand out from the pack. How awesome would your personal custom email address look on your resume, your LinkedIn page, your Twitter profile? You'll give yourself instant credibility before employers even open up your cover letter or CV.
Setting up a custom personal email address is one of the easiest things you'll do all day (certainly easier than getting out of bed at 6 AM, trust us). Here's why Rebel email is the best:
- If you already have an email account and the idea of managing another is not appealing, you can forward all of the emails coming in to your custom address directly to it.
- You can connect your custom email to any app. This includes Macmail, Outlook, Exchange and many more. We even have some pretty sweet video tutorials that take you through the process in less than 60 seconds.
- Your Rebel email comes with 3GB of disk space, so you can keep an inbox.
- You can get it set up in just a few clicks. Seriously.
Some Food For Thought
Here's a few fun facts for you:
- 5% of domain searches per month are purely names.
While 5% might not seem like a big number, think of how many people and businesses are searching for domains every single day. The most recent statistics suggest that people perform 2.6 domain searches per session. This tells us that the first name people want comes back as being unavailable. So what do they do? They try again, this time with a different combination of their name (personal or business). They are out there trying to score the perfect domain name. If you're not doing the same, especially when it comes to your own name, you're being left out.
- Over 3 million people include "social media" on their LinkedIn profiles.
Why send people directly to your Twitter or Facebook account where most people are forced to put disclaimers like, "These Tweets do not reflect the views of my employer" and/or "Retweets do not equal endorsements"? Just stay away from that entire can of worms. Instead, you can use your custom personal email address and domain name to help people find out more about you, no hiding of tweets required.
And now for the (possibly) scary stats, depending on how common your name is. According to a 2012 study by blogging.com on custom domain names:
- 100% of the top 10,000 family names are already taken
- 100% of the top 1,200 male names are already taken
- 100% of the top 2,800 female names are taken
- 100% of two character and three character domains are already taken
Essentially, if your name is Jane Smith, someone has probably already beat you to registering your personal email address and domain name. But don't let these stats discourage you. Consider using your full name (middle name or initial included) to score that perfect email address. Better yet, use one of the new domain extensions, like .FAMILY, .DESIGN or .GURU, which can also function as an email address. email@example.com sounds pretty awesome to us. Plus, you might get the SEO benefits that come with using an exact match "not-com" domain (read more about how this works from our CEO Rob Villeneuve).
Besides, you don't want that other Jane Smith being the one representing you on Google searches, do you?
In Conclusion, This Is A Conclusion Section
We were taught in school that having a conclusion section in your essay where you review what you've discussed is the key to getting an A. But if you've made it to the end of this guide (and why wouldn't you have? This guide is fun), you already know the importance of owning and using your personal custom email address. Aside from helping you stand out, it makes you look savvy and in-the-know. Who doesn't want that?
Get started right here, you email expert, you.