Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Forget a Name, What's in an E-mail Address...

It is Marketing Wednesday and I present this nugget of wisdom unto you: Email addresses matter.

Which would you respect more on a business card:*
If you picked the first, you are wrong. I know that some will argue that this is a matter of opinion and there is no wrong answer, but those people are just as wrong as the people they are defending.

Look, you aren't going blow people away with an email address and you don't want to. It should be something that is easy to remember, but not something that is so strange that people take special note of it.

Want an example of what I am talking about?

I first saw this window sticker at a local Mcdonald's years ago. And I took note. In a bad way. I have 2 issues with the email address in the above photo:

1. mcdcmk? At first glance it looks like some blindfolded themselves and randomly typed 6 letters. I get that it is a Mcdonald's (mcd) owned by CMK Corporation, but it is not intuitive.

2. There is not necessarily anything wrong with a hotmail address (I tend to favor gmail or yahoo in the realm of free addresses), but if you are a corporation, I don't like you using a free account. When I first saw this, I specifically remember thinking to myself, "if you are going to go to the trouble of making these stickers, why not have your own domain?" This is especially in this day and age. It is so easy to buy a domain and use gmail to handle it. So easy.

Imagine if you were given a business card from a guy who worked at some big company - say, Bank of America - and on the business card it says "*". Tell me you aren't going to be a little suspicious. Or even if a friend recommends a local handyman and gives you his email address - "*" - are you going to be impressed with that?

In the end, having an email address is like the Utah Jazz playing the LA Clippers: you have to do it, and if you do it well, nobody cares; but if you do it poorly, people are going to ask questions.

* - If these email address are yours, sorry. It was purely a coincidence. I was hoping they would be unused.

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