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What does your e-mail address tell the world about your business? Let’s examine the two elements of an e-mail address; the domain name and the user name.

I was recently working with a list of business leads, and I noticed than many of the primary business contacts were using e-mail addresses with the @aol.com, @hotmail.com, @gmail.com, @yahoo.com domains. With this information I was able capture a little insight into this contact and their business.

  1. For the @aol.com accounts, the contact is obviously an early adapter to the internet. It has been over 10 years since I received floppy disks, then CDs from AOL in the mail and in every computer publication I purchased. Most of those 30 day free trials have likely expired.
  2. There may be some concerns regarding resisting to change and continued improvement.
  3. The business either does not own a domain, or does not use it to its full potential.
  4. The contact and/or company does not understand the value of branding.

The user name also reveals valuable information. Before email was used as a valid method of communication, users of online services had a screen name to identify themselves. These screen names could be actual given names, or they could be nicknames. Many of these screen names were very creative with the purpose of attracting more people into a chat room. When the online service integrated with the internet, the screen names became the user name of the email address.

For many people, this was their first and only email address. They used the address for both personal and business. When they needed to order business cards or letterhead, they included this new email address. I can remember designing and printing business cards for a legal secretary with an email address using the “curvygirl” screen name.

What does your email address tell me about you?

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