Appearance is everything – what does your email address say about your graphics and sign shop?

What’s your email address?

I’ve been updating Stanley’s email lists as part of a general upgrade of their online presence and noticed that many email addresses fall short of advice I received years ago when business went online.

The advice assumed that you had a web site in your business’s name — a fundamental requirement for a print shop if you are to be taken seriously in today’s market place. So, assuming you have a web site, the advice was to take the next step in the construction of a serious business image by having your email address reflect your web site address.  This might sound a bit frivolous but unfortunately it’s how things work.

I’m not a fan of small businesses portraying themselves as big businesses — there’s no disgrace to being a small business (in fact, there are many advantages) but in any case, why would you risk the embarrassment of being exposed as phoney? However, there is a certain minimal standard of business-like behaviour required to give potential customers and others confidence in your shop. So back to your email address and what it does to convey a serious business-like impression . . .

You decide which of these email addresses are more likely to inspire confidence and which make the business look a bit rinky-dink:

A1 Signs and Shirts    joe@hotmail.com

A1 Signs and Shirts    joe.smith@a1signsandshirts.com

Signs 4U                      mary@gmail.com

Signs 4U                      mary.jones@signs4u.com

Everyone knows Hotmail and Gmail email addresses are free, and that’s fine for personal purposes, but not for your business. You don’t want people to wonder how established and serious your business is if it apparently can’t afford a few bucks for a business-like image. This includes something seen many times a day by many people — your email address.

Footnote: The business names and email addresses used above are fictional. If they resemble real-life names and addresses, it is purely coincidental.