The Importance of Email: Does It Even Matter?

    By Joel Windels | Small Business

    The Importance of Email: Does It Even Matter? image emailinboxThe Importance of Email: Does It Even Matter?

    Emails are probably the grandparent of internet technologies, and not necessarily in a good way. My father tells me that in days of yore, emails were for mucking about between co-workers, while the real work got done via printed memos.

    In the workplace of my generation, Skype, Facebook, mobile apps and other IM services help colleagues share thoughts that aren’t ‘official’ enough to warrant an email. A bit of chatter or an interesting link, perhaps.

    The Importance of Email: Does It Even Matter? image kanyeThe Importance of Email: Does It Even Matter?

    This means that the email is now the formal line of communication. It’s something that is (almost) always to do with work and is rude to not respond to. They demand attention, and it’s why entire companies are built on trying to get you to read and act upon such emails.

    Anyway, you can choose your Twitter handle, your Facebook name and your other social profiles and avatars, but can you choose your email?

    Yes, of course you can. But you might not be able to choose your work one, as many companies follow a particular protocol.

    If you have your own business or startup, or are responsible for deciding the email format for staff, here are some things to consider.

    Contact your company

    An awful lot of enquiries will have to be focused on one central contact address. You can have support, sales or press contacts, but there is a need to include a generic one too.

    This is your chance to dictate what type of personality or positioning your brand has. Are you a, or more of an

    The Importance of Email: Does It Even Matter? image emailspredfastThe Importance of Email: Does It Even Matter?

    Maybe you have a bit more of a friendly touch – perhaps a or even a Corporate or financial brands may prefer more serious ones, like

    Whatever the case, it’s a good idea to think about how you want individuals and organisations to imagine the ‘door’ of your brand, because that’s what this address represents.

    Contact your departments

    This was briefly mentioned already, but once businesses get to a certain size, it becomes much more efficient to have different addresses for different purposes of contact.

    Do you want your customer service team to be thought of as ‘tech help’ ( or ‘support’ ( Consider how using could be used as a super-urgent channel, or alternatively could set you up to receive more negative messages.

    The Importance of Email: Does It Even Matter? image emailpressThe Importance of Email: Does It Even Matter?

    Similarly with press enquiries, would you prefer to be seen as a to include a broader scope than or How would represent you?

    This trend remains important when considering other departments, such as sales or account management too.

    Contact your staff

    This can be a real minefield. There are entire sites and blogs devoted to figuring out how to contact specific employees of a business via email, such is the desire to send emails to individuals rather than via other channels.

    Accordingly, deciding how to assign staff members addresses is very important.

    It can be a pleasant and simple touch to opt with the simple, a tactic I was surprised and happy to discover that some employees of global tech giant Twitter use, despite its size.

    However, when trying to make the company seem as big as possible, to analysts, the media investors and other institutions, this can make it look like your business is just a few guys in a shed in Romania.

    To combat this, companies can opt for the more formal, which also helps with potential clashes between employees with the same name.

    The Importance of Email: Does It Even Matter? image emailsmoreThe Importance of Email: Does It Even Matter?

    One key issue with this though, is that the Constantine Barrow-Papadopolouses of this world will really struggle when sharing their emails, especially over the phone.

    Is there a compromise?

    Yes, there is. Effective systems include,, and other shortened name syntaxes.

    Another is to start implementing a number dynamic, either random or based on some other metric, such as or similar – which is a huge benefit if you’re interested in masking your staff addresses from potential snoops online.

    Whichever system you do choose to adopt, it’s important that there is some logic to it. It can be super frustrating for staff or regular contacts to have a confusing web of systems to use, and can potentially reflect poorly upon the company externally if you don’t get it right.

    Which type do you prefer? And do you even care? If so, you can contact me on the below address:

    The Importance of Email: Does It Even Matter? image emailaddressThe Importance of Email: Does It Even Matter?

    More Business articles from Business 2 Community:

    Subscribe to our mailing list
    * indicates required
    Small Business Services