Most of the emails I get these days from other freelancers come from good email addresses. There’s not a lot of firstname.lastname@example.org sorts of addresses flooding my inbox lately. My spam folder is, of course, another story.
I’m glad to see that more and more freelancers are using some sort of email address that involves their name. I’ve gotten a few that use some variation on the sender’s profession as well — it doesn’t strike me as quite as useful as an identifier for an editor in a hurry, but it’s definitely an option. As long as it isn’t a cutesy email address, I’m happy.
There is a way to bump up the professionalism of an email address that I think is worth considering. If you have a website of your own set up, why don’t you have email@example.com? I have exactly that for this site.
I’ll let you in on a little secret, too: it’s amazingly easy to set up. You don’t even have to stop using your current email address. Talk to whoever’s hosting your website. In most cases, you get at least one email address automatically. Some companies give you closer to 100. Just ask them to set up the email address you want, set to forward to your existing address. You shouldn’t have another mailbox to check or anything.
If you want to send email under your new address, you’ll need to configure your existing account to do so. In Gmail, it’s just a matter of clicking ‘Settings,’ and then the ‘Accounts’ tab. Just follow the directions to add an email address you own.
Your email address may not seem like a big deal, but it’s the only way many people know you. It’s worth a few minutes to make sure that your email address is as professional as you can make it — at least in my mind.