When Suzanne set up her cruise planning service at home, she naturally wanted to email like a business pro, so she called on us for help.
1. Buy a domain name that is your business name or describes what you do (your domain name is the word or words behind the @ sign). Check our five tips for selecting names.
When Suzannes first choice for a domain name wasn't available, we searched for similar ones.
Projecting a professional image requires her to communicate via email as Suzanne@HerFavoriteDomainName.com. and not from her service provider's email address such as @comcast.net. Unless you can email customers and prospects from your business domain name, youll appear to be a hobbiest, a part-timer, or just unsophisticated in what is commonly expected capabilities.
That other address, YourEmailAddress@comcast.net (well get to why you dont want to discard it in a minute) is the one set up with the company that supplies internet access to Suzannes computer. If she elects to use it instead of her own domain, and later decides to change service providers from Comcast to AOL, for instance, her email address will change and customers will need to be reeducated. However, with her own hosted email service, Suzanne can change her internet service provider as often as necessary without having to alert customers or make email address changes to Suzanne@HerFavoriteDomainName.com.
2. Buy hosting services for your domain name. If you want to reserve a name for future use or to keep your competition from using it, you can buy a domain name without the expense of a hosting charge (although most companies offer email hosting at no extra cost). However, to email to and from a domain name requires that the name be hosted (some companies offer email service alone and allow you to upgrade your account to add a website later). Suzanne chose us for her hosting services and we got her set up immediately.
3. Set up your email address using your new domain name.
Besides her own name, Suzanne needed an address for her partner, Lynn, and a general address she wanted to call info. For Suzanne and Lynn, we set up true mailboxes but for info, we set up an alias or forwarding address and set it to send any mail addressed to info to Suzanne.
4. Set up your computer. Once your email address is set up with your hosting service, youre now ready to set up a corresponding identity in your computers email program. Well use Outlook Express for our example, but the steps for all programs will be similar and your hosting service can step you through.
1. Open Outlook Express
2. Under Tools in the pull-down menus at the top, select Accounts.
3. In the placard that appears, click on the Mail tab, then on the right side of the placard, click Add and select Mail. From here, instructions for most steps are understandable. Your hosting service will need to provide you with server name information.
Once you're set up to email like a pro, be sure to add your email address to business cards.