Good email structure is one of those details that is easily overlooked in the grand scheme of your business. It seems like such a small thing. That is, until someone leaves and you have to notify all your customers that their customer service requests now go to a new email address. Inevitably, someone misses your announcement and you end up with unhappy customers and lost revenue.
You can avoid this problem, and others like it, by putting a good email structure in place from the beginning. If you already have an established business, it’s better to make the switch now than to wait until you’re in the middle of a major staffing change.
Make the title the point of contact
Many businesses make the mistake of tying important functions to individual employees. For example: Sarah might be your bookkeeper so she gets all the invoicing and billing emails at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is fine and presents no problems, until Sarah quits or gets fired. Suddenly, on top of trying to find someone to fill her position and dealing with the internal turmoil of the transition, you also have to let everyone know that the point of contact for billing and invoicing questions has changed.
How much easier would it be if you had a email@example.com email address? You could make the transition from Sarah to Scott seamlessly. All you’d have to do is change the password on the email account. Your customers and vendors wouldn’t have to do anything.
Whenever possible make the title the point of contact, not the person. This saves you, and your customers and vendors, a lot of grief later on.
Titles that should have email addresses include:
- Bookkeeper/Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable
- Customer Service
- Human Resources
- Facilities Manager
Use a predictable format
Your employees may still need direct email addresses tied to their name. This type of email is useful for internal communications or when a client or vendor needs to contact someone specific. In this case, try to make the email addresses consistent and predictable. That way, clients and vendors don’t have to wonder “Was it Sarah@ or SSmith@ or something else entirely? I guess I’ll call and find out.”
While first names like Sarah@ sound casual and fun, they can cause headaches when you hire Sarah in marketing and you already have Sarah in accounting. You’re better off using a first name + last name structure or first initial + last name.
Consider a custom email domain
You can use firstname.lastname@example.org when you’re first starting out, but for a more professional look, you’ll want a custom email domain. Ron recommends G Suite by Google. It gives you professional email addresses at an affordable price. You’ll also get access to Google tools like Drive and Calendar that can help keep your business organized.
For help setting up or managing your businesses email structure, contact Technology Solutions today. Our business is keeping your business running.