Why Your Email Is Holding You Back.

I spent the better part of this morning entering a bevy of business cards into my database so every person I meet can receive an eBlast and other info from the mind of Rich Gee. Candidly, it's not fun. In fact it sucks. But I break it up into manageable piles and quickly do it. I should purchase a business card scanner — but the idea of shelling out $250-$300 for a single purpose scanner makes my blood boil. Until they hit $99 (a reasonable price), I will continue to enter them myself. Sorry - it's just me.

Here's my dilemma — most business cards stink, and the biggest 'fault line' item of all is your email address. Why?

Don't Make It Complex.

I hate when people use an algorithm of their name, initials, or cute words to compose their email address. Odds are, I will probably get it wrong when entering it into my database or sending an email to you. The result — "You don't getta No Coke!" (a famous line from Caddyshack) - in other words - you get nothing from me.

I LOVE when people have firstname.lastname@company.com — short, simple, easy to read and understand. Like richgee@richgee.com — I actually repeated the URL in my name. EVERYONE gets it the first time — and I promise you, they probably don't forget it either.

By the way, I totally understand if you work for a corporation whose IT department made the erroneous decision years ago to make a complex email system. I feel for you. I especially love the ones where they require a middle initial (like rcgee@advo.com, my old one) and it you didn't have a middle name, they gave you an 'X'. How much fun is it during initial meetings when clients pick that one up? ("rich.x.gee . . . what does the 'x' stand for?")

Stick With .COM.

Maybe this is my OCD coming out, but I hate it when someone has a .NET or .BIZ or .US or some other weird domain the powers that be dreamed up. Unless you are a non-profit or educational institution (.EDU or . ORG), I am going to write .COM — and if I have to delete and type something else, it says to me you haven't taken the time to go and get a .COM for your business.

If you can't develop an basic URL for your business, buy one - they usually cost between $200-$500, a worthy investment for any business.

While you're at it, purchase your kid's URL's too — it's cheap and they will thank you 10-20 years from now.

Get Your Own Domain.

I don't know about you — but if I see @comcast, @optonline, @aol, @hotmail, or even @gmail, it clearly communicates to me you aren't really serious about your business. Specifically — you are a hobbyist who is running their business part-time or you have no clue about how the web works. Get serious and get your domain immediately.

Make Your Email HUGE.

I hate it when people make their email smaller than their address on their cards. Or they handwrite it on the back of the card because they either made a mistake and have 5000 cards left. Throw them out and lay out your card in this fashion: Name — Company — Direct Phone — Email — Website. No fax number, no multiple numbers, just give me your direct contact line — I also hate it when people have three numbers on their card and I get voicemail on all three. Give me one.

Sorry for this diatribe — but I've been pointing this out for 10+ years and people are STILL making these stupid business mistakes. And then they wonder why they aren't getting business.

What other problems do you have with email addresses?

Image provided by Martin Wessley at Unsplash.