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 email@example.com — short, simple, easy to read and understand. Like firstname.lastname@example.org — 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 email@example.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?