A professional email address is one that does not end in a generic address like @gmail.com, yahoo.com, or going even further back in time, hotmail.com. However, when it comes to creating email addresses for your business that others will take seriously, what you specify in front of the @ sign is just as important as what follows it. We put together the best professional email address ideas, examples, and format options to help make the creation process simple.
Keep in mind that before you can set up a professional email address (e.g., email@example.com), you need to get your own custom domain name (e.g., yourbusiness.com).
1. Using Full Names Only
The most common email address format is to use the name of the individual who will be using the email address. This may be the first name only, the last name only, or both first and last.
|Memorable||Not ideal for businesses with a larger staff|
First Name Only
The first-name-only email address is a good format for bloggers and solopreneurs. It comes off as more personal than last name only and is easy to remember. However, it’s not a good idea if your business is growing because over time, you’ll likely end up having employees with the same first name.
Keep in mind that if you go with the first-name-only format, you’ll also need to decide whether you will use legal names, nicknames, or your team member’s preferred name. If you have more than one team member with the same first name, you’ll need to modify your format in some way, such as by adding the initial of a last name.
Last Name Only
The last-name-only email address format is a good choice for small businesses looking to promote a more formal or professional image. For example, this could be ideal for a small law firm. Like the first-name-only format, it’s not a great choice for growing businesses because as your company grows, you become more likely to wind up with staff with last names in common.
One downside of using last names (aka surnames) is that some surnames are more difficult to spell or recognize. They may be harder to remember and more susceptible to spelling errors and bounced emails.
First & Last Name
One downfall of this format is that the email address can get very long for those who have lengthy first and last names. In addition, if one or both names have a non-traditional spelling, they are more likely to end up being misspelled, resulting in bounced emails and missed messages.
2. Combining Initials With Names
One of the best—and therefore most common—professional email address ideas for business is to use a combination of names and initials in the email ID. Unlike using full names, combining initials with either a user’s first or last name reduces the likelihood of having multiple people needing the same email address within a business.
|Good for businesses with multiple staff||Less memorable|
|Increases user privacy||Can be confusing|
Initial of First Name & Last Name
The first way to format this type of email address is by putting the user’s first initial first. Whether to use a period between the initial and last name comes down to personal preference, though it can be wise. The last name preceded by an initial may seem like a new word, which can look strange. By the way, most email services treat the name the same with or without the period, meaning if someone forgets to include it, the intended recipient will still get the email.
Here are a couple of professional email examples using the initial from the first name plus the last name:
Last Name & Initial of First Name
Similarly to the previous professional email address idea, you may also want to use the email account owner’s last name followed by their first initial. This is better for large organizations that routinely manage users by last names, as opposed to first.
Here are two examples of professional email address ideas using the last name followed by the first initial:
3. Using Keywords or Identifiers
Another professional email address idea is to use keywords or identifiers within the address. For example, you could add a user’s professional degree (e.g., MD, DDS, or JD), position or department (e.g., sales or CPA), or even location, such as a city for businesses with multiple locations.
|Offers the ability to use the first name||May need to update email addresses|
|Easily organize by department or location|
Name & Department
Combining a user’s name with their job title, while not the most common email format, could be a unique choice when choosing a professional email format for a business that has multiple departments in client-facing positions. For example, a digital marketing agency could use this email format if their clients are in contact with a number of people, such as a sales rep, account manager, web designer, graphic designer, and a search engine optimization (SEO) strategist.
Here are a few examples of professional email address ideas using a first name and department:
While this email format provides a good way for customers to identify the person as well as the department they’re communicating with (as opposed to using a generic department inbox, such as firstname.lastname@example.org), it’s generally advisable to avoid it. This format essentially locks team members into departments, which is problematic when individuals change roles within a business.
Name & Title
Similar, but instead of including a user’s department in their email address, you could use their job title or position. For example, an accounting firm might add CPA, assistant, and tax manager designations to email addresses. This differentiates users so that clients can easily identify whether they are communicating with the right person and role in a business. The downside is that if staff move into different roles, you’ll need to update their email address.
Here are a few examples of using name plus title:
Again, similar to using a department, using a title can pose problems when a staff member changes roles. These types of professional email addresses are also harder to remember, which may result in errors.
Name & Location
If your business has multiple locations, you could add the user’s location to their email address as an identifying and distinguishing keyword. Keep in mind that this is not a good email format idea if your locations are close together and staff often work at multiple locations. As with department or title identifiers, it’s also problematic when team members transfer to a different location.
Here are some examples of professional email address ideas using a name variant plus a location:
This format should be used sparingly and reserved for businesses with multiple locations, especially if the locations are meaningful to your customers. If a team member transfers to a different location or works at multiple locations, it could create confusion and result in errors.
4. Using Generic Email Inbox Addresses
If you need to make a professional email address to publicly display on your website, it’s a good idea to create a generic email address. Examples of generic email addresses appropriate for use on website contact pages and other mass marketing collateral include email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. It reduces the probability of getting spam sent to your primary inbox and works for businesses with teams that need a shared inbox, like customer service or sales.
|Ideal for team inboxes||Must manage a separate inbox|
|Keeps personal email addresses private|
Generic Contact Email Inbox
Every business website should include contact information. However, you may not want your primary business email address displayed on your website and other mass-distributed marketing materials. To safeguard your email and reduce incoming spam, use a generic contact email inbox that can be accessed individually or automatically forwarded to one or more members on your team.
Here are a few examples of generic email addresses:
Generic Customer Support Email Inbox
It’s common for customer service teams to share access to incoming messages using a shared customer service email inbox. Give your customers direct access to technical support and your customer service team by providing a support-specific generic customer support email address.
Here are a few ideas for generic customer support inbox email addresses:
Generic Returns Email Inbox
Businesses that sell online should also consider creating a generic company email address for returns and requests for refunds or exchanges. Many businesses use a single generic customer service inbox for returns as well as other types of customer issues. However, separating the two inboxes enables you to more efficiently service your customers and escalate cases needing additional customer care.
Here are two examples of generic return inbox email addresses:
Generic Sales Email Inbox
Directing potential customers to a company-wide generic contact email address could easily make them feel their business is not valued and that they are not getting a good customer experience. Instead, direct potential customers to the help and assistance they want by providing a sales-specific generic email address.
Here are two examples of generic sales inbox addresses:
Generic Human Resources Email Inbox
Businesses that accept job applications online should create a generic human resource inbox email address, such as email@example.com. It gives your business a more professional image and makes it look more credible to candidates, which instills confidence and connects qualified applicants with your hiring team more efficiently.
Here are a few examples of generic human resources inbox addresses:
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