To have a professional email presence, use a custom domain that reflects your identity or business. This guide covers what you need to know to make the switch.


The Importance of a Professional Email Address

Having a professional email presence matters because email is often the first way someone interacts with your brand. This is true whether you are representing your business, large or small, or just managing your personal identity.

Individuals looking for a more professional email address like artists and freelancers can benefit from creating a custom domain. Having a professional email address can come in handy when you are applying for jobs, networking, or speaking at conferences.

Your actual email address is essential to get right, and we’ll cover some tips to design the best address for you, but your email host is just as important. A proper domain adds trust and respect to your email address, while your hosting provides you with the tools and resources you need to keep it running smoothly.

With Fastmail, you can set up your email address at a custom domain, which will ensure that your branding goes out with every email you send.

Steps to Creating a Professional Email Address

Step 1. Research Your Email Host Choices

If your business already has a domain and a website, it’s possible your hosting service also offers email services. This means that your business emails will have “@businessname.com” after your desired email address.

Domain and website hosts sometimes offer email services, but for a truly professional email experience, we recommend using a specialized email host. If you want to make sure your mail will be delivered, your inbox is free from spam, and you receive a superior email experience, we recommend using a private email provider like Fastmail. We are a thoughtfully designed, easy-to-use email provider that has been an industry leader for 20 years.

Step 2. Pick an Email Host

Now that you have a custom domain (don't have one yet? our custom domain guide will help you choose one that's right for you), the next step is to find an email host. There are many options and, at this point, you can make this decision based on the services they provide. For example, Fastmail offers the following benefits to its users:

  • A dedicated support team that can help you set up your domain and email accounts,
  • Security services that protect the data going in and out of your email,
  • The ability to match your email address to your website,
  • Multiple email addresses at your domain for different parts of your business, all for no extra cost.

Step 3. Create a Good Email Address

Generating a solid email address matters more than you’d think. For potential clients or customers, your email address will be their first impression of you, so you’ll want to put your best foot forward. For example, “basketballfan123@email.com” isn’t professional, but “james.smith@yourbusinessname.com” is a much more recognizable, trustworthy, and professional email address.

When you use your own domain, making your email address becomes much simpler. If you don’t have your own domain, and you’re using a hosting site like Gmail, the likelihood of actually getting a memorable and professional email is going to be slim. There are plenty of “James Smiths” out there, so you’ll have to fight for a username that doesn’t have a number in it.

Below we have some tips for designing your email address with examples.

Professional Email Address Examples

Full Name

As a good practice, when creating your professional email, you should maintain some aspect of your name so your end recipient knows who they’re talking to. Many people also include periods, dashes, or a combination of the two. We recommend some of the following suggestions, and we’ll use the name “Johnathan smith” as an example:

  • Johnathan@domain.com
  • Johnathansmith@domain.com
  • Johnathan.smith@domain.com
  • Johnathan.middlename.smith@domain.com
  • Jsmith@domain.com
  • Johnathan.middlename-smith@domain.com

Shortened Name

If you go by your full name or have a long name, like Johnathan, it’s perfectly acceptable to shorten it. However, it is not professional to use a nickname. For example, John is an acceptable short version of Johnathan, but Johnny might not be. Below are some ways to shorten your name in your email address.

  • Johnsmith@domain.com
  • Jonsmith@domain.com
  • John.smith@domain.com
  • J_smith@domain.com

Name & Profession / City / Credentials

  • Johnsmithnewyork@domain.com
  • Jsmithattorney@domain.com
  • Jsmithcpa@domain.com
  • Johnschicago@domain.com

Professional Email Address Tips

Don’t Go Too Long

Generally, you don’t want your email address to be too long, so it can be easily remembered. If you have a longer name, like Johnathan in our earlier example, you can easily shorten your name to John or Jon while maintaining your professional image.

Keep it Readable & Pronounceable

Ideally, you want your email address to be recognizable and memorable. For example, when talking to someone, your email needs to be easy to say and to write down.

Avoid Special Characters

Many mail servers don't yet have support for email addresses containing accented characters, so if you want to make sure your mail is received, we recommend avoiding those in your address.

Summary of Creating a Professional Email Address

As a business owner, creating a professional email is essential.

While your specific email address name matters, your host matters just as much. At Fastmail, we offer email hosting with advanced security and privacy measures. Our service allows your email to come from your domain, establishing trust in your reputation with your clients and customers.

Have more than one domain? Don’t worry, our services support multiple domains without any extra cost.

To learn more about the professional email services we offer, check out our business page.