by Kelly Sullivan
If you can relate to the daunting, messy abyss that our email inboxes can become, then this week’s blog is for you.
Whether you’re out for vacation and your unread emails pile up, or you’re so busy on a day to day basis that you just can’t read them all before they start to stack up, just know that it happens to the best of us.
Consider using an email alias – an alternative address that still directs emails to your primary inbox. This allows you to use a different email address than your primary address, without having to set up an entirely new email account.
When you set up your primary email address, that’s the address that you send and receive mail from. An email alias, however, allows you to create other email addresses within that account that will forward incoming messages to your primary email address.
These alternative aliases can be put to many good uses, like organizing your inbox or protecting your privacy. Any mail sent to these email variations will arrive at the same inbox as messages meant for your main address, while hiding your primary email address.
You can also set up phone aliases for your business, which work in the same way that an email alias does. Google Voice is a free way to associate a personalized phone number to your business without paying for an entirely new line. There are phone companies that can provide you with this service as well.
Here are some considerations when thinking about setting up aliases for your business.
Control Your Online Identity
Email aliases give you control of your identity online. Like me, some of you may have created your primary email address when you were in the third grade. For most of us, email@example.com just isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Unfortunately for most of us, this email can’t just be deleted because family members, important subscriptions, and other random but important emails still come through to this embarrassingly named address.
Email aliases can be created, named, or even deactivated and deleted with just a click of your mouse. And they’re free. It’s as simple as that.
Protect Your Personal Space and Privacy
To my surprise, I’ve come across many business owners who still have their personal cell phone number on their business cards or website.
As someone who appreciates my personal time outside of work hours, I never use any of my personal phone numbers for business purposes.
To each their own – but for those of you who reel at the idea of clients contacting you at any given hour of any given day, consider a Google Voice phone number (free) or an app like Grasshopper (paid). These options act as a customized business phone number, so clients can only reach you during work hours and through a number that is directly attached to your business.
Google Voice gives you a phone number for calls, texts, and voicemails. You can use this number to make domestic and international calls from your web browser and mobile devices. If you’re in the US or Canada, you can choose your own number.
Keep Your Email Organized
A great way to keep your emails organized with an email alias is to create a specific folder for them, and then automatically have all incoming messages to that alias added into that folder to keep them separate from your personal emails. This makes them easily identifiable from your other emails.
For example, let’s say you decide to attach a personalized business email to your primary email account. You choose your business email as firstname.lastname@example.org, and create a correlating folder titled Info Emails. You can have all of the emails that get sent to your info@ alias automatically directed into the Info Emails folder, which helps you keep them separate from the emails you get from your mom about birthday dinner plans.
Easy Set-Up on Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud and Outlook
For example, setting up an email alias through your Google email looks something like this:
- Open Gmail, and open the settings menu by selecting the gear icon in the top right of your inbox.
- Select See All Settings.
- Find the Accounts tab. Under the Send Mail As: section, select Add another email address.
- Enter the email alias you wish to add.
- Leave “Treat as an alias” checked and select Next Step.
- Follow the instructions to verify your alias.
You can do this for as many aliases as you want. You can also delete an alias at any time.
Creating an email alias is an easy and simple way to create a professional business presence without having to spend money. An alias is also a useful tactic for those who don’t want to disclose their personal emails online, need a temporary email address, or want a simple way to stay organized.
Check that whatever email platform you already use supports aliases (it likely does), get your alias set up in a few simple steps, and see how much easier your life gets! You can thank us later.
Want more from Outgrow Your Garage?
-Support, connections and resources are invaluable tools for entrepreneurs. Small business owners from a variety of industries come together twice a week for Co-Working & Office Hours to work on their businesses, share insights, and troubleshoot issues. Running a business can feel isolating. You don’t have to do it alone!
-Business education should be easily accessible for everyone at an affordable price. We want you and your small business to succeed. No matter what area of your business you need help in, we offer a variety of business course topics that teach you how to turn your every day tasks into organized systems.