Are you still using an @aol 🙈, @hotmail 🙉, or @yahoo 🙊 email address? If you answered “yes,” I’m sorry, you might as well resign yourself to a life of ridicule and shame.
Am I exaggerating? Maybe. Am I serious? Absolutely.
Your email address matters. It enters the room before you do and stays long after you leave. Whether you (or they) know it, people are judging you based on those letters after the @ sign. Besides your name, your email address is the single most important personal identifier you have. It follows you everywhere you go. Online. Offline. It’s always there.
And I’m gonna let you in on a little secret – there’s a hierarchy of email addresses that I use to judge people, and I’m not the only one. I made this chart for your reference:
|What I Assume About You
|You have the technical prowess of Socrates, but without the insight or intellect.
|Hotmail / Outlook
|You were probably fun to hang out with in your younger days, but now you’re “that guy,” desperately hanging on to his youth, sporting a combover, and driving a convertible sports car.
|You're a glutton for punishment and you enjoy your email getting hacked. You might believe the earth is flat.
|You were cutting edge at one point. Now you're just like everybody else.
|Apple (@me, @icloud, @mac)
|You're quirky, possibly a tad bit elitist, and you're constantly trying to convince your friends to ditch their Android phones.
|Alumni / School
|You want everybody to be impressed with your alma mater. Yes, it's great that you went to Harvard, but maybe you don't need to remind me of that every time I open my inbox – especially given that I'm still bitter I wasn't accepted there.
|ISP (@comcast, @att, etc.)
|You're too lazy to set up a free email address that you don't have to change every time you move, so you probably don't have many friends.
|Branded (@kubba.com, @afterthought.com)
|You're smart, I want to work with you, and I want to be your best friend forever 🥰.
I may be an asshole for prejudging you, and that’s okay. My system works more often than not.
So, other than avoiding the tyranny of prejudgement, what else can a branded email do for you?
On the flip side, having a commonplace, forgettable – or even worse – a bad email address could actually be holding you back in life.
You may be missing out on job opportunities. Just because my nickname growing up was Ammar Bizarre, I’m not sure I would’ve gotten the law school internship with Judge Calvin K. Ashland of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court using AmmarBizarre@yahoo.com. “Your Honor, Ammar Bizarre reporting for duty” doesn't command a whole lot of respect. In your case, just because Old School is your favorite movie, you probably don’t want to use FrankTheTank@gmail.com on your Goldman Sachs application. I routinely prejudge and make assumptions about job applicants – and pretty much everybody else – based on their emails. I just can’t help myself.
You may not be receiving important, misdirected emails. How many times have you mistyped john_d0e_2016? Was it johndoe2016 or j0hndoe_2016 or john_doe_2016? Don’t make it hard for people to reach you. Better yet, make it easy.
You may be missing out on dates with your future husband or wife. Picture this. You see a pretty girl in line at Starbucks. While waiting for the barista to call out your upside down caramel macchiato with a splash of oat milk, you muster up the courage to ask her out. She says “yes” and asks for your email. At that moment you don’t want you or your email to be forgettable. Fortunately, I learned this lesson early in life, and I’m pretty sure the only reason my wife agreed to go out with me was because of my email address.
The worst part is that you’ve been suffering all this time for no reason! Getting your own unique, personal, and branded email address costs next to nothing and anyone can do it. There are multiple options ranging from “it’s so easy my mom could do it” to “I should probably ask my tech-savvy buddy to help me configure the DNS.”
The good news is that you can be up and running with your new email in no time flat. Here’s all you need to do:
Remember, your email address matters. Do us both a favor – go brand yourself right now. You’ll be happier, you’ll be more successful, and I’ll sleep better knowing that I helped you be less forgettable. You’re welcome.
P.S. If you need help getting your domain name or setting up your email, feel free to reach out and I’ll point you in the right direction. You know where to find me.