This article is part of a larger series on Business Email.
A professional email address boosts brand awareness and credibility with a custom domain name, but what’s equally important is what’s in front of the @ sign. It’s ideal to keep your professional email address short, readable, memorable, and easy to spell. We’ve put together the best professional email address ideas, examples, and format options to help make the creation process simple.
Pro tip: Before you can set up a professional email address (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org), you need to get a domain name (e.g., yourbusiness.com). But it doesn’t have to be expensive—read about legit ways to get a free email domain.
Check out the business email address ideas and examples below as you decide how to format your company’s email addresses:
1. Professional Email Address With Full Names
|Memorable||Not ideal for businesses with a larger staff (especially when using first or last names only)|
|Easily identified||Can get lengthy|
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.
First Name Only
The first-name-only email address is a suitable 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.
Here are a few examples using first names only:
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 the 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. But 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.
Here are a few examples of last name-only-email addresses:
One downside of using last names (aka surnames) is that some surnames are more difficult to spell or recognize. As a result, they may be harder to remember and more susceptible to spelling errors and bounced emails.
First & Last Name
With this format, you also have to choose whether and how to separate the first and last names. A period (“.”) between the first and last names is fairly common. Some email services even treat the name the same with or without the period, so if someone forgets to include it, the intended recipient will still get the email. Other options include using a hyphen (“-”) or an underscore (“_”) between the names.
Here are a few email examples using first and last names with different separators:
The first and last name email address format is easily identifiable, though it can also get long. For example, if your name is Elizabeth Frederickson, your email address will be long, especially if your domain name is also on the longer side. And the longer your email address is, the more likely people are to misspell or mistype it.
Aside from the length, a downfall of this format is that names with non-traditional spelling are more likely to end up being misspelled. When this happens, it results in bounced emails and missed messages.
2. Combining Initials With Names
|Good for businesses with multiple staff||Less memorable|
|Increases user privacy||Can be confusing|
One of the best—and therefore most common—professional email address ideas for businesses 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.
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.
Here are a couple of examples using the initial from the first name plus the last name:
Last Name & Initial of First Name
Similar to the previous example, 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 ideas for email addresses using the last name followed by the first initial:
Initial of First & Middle Names & Last Name
And just in case your business grows too large and you have multiple employees with the same initials and names (e.g., j.smith), you also have the option to include the initial of their middle names. Here are some ideas for an email address using the initials of the first and middle names, plus the last name:
3. Shortening Names
|Increases security||Difficult to remember and can be confusing|
|Keeps email addresses short||Increases the chances of someone misspelling your email|
In some cases, organizations may abbreviate or shorten names to ensure email addresses don’t exceed a specified character limit. This is especially common in large organizations, such as universities. However, it’s not recommended for small businesses. These types of professional email addresses are not easy to remember and are likely to result in typos.
Here are two examples using the first and middle initials, plus the first four letters of the last name:
You can use any combination or number of characters to create a shortened-name professional email address. In the business email example above, we used the email account owner’s first and middle initials followed by the first four letters of their last name. However, you can use any combination of initials and any number of characters that make sense for your business.
4. Using Keywords or Identifiers
|Offers the ability to use the first name||May not be permanent and may need to be updated|
|Easily organized by department or location|
|Can give an insight into what your business does|
Another idea for business email addresses 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), location (such as a city for businesses with multiple locations), or even industry-related keywords that describe what you do.
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 with 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 SEO strategist.
Here are a few examples of emails using a combination of first name and department:
This approach provides a good way for customers to identify the person and the department they’re communicating with (as opposed to using a generic department inbox, such as email@example.com). However, it essentially locks team members into departments, which is problematic when individuals change roles within a business.
Name & Title
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 clients can easily identify whether they are communicating with the right person and role in a business.
The downsides are that if staff move into different roles, you’ll need to update their email address. These types of email accounts are also harder to remember, which may result in errors.
Here are a few examples of using a first name and title for a business email address:
Name & Degree or Certification
As with the idea of including the job title or a department within an email address, another option is to include the user’s professional degree or certification. For example, adding M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) or J.D. (Juris Doctor) indicates a user’s job type without directly stating their specific job title, which may change over time.
Here are a few ideas for email addresses showing how to use a name plus a professional degree:
Addresses like these should be limited to those with degrees that clearly reflect their career. For example, it works in the medical field, but it wouldn’t work well for individuals holding degrees such as bachelor’s or master’s degrees. This is because they don’t indicate a job type or role, and are far more common.
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 an ideal email format 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, which could create confusion and result in errors.
Here are some examples of ideas that use a name variant plus a location:
In case you don’t want any personal information on your email addresses (e.g., names), a small business can get away with using industry-related keywords. For example, a wedding organizer can use the email “firstname.lastname@example.org” or a photography studio might use “email@example.com.”
This can tell your audience a little more about what your business does, but it works better for businesses in creative or casual industries as it’s not very formal. Here are more examples of keywords in company email addresses:
- firstname.lastname@example.org for a winery
- email@example.com for a pest control company
- firstname.lastname@example.org for a copywriter
5. Using Generic Email Inbox Addresses
|Ideal for team inboxes||Must manage a separate inbox|
|Keeps personal email addresses and names private|
|Reduces spam sent to individuals’ email accounts|
If you need an 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 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
These types of email addresses reduce the probability of getting spam sent to your primary inbox. It works best for businesses with teams that need a shared inbox, like customer service or sales.
Pro tip: When multiple people manage one team inbox, it can become a headache. To automatically delegate incoming emails, use a tool like Front. Many customer relationship management (CRM) tools also enable you to set up a generic email address and assign it to various sales or support reps, making it easier for your team to access.
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 of your team.
Here are a few professional email address examples with 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 and other types of customer issues. However, separating the two inboxes enables you to service your customers efficiently, and escalate cases needing additional customer care.
Here are two business email address examples for generic return inboxes:
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:
Pro tip: If you’re interested in creating generic email addresses to display on your website, but you’re on a tight budget, use an alias email that automatically forwards to people on your team instead. Business email providers like IONOS allow you to set up multiple alias email addresses, which can then be forwarded automatically to one or several user inboxes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I create a unique professional email address?
Coming up with a unique professional email address starts with getting a custom domain name that is interesting and memorable. This could be your brand name but could also speak to your products or services, industry, or the types of customers you serve. Learn how to choose a domain name in six steps, then follow our step-by-step instructions for how to create a custom email address.
How can I get a free professional email address to use for business?
There are a few different ways to get a free business email address. If you have a domain, you can get up to five free business email addresses with ZohoMail. If you plan to build a site using WordPress, you can get free business email accounts and a free domain for your website with plans from web hosting companies like Bluehost. Likewise, top site builders like IONOS and Squarespace include an email account and domain in paid plans.
What should I name my business email address?
To build a strong brand presence, your business email address will ideally include your company’s name. From there, you must decide on the right format using the options above with a variation of your name or some type of identifier, such as your location, department, and so on. Get more guidance in our article explaining how to create a business email address.
Use these professional email address ideas and examples to decide on a format and set up your business email. While it’s common to use first or last names, it’s worth considering your business needs now and in the future. Always remember to try to keep your business emails short and easy to remember to avoid confusion and misspellings.
After choosing the best format for your professional email name, it’s easy to set it up through an ultra-affordable and reliable email service provider like IONOS, which offers business email hosting for just $1 per user, per month.