Email contact addresses

Someone recently asked what the options are. You’ve got two main ones:

1. Just put any email address as the contact email.

+ Easy to do

+ Could possibly avoid clients getting asked why they’re getting email from an escort site

+ You may have one already and quite possibly have a preference for Gmail / Yahoo* / Hotmail** / etc etc

– Possibly not quite as impressive or memorable as…

2. Have a ‘Name@YourDomain’-style email as the contact email. What it will actually do is just send mail onto a second email address which you tell us about.

+ Looks a bit more impressive and may be easier to remember

+ It’s possible to have anything @YourDomain sent to you, including misspellings of your name

+ If you have a Gmail account, it is possible to have that real address send as name@domain as well as receive mail for it..

– ..otherwise you will be getting emails to one address and replying to them from another

– It’s more work to set up (though not a huge amount, and it’s free if you want it!)

+/- You should know that email to your domain will be ‘greylisted‘*** to reduce spam. This involves delaying mail from addresses that you’ve not heard from before – including new potential clients – for about five minutes. Some other email services do this, some don’t

+/- You should also know that, as with almost any other email service, we could see the contents of mail to and from your domain if we wanted to. We don’t and won’t****, but if you don’t want to take the chance that we’re lying, it’s not for you!

Conclusion

If you have a ‘work’ email address already that’s not a Gmail one, just use that.

If you don’t, but don’t want to use Gmail, use whatever one you set up.

If you do use or are willing to use Gmail, consider having a Name@YourDomain address, but be aware that there are drawbacks as well as advantages.

* Gmail is not perfect, but we’re not sure why anyone would have a preference for Yahoo…

** … or Hotmail / Live, whose main feature is that it’s not Yahoo.

*** Email involves having the computer sending it and the computer receiving it having a little conversation. It’s not literally ‘Hello, is there an email server there?’, ‘Yes, I’m an email server, who are you?’, ‘I’m…’ etc, but it’s not far off.

Greylisting is a brilliantly simple and effective method of reducing spam involving a fib in that conversation. When dealing with mail from addresses that it’s not had real email from before, the receiving computer says that it’s not ready to receive new email at the moment.

The idea is that proper email sending computers will remember that and try again in a few minutes, at which point the mail will be accepted. Spammers, on the other hand, use programs that are designed to send out many millions of emails as quickly as possible, so they don’t bother with repeating first time failures. If everyone did greylisting, it wouldn’t work, but they don’t and it does – just doing this stops over 99% of incoming spam!

**** Not just because we’re nice and wouldn’t do such a thing: we also know reading lots of “I’m a special snowflake – will you give me a discount / do what your website says you don’t offer / meet me in five minutes / take cheques etc” emails is very boring :)

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