Business Fundamentals: How To Create a Professional Looking Email

Email marketing isn’t just a small business essential — it’s one of the most effective marketing channels available. Businesses report that email marketing generates 174% more return on investment than social media.

But the question remains: Are you still emailing your leads and customers from an old personal email address?

If you said yes, stop everything. 

It’s time to create a professional looking email address for your business.

Keep reading to learn:

  • The elements of a professional looking email
  • How to set up a business email
  • Professional email best practices

Why You Need a Professional Looking Email Address

Whether you’re responding to customer questions or prospecting for new clients, you need email to run your business. 

Almost 300 billion emails are sent each day. You’re already competing with a crowded inbox. You can’t afford to lose out on opportunities because your emails don’t look trustworthy.

Creating a professional looking email helps increase your open rates and email engagement. Without one, it’s easy to be lost in the flood of emails people receive each day.

What Makes Your Emails Look Professional

When you go through your inbox, it’s easy to tell the professional looking emails from spam or personal messages. But what are the specific elements that make professional emails stand out?

Professional Email Address

A professional email address stands out from other usernames in your inbox. They’re easy to identify because they use a custom domain (instead of a personal Gmail account), and they follow familiar formats. 

Examples of professional looking emails include jane@domain.com or darrylsmith@domain.com.

An Email Signature

The content of a professional looking email matters too. Most professionals have an email signature at the bottom of their message, including their company name, job title, and contact information. Many businesses include branding in the signature, such as a logo.

Using Familiar Fonts 

You can guess whether or not an email is professional before reading the content.  Professional emails use standard fonts (and font sizes) that are easy to read. Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman, and Trebuchet are fonts commonly used by reputable businesses. 

Most businesses stick with black text for email content. Challenging to read fonts and wild colors often signal spam or phishing scams.

A Mobile-Friendly Design

More people are using mobile devices to read and send emails. In fact, 46% of all email opens happen on mobile. Mobile responsive email design is a customer expectation now.

If your email promotion or newsletter isn’t mobile-optimized, you can damage your business’s credibility. However, this criteria mainly applies to HTML emails. Plain-text emails automatically adjust to mobile screens.

Although several factors go into creating a professional email, let’s focus on the basics — creating a professional looking email address.

How To Create a Professional Looking Email

Now that you know what makes a professional looking email, it’s time to set up your business email.

Typically, you should set up your business email when you register your domain and start building your website. 

However, if you already have a website but still use personal emails, you can always create professional email addresses after building your website.

1. Select a Host

When creating a professional-looking email, you need to use an email hosting provider. An email host provides servers for businesses that need to store and manage emails. 

Email hosting services for businesses are usually billed monthly or annually, unlike free webmail servers (like Gmail or Yahoo) that you can use to create personal email accounts.

When looking for a hosting provider for your website, you can choose a provider like Bluehost that includes webmail

Some hosting providers automatically include a limited number of emails when you purchase a domain and web hosting plan. However, if you need more emails for your employees, you’ll need to buy an email add-on plan.

Alternatively, you can use Google Workspace to create business email addresses with a custom domain.

2. Connect to an Email Client

If you create business emails with your hosting provider, you can use your custom domain as the email address. For example, instead of creating jsmith@gmail.com, you’ll create jsmith@yourdomain.com.

After you create the emails, you need to connect the email addresses to an email client, such as Gmail or Outlook. An email client lets you read, send, and manage emails. In other words, it’s the app that lets each user login and view their emails. 

Your hosting provider should have instructions to connect to any email client.

3. Choose a Format for Usernames

After you’ve selected your host and email client, you need to choose a professional looking email format. For example, you can do firstnamelastname@yourdomain.com or firstname@yourdomain.com

We recommend using one formula for all employees.

4. Connect to Your Email Automation Software

If you use a marketing automation platform to send newsletters or transactional emails, you need to connect your business email accounts. 

Look for email setup under general settings or an “Email Sending” section. Your automation platform will walk you through how to connect and verify your business email addresses.

Connecting your business email to your automation software ensures your marketing emails come from your professional address.

Your email automation provider should also walk you through the steps to authenticate your domain. Email authentication helps ensure your messages don’t end up in the spam folder. 

When you verify your domain, your email provider adds information to the email header that confirms the message genuinely came from the domain in the “sender” field.

Best Practices for Creating a Professional Looking Email

Now that you know how to set up your business email, let’s take a closer look at choosing the right username format.

It’s not enough to use a custom domain in your email address. You need to make sure the rest of the email address looks professional. 

Make sure to adhere to these best practices and pay attention to your industry’s particular standards too.

Keep Usernames Readable

For best results, choose a simple username formula that’s easy to read. Most professional looking emails contain a combination of an employee’s first and last name or initials. 

Emails using only first names have grown in popularity in recent years. On the one hand, using the first name only generates shorter emails that are easier to read. On the other hand, you’ll have to create alternate emails for employees that share a first name.

If you have a lot of employees, you might want to avoid using only the first name. 

Don’t Include Numbers or Symbols

Numbers in a username usually indicate a personal email address. However, adding numbers to an email makes them harder to type and remember. Therefore, a professional looking email should only contain letters. 

Avoid unnecessary symbols or accents on characters. Some emails include a period between first and last names, but that should be the only exception.

Limit the Use of Job Titles As Emails

Although your emails should look professional, you still need to give the appearance they’re coming from a human. Using job titles as email usernames, such as marketing@yourdomain.com, makes your messages seem less personal. 

Furthermore, it can be challenging to manage email accounts if you hire new employees or create new roles. 

There are a couple of exceptions to the job title rule. Most businesses have generic email addresses for general information or customer support.

In these cases, it’s appropriate to use a job title as the email username. Finally, some transactional emails (such as password reset emails) can use a “no-reply” username so recipients understand they can’t contact an employee that way. 

Business Email Address Ideas

Worried about choosing an acceptable username formula?

Here’s the good news: 

You don’t have to come up with something new. It’s best to choose from commonly-used formulas that customers already recognize as professional.

Here are some of the most common formulas businesses use for email usernames:

When choosing your username formula, consider the size of your business, brand tone, and industry standards. 

Some industries, such as technology services, can be more casual and use the first name only. But if you want to project a more professional image, we recommend using last names.

Making a business email is one of the essential steps of starting a business, along with registering a domain and creating a website

With more businesses offering online support, shopping, and services, email has become the primary channel for communicating with customers. 
If you want your customers to trust you and engage with your emails, you need a professional-looking email address.

Learn more about setting up a custom domain email account with Bluehost’s simple yet powerful email solutions.

Desiree Johnson
Desiree Johnson | Content Specialist
Desiree Johnson is a Content Specialist at Bluehost where she writes helpful guides and articles, teaches webinars and assists with other marketing and WordPress community work.

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