Is your email address optimized for your social networking sites? If not, you’re making yourself too difficult to track down, and people will give up trying to find you.

This week I sent a mailing to my 1137 LinkedIn connections. Here are a few of my observations:

?4 email addresses sent me an auto responder asking me to click on a box to confirm that I was a human. Those systems are good for personal email, but don’t let your clients or prospects go through hoops or they’re bound to go elsewhere. (Many people — myself included — delete those individuals from our e mail lists. Now I’ve removed them from LinkedIn, too.)
?20 email addresses were returned as unknown, expired, or over quota. Most of those are from free or ISP email addresses. (I knew one person and let her know of the problem.
?4 emails were returned with instructions to change their address in my records, because they view that email account infrequently and chances are they’ll miss my email. (I sent them each a suggestion to update their LinkedIn email address to one that is working, but most people may not bother doing that and will instead remove them as connections.)
?44 out of the first 100 email addresses contained free, low cost, or ISP email accounts. (There is no excuse for this in business – see my notes below.)
How are you branding your business? I’ve heard T. Harv Ecker say, "How you do anything is how you do everything." The same holds true with your email account. If you are a business owner who deals with frugalness or cheapness, then using a free email account might be a good thing. But it also might brand you as cheap, new to business, maybe someone looking for a job, etc. Using an email address on your domain name URL brands you as serious about your business – it’s part of your professional brand.

Are you throwing away an opportunity for someone to hire you? Let me explain. If you use a free email account, ISP/cable email account, or VOIP email account you are giving up an opportunity for someone to get to know you. Why? When many of us get emails from someone, we check out their website first. BUT if we get an email from "" we don’t have that opportunity.

Unlike 10 years ago, when you paid heavily for each email address, today your website hosting company usually includes at least 10 email addresses (mine allows for unlimited email addresses). Create a special email address just for social networking sites that ends in your domain name. Do the same for all subscriptions to ezines. Then you’ll be more organized, look more professional and you won’t have to change your email address when you switch ISPs.

Strategic Action Plan
Today, go to your hosting company’s control panel and open up an email address just for social networking. In the long run, when all social networking emails are coming to you in one folder, you’ll be glad you did!

1. Go into the email program you use (like Outlook) and add those new accounts.

2. Next, set up a filter in your email program so that mail through your new social networking email address goes to a folder called SOCIAL NETWORKING.

3. Go to the three most important social networking sites you visit and change your email address to the new one.

4. As information comes in from other social networking sites, put the emails in a folder called CHANGE. Once a week, update those sites, too.

Author's Bio: 

(c)2010 Maria Marsala, Founder of Elevating Your Business. Providing proven programs that help frazzled CEOs earn much more while working less. Learn more at