Monday, February 21, 2011

What Does Your Email Say About You? by Kerrie Flanagan, Director of Northern Colorado Writers

Today's special guest is the hard-working and creative Kerrie Flanagan, who's currently up to her ears and eyeballs with the final planning and tasks leading up to the Northern Colorado Writers Conference March 11-12 in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Kerrie had a vision -- bring the writers and writing-related entrepreneurs from Northern Colorado together in one organization to support and encourage and educate.
She's doing a wonderful job! The following post addresses one of the important details that distinguish the novice writer from the professional.


What Does Your Email Say About You? by Kerrie Flanagan, Director of Northern Colorado Writers

I have blogged about this topic before, but appreciate Pat giving me the opportunity to dust off my soapbox and address this issue one more time. I think it is an important topic, especially for anyone looking to get published.


I urge you, no I am begging you, please create an email address that actually has your name in it. It shows professionalism and it makes it easier to find.

As the director of Northern Colorado Writers I am accountable to 230 members, my presenters and around the Northern Colorado Writers Conference time, agents, editors, authors and other writers. Needless to say, I get a lot of email. I do a pretty good job keeping track of everything, but there are times when writers make my life a little challenging because when I sit down to send them an email, I can't figure out which email address is theirs. This challenge is not exclusive to my job as director. I have heard agents and editors say this is problem for them too.

Imagine sitting down to write an email to Laura Smith who you've had one email correspondence with and now you want to connect with her again. You do what we all do, start typing her name. But, if Laura doesn't have an email address with her name in it, you will type out the whole name and still not find her. So then you have to sort through the "no name" pile (just like a teacher).

This narrows it down, but now it is time do a little detective work. You either take a guess at whether Laura is a nudist or vegan, or you don't even bother to send the email--not good if you're an agent Laura sent a query to.

So please, make life a little easier for people and use your name in your email address. It shows you are a professional and helps others identify you.

Thanks for listening,


Kerrie is @Kerrie_Flanagan on Twitter. You can also follow her (as well as my) tweets at @NCW_FortCollins. Northern Colorado Writers is also on Facebook. Kerrie invites you to visit the page often and "Like" NCW to keep up with classes, contests, and conference news.


welcome to my world of poetry said...

Most interesting, I have an email without a name and the people who write to me seem to like it. I guess it up to the individual what title to put on their emails. To each their own I say, Lovely post and a pleasure to read.


Margot Kinberg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - Thanks for hosting Kerrie.

Kerrie - I so agree with you! I've been in education for many years, and as students have gotten Emails, I always tell them to create an Email address that's professional (I work with pres-service teachers). It's so important that people recognize who you are!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Good morning, Yvonne. Lots of us have fun e-mails addresses for our friends and family, but when you deal with agents, editors, and other people associated with the business of writing, or any business for that matter, they will appreciate the convenience of seeing your name in your e-mail address.

Hi Margot -- Kerrie does a great job of bringing beginning writers up to a professional level, and her tips are always helpful.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Yes! I've blogged on this same topic before, too. It's free to open a gmail account (or hotmail, yahoo, etc.). Please open one with your name in the much easier. :) Great topic!

Carol Kilgore said...

I agree. It's the professional way to conduct business. Leave the creativity for your writing. Thanks for hosting, Patricia.

P.S. - Kerrie, your Writing Planner has saved my life!

April Moore said...

Are you saying I can't use vegansrock anymore, Kerrie? ;) Great tips. We all want to be taken serious as writers and having a professional email is a must. I couldn't imagine sending an e-query to an agent with
Thanks, Kerrie and Pat!

Terry Odell said...

Most definitely - I have my "professional" writing email which is my name. My secondary email "upgraded" once (since fixed, and I like to think it was because I hollered, but I doubt it) that would only show your email address in the recipients inbox. Since my name isn't part of that email address, I was afraid people wouldn't know it was me. (Of course, then I have the intentional "obscure" named accounts for other purposes.)

Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

Kerrie said...

Thanks for all your comments and allowing me to share about this topic. Carol, I am so glad you are enjoying the Writing Planner. April, you will always be "writergoddess" to me. Pat thanks for your kind words and the opportunity to be a guest blogger.

Kathleen said...

I guess I lucked into being professional-sounding. I wanted an email address I could remember. So far I've never forgotten my own name...

Holly Ruggiero said...

Excellent point. Save the goofy ones for your friends. ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

My name IS my email address!! It's also my blog address. I'm really easy to find online.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Great comments today. Thanks so much, Kerrie, for being here.

And Alex, there are a few of us who chose our names for our blogs. It makes it mighty easy for folks to find us when they Google our names.

HeidiTownMayor said...

I agree Kerrie!
And I'd add this...
If you are trying to create a brand I think a good, memorable email that fits your brand is VERY important.
I finally changed my email from HeidiTownMayor@gmail to
This is in keeping with my brand and people absolutely love it! It also inspires conversation when I give it out in a professional setting and allows me to introduce them to my blog.
It's a win - win!

Linda Osmundson said...

I received free counseling at the Small Business Development Center on marketing my new book. First suggestion they made was to get my own name email as well as domain. It works and is really easy to remember!

Karen Lange said...

Thanks for the info!

j. a. kazimer said...

Thanks Pat and Kerrie. I do love it when I get an email from someone with an odd email address. For example, recently an editor sent me an email from a non-work email account. Her email name was something to the effect of HOT CANDY. I paused, thinking, "Really?"

So great advice. Thanks!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Excellent point. I have laughed at some of the addresses I've seen. They may be cute, but they aren't very professional. Some even contain too much information.

Amanda Rose Adams said...

I once threw away a resume from a prospective nanny for my then newborn son when I caught that her email address was Seriously, she might have been a lovely girl, but I had a stack of 20 resumes to sort through and that was a disqualification for me.

To Kerrie's point, every company I've worked for that gave me an email address gave me one of the following:

So, following the theme of professionalism, I use my first and last name in my personal email. I do a lot of charity work too, so it's easier for the people I contact to find my requests when I follow up with a phone call. Job searching, fund raising, or writing, I think it's just a safe practice. But that's my opinion.