There are a couple of pet peeves about e-mail addresses that I run across involving lawyers and law firms that I believe hurt an individual’s and firm’s legal marketing efforts. One is image related, the other with the difficulty in remembering an e-mail address (or web site) when it involves just letters.
Image related – if your address is joeblow@aol/hotmail/msn/yahoo/gmail.com you’ve got a problem in my opinion. For one thing you probably don’t have a web site either, and as I have mentioned before, if you don’t have a web site you are just not considered a player in this day and age. Likely, if you do have a web site, your e-mail address would include your domain name. But that is not the only point. I think a business, and yes a law firm of any size, should have a domain name as part of its e-mail address. The ones mentioned above are too personal, and dare I say, “unprofessional” in a business sense. With this, John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing agrees in a post on this very issue.
As John points out, AOL may have a solution by letting you buy a domain name and e-mail service for $35 per year. However, there are much cheaper ways to go. Do a search and locate host companies that sell domain names and e-mail services for under $10 per year. There are tons of them out there. Just check them out first.
Memory related – some law firms use the first initial of each firm name as their domain name, and people can’t for the life of themselves remember the address of either the e-mail for Sally Jones or the firm’s web site. An example: suppose the firm of Greenacre, Blackacre, Whiteacre, Blueacre & Purpleacre’s domain name is gbwbplaw.com. What are the chances clients, referral sources or prospects will remember Sally’s e-mail address. Or, even a shorter name such as Blackacre, Aquaacre, and Darkacre with an address of www.badlaw.com. People may remember that one, but maybe for the wrong reason.
If you want people to remember how to reach you, you should use the first name (preferably) or two in the firm name only – unless of course the first name of the firm is Tchaikovsky. Then I recommend using instead a memorable name that also indicates the business you are in, like www.lettucelaw.com, www.pestcontrollaw.com, etc. Of course, check your bar rules on the use of trade names first.
Make it easy for people to remember how to reach you, while at the same time leaving no doubt that your firm is a business.