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What’s wrong with using generic email addresses (info@ or admin@) for customer use?

I recently had a customer who wanted to use admin@CompanyName.com.au as an email address that he could put on the company website as generic contact address. This got me thinking as to whether using generic email addresses like admin@ or info@ for customer communication purposes was a good idea. These are some of my thoughts around the risks in using these email addresses.

  1. Not very personable for potential new customers.

When I send an email to Info@companyname.com my default assumption is that the email will end up in a generic mailbox that may not even be monitored. I wonder if my email will be responded to and will I be communicating with a real person who is interested in my patronage.

Rather than using info@ it’s probably better to use a person’s name (even if the person is fictional). Perhaps even make the name gender neutral (e.g. Bellamy@ or Charlie@). You can even create a shared mailbox for that name which real people can monitor and respond if required.

Note – For your website it’s more personable to have a Web form people to send communication to you rather than a generic email address. Also, you have more control as to the information you want from the person as you can have different forms for different queries being asked.

2. info@ can receive lots of Spam or Viruses.

“Bad Actors” create robot programs that search for domain names and add “info” as the username to send spam or viruses. If you are using info@companyname.com as a regular mail address for communicating with customers then you Inbox could also contain regular Spam emails or more dangerously emails that look real from potential customers but actually contain viruses.

3. Using Role based addresses.

There are some email addresses that are traditionally used for internal role-based purposes. For instance, if you want to send an email to every person in the Sales Team you would set up a group email like Sales@CompanyName.com. Usually, Admin@CompanyName.com is used by I.T. Department as a login to systems as administrator. Having customers send email to these addresses is also not a very personable approach to communication.

I am very interested in your thoughts regarding this. Perhaps you have other risks or suggestions on how you manage generic addresses. Feel free to comment below.