Role-Based Email Addresses: the Why and the How

Learn what role-based email addresses are, why you should use them in your business, and how to set them up.

When you’re setting up or expanding your business, it’s not enough to have one email address. Ideally, you should have multiple email addresses through which potential clients could reach you to ask for help or information. A good way to organize your company’s inbound email flow is by setting up role-based email addresses.

Role-based email addresses (such as [email protected]) are email addresses that aren’t associated with a specific person, but with a role. They could refer to entire departments or groups of recipients, depending on the size of the company and the scope of the role.

For example, in some cases, a role-based email account would be accessible to multiple persons. Think of it this way: medium-sized and large companies will need a whole team to handle support, so [email protected] would be an account that’s accessible by several persons, who are a part of that company’s support team. Let’s take a look at what role-based email addresses are exactly, how they work, and how you can implement them in your business.

What Is a Role-Based Email Address?

Role-based email addresses are emails which aren’t associated with a person, but a role, i.e. position, department, or task, which is a part of a certain company. As we’ve mentioned, oftentimes role-based email addresses are covered by teams of multiple people, as certain tasks require more (wo)manpower and can’t be handled by one individual alone. This means that role-based emails come with a distribution list of recipients that fit in a certain “role”, or category.

Additionally, role-based emails are not intended for personal use, so you shouldn’t use a role-based address for your personal email.

Role-based emails are a part of a properly thought out business structure and can help your customers get their answers from the right person or department. Additionally, role-based emails make your company look professional and well organized.

At the same time, role-based emails can be used within a company to manage roles amongst your employees, as well as to set up multiple-recipient lists for certain tasks.

Keep in mind that for your role-based email to indeed look professional, you’d need to use your own business’ name, or your website’s domain name in the part following the @ of the email address.

For instance, rather than:

[email protected]

The role-based email where customers can get information about your business should be:

[email protected]

In fact, none of your business email addresses should include a separate email client in the field following the @. So for instance, even your personal business account should be something like [email protected] rather than [email protected]. Keeping your business domain in the email address shows that you... mean business.

If you don’t like dealing with multiple inboxes, or you prefer another email client, you can always forward your business emails to another mailbox. The important thing is for your client to see your email as a clear part of your business.

Why Should You Get Role-Based Email Addresses?

There are several reasons why your business could benefit from having role-based emails:

  1. Having role-based emails as a part of your business can help ensure that the senders contact the right person - or team - to handle their query. If a person is on the FAQ page on your site, they can contact [email protected]; if they’re at the pricing plans page, they can contact [email protected]; if they’re at the help center, they can contact [email protected], and so on.
  2. Role-based emails help you organize your team and delegate tasks. Instead of one person forwarding all emails to the relevant employee, role-based emails allow customers to get the recipient right at the beginning.
  3. Role-based emails help maintain a professional look in front of your client base. When potential customers see that your team can manage all to offer help and information regarding all aspects of your business, they’ll feel more comfortable about trusting you and purchasing your product or service.

What Role-Based Email Addresses Should Your Company Have?

You may be wondering what role-based email addresses your company should have. Although this may vary depending on the type of business, there are several role-based email addresses that are almost universally applicable to all companies and organizations.

Here are the role-based emails you’ll need, and some examples of how you can formulate them:

  • Customer service, general inquiries or information: info@; hi@; hello@ (or whatever “hello” is in your language!); hiya@; contact@, etc.;
  • Billing/payment: billing@; payment@;
  • Customer support or tech support: support@; help@;
  • Sales: sales@;
  • Job applications or queries about openings: careers@; jobs@;

While these are role-based emails that generally pertain to your customer base, you may also have role-based emails for teams within your company. Of course, usually, you would have separate personal business emails for employees, but role-based emails come in handy in the work environment when you’re trying to reach a number of employees in a simplified fashion. In this context, a role-based email would include a list of participants and would allow you to just send a message to one email rather than fill out CC’s, BC’s, and so on.

For instance, you may have the following role-based emails within your company, in addition to some of the previous:

  • Accounting team: accounting@; finance@;
  • Sales team: sales@;
  • Marketing team: marketing@;
  • Event planning: events@;
  • and so on...

If someone in your company changes their job description through a promotion, they can always set up email forwarding to their new role-based email which reflects their new position.

How to Implement Role-Based Email Addresses

If you're using a business email hosting service for your domain, then you should be able to set up alias accounts in that to create role based email addresses.

If you don't have an email hosting service, you can use an email forwarding service, like ForwardMX. Our service allows you to create multiple emails, as well as email aliases that use your domain in the name, i.e. [email protected]. Then, decide on which role-based emails you’d need to offer to your clients, as well as which role-based emails would be helpful within your team based on which tasks require multiple recipients.

Then, you can determine which person(s) will have access to the inboxes associated with a certain role-based email. You can then provide them with the credentials (username and password) which would allow them to view received messages and send emails from that address. Managing user roles for the various addresses is quite simple through the ForwardMX interface.

A Final Word to the Wise

Make sure to keep your role-based email accounts “live.” In other words, if you have a change or expansion in your staff, make sure that someone is always managing those emails and replying to queries. One problem with role-based emails that have multiple recipients is that sometimes members of the team just assume that someone else will take care of answering a certain email. To prevent messages from going unanswered, you should have an effective system in place that distributes the responsibility.

Lastly, if you’re the owner of the business, you should always have a personal email address, as we already discussed. This should be something like [email protected], or [email protected].

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