Let’s Consider Readability in names and eMail addresses
Every day I receive a minimum of 50 eMails, and so I get to see a lot of eMail addresses and company names of my customers and potential customers. I cannot count the variations on ‘ewe,’ ‘baby bottom,’ ‘sheepy,’ ‘fiber,’ ‘yummy,’ and ‘sleepy’ which come across my screen. Some make me groan, others make me smile, and a very few make me nod my head in approval. Every time I see a company name or eMail referring to a baby’s bottom, I have to wonder why someone would do that! And, every time I see an eMail that has more than three words in it, I have to cringe. Both guarantee misspellings, or simply being unforgettable.
If you want to make a success of your dyeing business, you must think long and hard about all aspects of how you present yourself to your potential customer base. First, and most important is the name of your company, and your eMail address. Think of them as one. If you’ve already chosen a name which is easily misspelled or easily confused with too many others, then change it. Dealing with a bad name and/or eMail address, your potential customers are already typing in the name incorrectly into a search, or stumbling over two vowels mashed up together, or looking at a foreign word that maybe means something to you, but is far out of the realm of the average yarnie’s interest. If your company name is a disaster, then make a big deal, a cyber event about your company’s name change. Tell everyone who follows you on social media, send eMails to everyone who has ever ordered from you, and change it once and be done. Do not change it again, once you’ve got that great name. People will lose touch with you, forget your new name, or simply form an opinion of you and your company that you are not a serious contender and therefore forgettable. You want your name to be a tool to guide your customer to your website, not to send them to a search engine to see if a name might ring a bell, which is a great way to give your customers to your competition in one easy step.
Harsh words? Not really. Your company name is one of your biggest marketing tools and you must understand this, love your company name, and use it to create repeat business. It must be memorable, easy to spell, and suit you and the image that you are trying to create. Take some time and start a list of possible names. Write down every one and bounce them off of friends and family, but expand that circle and ask your bookkeeper, if you have one yet, your banker, and surely you have a separate bank account and a nodding acquaintance with your banker, and ask your business associates where you work. Give people a choice and scratch anything off the list which is suggestive or negative, or causes too much figuring out of the message. Keep the list going until one of the names speaks to you.
Be sure to follow some tips from the marketing world in choosing your company name, such as…
– Is it easy to spell?
– Is it catchy, memorable, suggestive of your and your art?
– Strike anything off the list that is trite, overused, based on pop culture, and silly. Humor is one of the most difficult marketing tools, and very few succeed in a big way. The use of humor in marketing will be sure to brand you in someone’s eyes, and that is not a good thing.
– Is the name short, and less than three words?
– Does it make sense when read, and not make the reader stumble when they encounter two vowels together?
– Does it contain any words which could be spelled differently by many readers? (fiber vs fibre, color vs colour, etc.)
– Does it suggest any negative connotation at all? Even the slightest possibility of a negative connotation is enough to scratch that name off your list.
– Does the name limit you to a geographical area (state, city, area of the country)? an age group? a special interest group? a certain religion, sex, or nationality?
– Does it suggest too much private information about you? That is, you are a mommy, a fiddle player, a sports fan, an avid quilter, etc. All of these descriptors have nothing to do with yarn. Stay away from them. Your purpose is to use a good name to bind you to yarnies, not to other hobbies, vocations, stages of life. The one thing you have in common is yarn, wool, fiber. Not baby bottoms or wiccan or cooking.
– Does the name suggest you are very young, very tired of life, very cynical, very insecure? These are negatives. Stay away!
– Does the name play on other words, rhymes, song titles, common phrases? These are tired and old-fashioned. Stay away!
Now, think about your eMail address. Second to your company name, your eMail address should be a perfect representation of what you want people to remember. If you are serious, then get a web page and use PayPal, at a minimum, for eCommerce. YOU@YourBusiness.com goes miles to reinforce your attitude about your business, your level of professionalism, your business sensibility. If you are playing at having a business, then use cute phrases that thrill you when you see them written down, and you don’t care how others respond when they see them, or try to spell the name, or even remember it. Whatever you do, do not use info@youreMail.com because ‘info,’ just like ‘admin,‘ are spam magnets. Stay away from those two words in your eMail address.
I hope these ideas might help the newbies who are in the creative and planning stages of setting up a new hand-dye business, or folks who may now be seeing their business grow in the right direction, but they are having second thoughts about the company name and eMail address. My wish is that some idea might suggest to you a good, clear path to the value of an effective company name and eMail address as communication tools in your fiber arts business.