Post Office: Your Email Address Is WHAT?
Given the choice, more and more people are choosing to communicate via email. Doctors make considerable efforts to ensure that their practice is at a good, reachable address, but they quite often pay no heed to what their email address is. As email becomes more common, your email address is viewed with the same scrutiny as your physical practice location. Is your practice using an email address that suits the professional look of an office or are you still sending out emails to your patients and contacts using 'hotmail', 'aol' or 'msn'? This issue is really very easy to address (no pun intended!).
All doctors have their own domain name for their web site. The next step is in having your email address be at the same domain name. Just as our web site address is http://www.eyecarepro.net, our email addresses look like firstname.lastname@example.org . You don't need any special software to get a domain name or an email address at your domain. Whoever manages your domain name can create email addresses for you at your domain name. If EyeCarePro manages your domain name, then don't wait, get in touch with us now to request an email address at your domain.
There are a number of different ways that your email addresses can be set-up. Make sure you talk to someone to find out which solution is best for you. Let's use eyecarepro.net as an example below.
Email Forwarding - This options lets anyone send email to email@example.com, but the email itself actually gets forwarded to my gmail account (I happen to use Gmail, there are many services like it available). This solves half the problem, as I can now promote my email address as firstname.lastname@example.org. The solution to the second half of the problem is to configure Gmail to now send email 'from' email@example.com. Once that is done, email forwarding is a good solution, and I can now use Gmail, or another similar tool, to send and receive email as firstname.lastname@example.org. Gmail has the added flexibility of being accessible anywhere, anytime. No more worrying about missing an important email while you are at home!
For offices that wish to set up email on their work stations, there are two different ways to set up email accounts.
POP3 - In this scenario, email sent to email@example.com is stored on a server (called a POP3 server) until it is downloaded to your computer, via something like Outlook. Once e-mail has been downloaded to your computer, it is removed from the server. This has the advantage of using a more sophisticated email program to manage your mail, but has the disadvantage of limiting your email to only that computer.
IMAP is an advanced protocol for sending and receiving e-mail. It resolves the disadvantage of POP3 by still keeping a copy of your email on the IMAP server. This means that you can access email for firstname.lastname@example.org from any computer. The disadvantage is that a copy of your email remains stored on the IMAP server 'forever', and eventually might be 'too much' for whoever is looking after that server.
There are plenty of possible email configurations, and one of them is bound to suit your needs. So, if you're still using a 'strange' email address that doesn't match your domain name, it's time to change. Get in touch with EyeCarePro today, or whoever registered your domain, and get yourself a nice, shiny, new email address.
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