One Reason to Not Offer Vanity Email Addresses

Yesterday afternoon, someone asked me my thoughts on the topic of offering vanity email addresses. The idea is that people will become more loyal to your website and will visit more often if they have a or email address. While this may be true, I’ve heard there are many problems that vanity email address management causes.

Ironically, I was cleaning out my spam folder a few minutes ago and found something that reaffirms my reasoning for not offering this service.

Sitting in my spam filter was a bunch of emails to various email addresses I use. Everyone of them had an error/security message saying that I needed to click the link below to reset some password or do something random. Honestly, I deleted them before I could do anything. However, the emails were cloaked so it looked like it came from

Needless to say, the link was like or something like that. Obviously if you clicked that link, you’d be directed to another website, and if you entered your login information, someone else would now have access to your inbox. Most people are probably aware and cognizant of spoof/phishing emails, but I am sure there are plenty of people who aren’t.

Imagine if you had 5,000 email addresses under management and several people clicked the link. You’d have to deal with this – as if you didn’t have much else better to do. IMO, if it doesn’t drive enough revenue to compensate for the time you will end up spending on management, it’s not worth it – especially if you have a bunch of websites.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. It doesn’t drive up revenue in the “count the last penny” quantitative sort of way, but it does generate user chatter, interest and local involvement in the site.

    Geo names are unique in that there isn’t much more relevant to a person then where they live. As such, there is hardly a more perfect interplay between user and @domain freemail than when offered on a relevant geo.

    Local people will get them, other people will see them, then those other people will want them, in turn and in turn. It’s one of many available sparks that can assist with generating critical mass.

    The status-quo model- as it stands right now- tends to be city-guide centric and very “outside in”, in that it’s predominantly marketing to people who are looking into an area, rather than those who already live there. This is largely because of ‘who pays the bills’ in the way of advertisers.

    @geo freemail addresses the inside-out component, which, in my opinion, has been thus far neglected in terms of development.

    This user-experience vacuum is creating interesting opportunities, particularly in the way of geo.orgs, where the orgy, community, flesh-pressing dynamic can be neatly captured and marketed to smaller, local advertisers- particularly if the .com is a low/no content PPC garbage farm.

    Anyway, rambling now.
    I think @geo freemail is great. Yes, it’s “something to deal with” as the admin, but it’s one of the more forward and useful things you can offer your users and the drawbacks don’t seem to outweigh the prospective pros.

    Just one guys opinion.

  2. Why not just give them email forwarding. People get to keep their currant email accounts and get the added benefit of a vanity email they can use at their discretion. If they don’t have an email send them to gmail , hotmail, etc to make an account so they can forward their vanity name to it.


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