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 @burbank.com or @dogwalker.com 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 @burbank.com 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 Burbank.com.
Needless to say, the link was like firstname.lastname@example.org 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.