Let's say I have the domain johnsmith.com and I want people to reach me via email, what is the best email username to use?

Some examples:

Of course, technically I can simply say that I will be able to receive *@johnsmith.com, however, for a better user experience I still just want one email address for public presence (website, business cards, etc.).

Any suggestions?

  • 12
    Just don't use info, webmaster, sales, support, administrator, etc. etc., unless you have a very good spam filter set up. Commented Sep 17, 2011 at 15:47
  • 2
    [email protected] Commented Sep 17, 2011 at 19:34
  • 2
    I quite like "[email protected]" if you want the address to be impersonal. Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 9:18
  • 2
    One friend I knew had [email protected] which I found extremely memorable. Possibly somewhat unprofessional in some circumstances.
    – Kit Grose
    Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 1:30
  • If you have a Ph.D. by some chance you could try [email protected] ;)
    – user541686
    Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 17:46

10 Answers 10


Remember that irrespective of the domain, it's the bit before the @ that is the reference by which you addressing the person, so you can detach the username from the domain name.

[email protected] keeps things nice and simple, but rather anonymous - who is js exactly

[email protected] has redundancy, yes, but keeps it on a personal level which is nice and friendly.

[email protected] keeps it professional but [email protected] makes the person being addressed even clearer, so is good for business cards (which should be personal and professional at the same time), and also email and smaller websites.

In between those two is [email protected] which is halfway between personal and professional.

[email protected] is good for websites as it indicates users are using the right email to answer any questions they may have, and also gives the impression of a larger organisation

If I had to give out just one email from the above, for all the locations it might appear, and where the individuals name is itself the domain, then I would use [email protected] despite the redundancy as it sounds the most approachable all round.

However - you give a specific example using fairly short names. if the name was Mahershalalhashbaz Ali and the domain was (purely following your example) mahershalalhashbazali.com then I would not use the email [email protected]...

  • 4
    It may depend on local culture, but in the last case I would reconsider the mahershalalhashbazali.com domain as well.
    – Agos
    Commented Sep 23, 2011 at 12:59
  • I ended up settling for [email protected] or [email protected] or something like that.
    – André
    Commented Apr 26, 2012 at 11:22
  • 1
    Mahershalalhashbaz... there's some Sunday School trivia - it's the longest word in the Bible. Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 3:57
  • @Luke. It's also my family's cat's name.
    – TRiG
    Commented Sep 29, 2012 at 17:52

The nicest one that I've seen so far was [email protected]. It came across as friendly and human.


It depends what sort of people you want to contact you. I would suggest [email protected] as a general one, especially on the website. Buisness cards you might want to try [email protected] or [email protected]. You can use the email to suggest that there might be a few more people than just you behind it.

Of course, you might want to take it on a more quirky route, and use [email protected] or [email protected]. You need to focus it around the image that you want to give.


If you have [email protected], it's also geeky to use [email protected]. :)

I tried [email protected], [email protected] and ended up using [email protected].

Though when typing in "to email address" in a mail client, the person typing hopes that the recipient's email starts with his name.

Like when I want to contact Mr. John Smith, I would probably type "john" for the autocomplete to find it.

The flaw is technically having your name in the domain name. The email assumes that the domain name is the name of the server, and not a person.

But since we are going to live with this convention for the coming many years, I figured [email protected] would be the best to be straightforward. I also like [email protected].

  • 1
    [email protected] is indeed funny and geeky but would probably cause major confusion in some people. Even if they "fix" your mistake and convert it to [email protected] they would still wonder if you got the e-mail or someone else did...
    – Omar Kohl
    Commented Sep 19, 2011 at 7:43
  • The best answer so far +1 Commented Jul 7, 2018 at 18:43

Not that it works for every name but I'm not a big fan of redundantly repeating characters.

John Smith → [email protected]

You'll need to find the appropriate TLD for this to work.

  • .th doesn't allow second level domain names. So smi.th one isn't possible. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.th Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 11:31
  • 1
    Yeah, that happens with many other TLDs as well. Such an annoying attitude should be illegal. :P Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 18:47

How about the simplest of all [email protected] ? Nothing can get shorter that this. And it clearly describes that "I" am the person johnsmith.com refers to.


From the usability perspective, [email protected] makes the most sense. Practical use case, if you are trying to give someone your email over the phone (for example to a travel agent) you can simply say

"my email is my first name, at my first name plus last name dot com"


I settled on the shortest. I simply give out t at timchambersusa.com. Otherwise, I make up something to fit the use I put it to. If you visit timchambersusa.com you'll see on that page that I say:

If you'd like to contact me, write to homepage at timchambersusa.com. (That's right: "homepage," as in "I'm contacting you via your homepage." Subject to change if I have to dodge spammers. When I reply to you I'll give you my regular email address.)

I also use roles and sub-identities. Of course root, webmaster, and admin reach me. For Boy Scouts I'd be something like scouter. For my faith I'm anglican. I ride an electric bike, so for that activity I'm ebiker.

I often echo the place I give my email to. At Google Plus I'm gplus. If I did business with Wells Fargo (I don't) I'd be wellsfargo. Funny story. I listed a property to rent at VRBO and used vrbo. They had the nerve to contact me just to tell me I couldn't use that in my email because that was their trademark. Fine. I changed it to obrv_backwards.

I upvoted @johngb's answer. I, too, like how [email protected] sounds.

All this discussion misses the point, IMO. Generally speaking, names make lame domain names and even lamer email addresses. If you need a domain, pick a cool one. The coolest personal domain I know is gag.com. Look that one up. Registered by a neighbor of mine in 1991. I prefer to be reached @alum.mit.edu. I earned it, and it lasts a lifetime. I write to some friends @acm.org and @computer.org. If I needed an email address I'd pay for one of those. Or some other recognizable branding.

— Tim


My favorite email username is “vip.”

Not everyone understands how luxury it is to own a personal email domain, especially for those who are unfamiliar with IT.

But the cashier at your local wholesale store must be surprised if the email on your membership profile begins with “vip@.”

(I still remember the facial expression of the representative at my local cellular store when I opened an account with such an email.)

Alternatively, I can provide different emails to different businesses. This way I can immediately know which business leaked their database with my personal information.


I have few suggestion such as

  1. [email protected],
  2. [email protected],
  3. [email protected]
  • not so clever i think:)
    – Herr
    Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 17:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.