An active email address can be likened to a database that contains the contact information of clients, friends, family and acquaintances. Although, it is primarily used to communicate and exchange information, it can serve as an electronic address book for business information or documents over a long period of time.
But when the need to change your email to a new one arises, how do you go about doing this without losing vital information? This change in email address may have been prompted by the need to use a simple address name or a change in corporate information as a result of a merger or acquisition.
Changing your email address can be a huge task but can be made simple by following the guidelines as highlighted by www.pcworld.com:
Steps to Changing Your Email Address Without Losing Your Contacts
1. Keep The Old Address For A Little While
The first thing you need to do is check with your old email service provider and find out how long you can keep the old address and at what price. It is probably worth the money to keep it for at least a few months.
2. Tell Your Contacts But Use Blind Carbon Copy (BCC)
You need to tell everyone about the change. Use your new address to send an email to everyone in your address book – friends, relatives, and business associates. Address the message to yourself with the new address, and BCC everyone else.
The BCC part is important because providing everyone with everyone else’s email address is going to get some people angry, especially if some people use ‘Reply to All’.
3. Auto-forward and Auto-respond
Set up your mail client to receive messages from both accounts. Check the client’s features to see if there is a way to send an automated response in reply to any message coming from the old address – and only the old address. The message, of course, should remind them to use the new address.
You may also want to set up your client to separate messages using the ‘Send To Address’. That way, you can really see who is still using the old address.
For instance, if you use Gmail, you can create a filter that can move the message to a label (Gmail for folder) or put a star next to the message. To do this:
I . Click the tool icon near the top-right corner of the Web page and select ‘Settings’.
II. Click the ‘Filters and Blocked Addresses’ tab.
III. Go to the bottom of the page and click ‘Create a new filter’.
IV. In the resulting dialog box, enter your old address in the ‘To’ field.
V. Click ‘Create filter with this search’ in the lower-right corner.
VI. Check one of the options. I suggest ‘Star it or Apply the label’ and create a new label.
VII. Click ‘Create filter’.
Set up Gmail to redirect messages sent to the old address to another location.
4. Update Your Site Logins and Subscription
Meanwhile, go through all of the websites you log onto via your email address, and change your account information to reflect your new address.
Do the same with mailing lists. If you subscribe to a blog, a newsletter, or just a group of friends, make the change so you won’t fall off the list.
5. The Lazy Way Out
You can avoid a lot of these hassles if you decide to keep the old address indefinitely – especially if the old address is cheap or, better yet, free. You can phase it out at your own pace, or make it the repository for all your junk email.
6. Other Ways to Make Email Addresses Easier to Manage
On the other hand, you may want to lose the old address precisely because of all the garbage that fills its inbox. If that’s the case, you need to protect the new address as well as junk the old one.
Sign up for a service that provides disposable email addresses that forward messages to your real one. If you are worried about giving someone your address, give them a disposable one.
You can use Blur, a free Firefox and Chrome extension. Other options include spamex and mailshell.
Finally, consider buying your own domain name, and using an email address from there. No one can take away your email address if you own the domain. Domain hosting prices can vary widely, so shop carefully. Also remember to reprint your business cards.