Check Your Email ID

When you receive an email from someone, the “from” column in your inbox indicates who sent it. In that column is the person’s email ID. Seems simple right?

You might not realize is that your email address may not be the ID that is seen by your recipient. The ID you have for your email address can be changed and is handled in the settings within your email program.

So What Steve?

Let me list a few of the email IDs I have received, most of these in the last couple months, via our incoming unsolicited proposals inbox. We have received emails from:

New Notifications ??
MSN Service
and the winner of them all was simply a period. “   .   “ (Remove the quote marks and you will see the “name” of the person who sent the email.)

Mind you. These are not their email addresses. These are the email IDs that their program setting sends to whoever they email. It’s like the Caller ID on a phone call.

Would you sign your application for employment with any of the above (even in all caps)? Of course not. It would be unprofessional.

Some of these are kind of funny. Not sure I should have opened the email from HotGramma. The “from” all by itself was quite mysterious. Wasn’t sure if I should have shouted “KATHY” when opening that email. As for the period? All I can say is “punctuation matters.”

It is evident above that someone else helped their Grandma set up her email and thought it would be funny. Others left it to the computer to set a default of some sort. But then that person sent out queries to agents and editors with that as the “name” on their calling card.


Again. This is not the email address I am pointing to. It is the ID. Unfortunately, a lot of folks have not given much thought to what their email address looks like either, but that a story for another day.

To Make Matters Worse

Another thing few realize is that each device they use can possibly have a different email ID, even though they all use the same email address.

For example, a client may reply to one of my emails from their desktop where there email ID shows as “Charlie Jones.” But the next time they send a reply they used their cell phone where the email ID shows as “charliej.” And the next time they send a reply it is from their tablet where the email ID shows as “jonescharlie.” And the next time they send a reply it is from their laptop where the email ID shows as “Charlie’s Laptop.”

You see the problem? The person’s email address is the same on all four devices but their email ID in their settings is different.

On the surface it may not seem to be a problem but if I am searching later for a particular email from “Charlie Jones” it is unlikely I will readily find the outlier which is found under “jonescharlie” because that tablet is rarely used to reply to other business emails.

How do I fix it?

Navigate to the settings in your email to check. In Gmail you would click the “wheel” symbol | choose all settings | click “Accounts” | find the email address in question and click “edit info”. On that pop-up window there is a blank where you can fill in something other than your registered name as your email ID. I did a quick screen shot of what I use. Comments continue below the picture.

See how I have the ID set as “Steve Laube – Agency”? The recipient knows this email is from me but I added the word “Agency” to show it is from this company and not “Steve Laube – Home.”

Now it is your turn. Take a quick tour of the settings on all your devices. Hopefully you won’t be surprised by what you find.

It’s not a big issue, but one of those little things that can show you as being a professional.

16 Responses to Check Your Email ID

  1. Avatar
    DAMON J GRAY September 21, 2020 at 6:07 am #

    Same issue – different direction:

    This is exactly why you can appear to receive an email from “PayPal Accounts” or “Amazon Order Fulfillment” when it is actually from some site trying to sell you new rain gutters or the latest rage in weight loss formula.

    You always want to find the email address UNDER that email ID before opening anything in these emails. Just one mistake (all it takes is one) and you’ll be on every spammer’s email hit list.

    Thanks for the heads-up, Steve Laube – Agency!

    • Avatar
      Steve Laube September 21, 2020 at 6:19 pm #

      A good point.

      Like never “click here” unless you double check the underlying link which should show in the lower corner of your screen when you hover over it.

  2. Avatar
    Loretta Eidson September 21, 2020 at 6:23 am #

    Wow. Thank you for sharing this valuable information, Steve. I’m checking and confirming my ID on all my electronic devices now.

  3. Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser September 21, 2020 at 6:42 am #

    There is really very good
    call to keep strict clarity
    in one’s email, so one definitely should
    make certain one’s identity.
    But were I to choose a name
    this one wouldn’t be so bad;
    it’s redolent of noble fame,
    so, perhaps, SirGalahad.
    But maybe, on the other hand,
    it’s not the wisest place to go,
    for what folks would understand
    is that I have a huge ego.
    Thus, the name I would be pickin’:
    say hi to CaptainThunderChicken.

    • Avatar
      Steve Laube September 21, 2020 at 6:18 pm #

      Dear CaptainThunderChicken,

      Brilliant as usual!


  4. Avatar
    ClaudiaJ September 21, 2020 at 6:52 am #

    Thank you for that advise. I hope I did it correctly.
    I had wanted to change my email address to my name for professional reasons, but that change would have required notes to so many contacts.

    • Avatar
      Steve Laube September 21, 2020 at 6:22 pm #

      Never easy to change an address. But it can be done. One of our clients switched to a new address last year and she said that now her inbox is clean of blather.

      It can be a good idea to use a separate email address (or three) for newsletters and registering for online shopping sites, etc. Keeps your business email address away from the possibility of being packaged and sold to less than honorable sources.

  5. Avatar
    Kristen Joy Wilks September 21, 2020 at 9:11 am #

    I did it! Phew, it was just my name. Thanks for the tip!

  6. Avatar
    OLUSOLA SOPHIA ANYANWU September 21, 2020 at 11:30 am #

    Indeed! This speaks to me. Thanks Mr Laube. Professionalism is important. Thanks and God bless you.

  7. Avatar
    Lois Keffer September 21, 2020 at 1:58 pm #

    The French major in me knows that down deep, you are truly Steve “Lobe”.

    • Avatar
      Steve Laube September 21, 2020 at 6:17 pm #


      Actually my last name is German! 🙂 My father was 100% German.

      Hier stand eine völlig verwahrloste Laube mit eingetretenen Türen und zerborstenen Fenstern.
      Here stood a completely neglected arbor with broken doors and broken windows.

  8. Avatar
    Debbie Ewald September 21, 2020 at 5:45 pm #

    I had never thought of checking my email ID. Thank you, Steve, for another great tip that will help us improve our cyber presence.

  9. Avatar
    Joey Rudder September 22, 2020 at 8:59 am #

    Thank you, Steve. I use yahoo mail and hope I fixed it. I wondered why in group emails everyone else had a name and mine was my address. Sheesh. Thanks again!

  10. Avatar
    Jeanne Takenaka September 23, 2020 at 9:20 am #

    Well, now you’ve got me looking at all of this. It seems easier said than done to find and change the settings on some of my devices. Thanks for sharing this, Steve!

  11. Avatar
    Donna K. Stearns October 3, 2020 at 6:33 pm #

    Thank you for this information. I plan on checking on mine when I leave here.


  1. Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 09-24-2020 | The Author Chronicles - September 24, 2020

    […] the pandemic, many of us are spending more time online. Steve Laube recommends we check our email ID, which isn’t the same as our email address. This is good advice for everyone, not just […]

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