Email Alias 101: What They Mean and Why They're Important

An email alias is an email linked to a primary email account that can send/receive emails on its behalf. Learn about their benefits and if you should use them.

email alias meaning

If you’re looking for a way to use your email with more privacy or manage multiple emails under one roof, then an email alias may be exactly what you need.

Much like the name implies, an email alias is an alternative email address you can use instead of your primary email address.

But what makes it so convenient and why not simply create a new email account instead?

In this article, we’ll answer that and a lot more on what email aliases really are and how you can use them to your advantage.

You'll learn all about:

  • What Email Aliases Are and How They're Used
  • Deliverability with Email Aliases
  • How to Set Up an Email Alias

Let’s dive in!

What Is An Email Alias?

An email alias is a forwarding email address that can send and receive messages like a normal email while linked to a primary email account. The primary email account is kept private and is forwarded all the messages that the linked email alias receives.

It’s important to note here that although an email alias can operate just like a normal email, it’s not a real or separate email address. It is an email forwarding address that simply swaps the primary sender’s email with an alias.

What Are Email Aliases Used For?

Email aliases are a convenient way to protect privacy and centrally manage one or many email addresses through one account.

A single user can have multiple email aliases for a wide variety of reasons. For example, an organization may create email aliases for customer service representatives that each link back to a primary email address responsible for quality control.

Other reasons for using an email alias include:

  • Temporary/disposable email address: an email alias can be used to temporarily sign up to a website and then be later deleted.
  • Title-based email addresses: often employees require an email that represents their department or job title rather than their names e.g. [email protected].
  • Keeping track of customers: It can be convenient to have a record of customer emails from multiple aliases under one account.

How to Create an Email Alias

Email aliases can be easily created through your ESP (email service provider). The process differs depending on your ESP but is generally straightforward.

You can find detailed steps with your ESP such as:

How Email Aliases Are Used For Email Marketing

When running an ad that includes a contact email address such as in a classifieds section or online, an email alias can help serve many marketing purposes, like:

  • Protect your primary email account/identity from spam.
  • Keep track of inbound leads and prospects.
  • Measure engagement and campaign reach.

There are plenty of ways to utilize email aliases for inbound marketing. But what about using an alias for cold email outreach? For that, let’s take a closer look…

Is It A Good Idea To Use Aliases In Cold Outreach Campaigns?

The short answer is no, and for a few interesting reasons. As mentioned earlier, an email alias is not a real email address, but rather just a name put in place to mask the primary sender’s address.

There are two main issues that arise because of this.

Email Alias Deliverability

When using an email alias, the primary account is handling all the email activity but in disguise, so to speak. That means an email alias will share the same deliverability as the primary email account it is connected to because in reality, the alias account is not really sending anything, the main account is.

Therefore, if the primary account has a poor sender reputation, using an email alias will not fix the problem.

Another issue with aliases is the level of anonymity they provide, which is not ideal for cold email marketing. Trying to mask your main account when sending cold emails is not looked upon favorably by email service providers and can trigger spam filters.

To complicate things further, when one email alias gets its reputation hit, it affects the host account and all the aliases associated with it.

Email Alias Warm Up

Since an email alias is not technically sending or receiving messages but only masking the primary sender’s email, there is no real way to warm up an email alias.

If you attempted to warm up an email alias, you would be warming up the primary email address it is linked to. The only solution would be to create a new email account with a different name and warm it up normally. But in that case, it’s no longer an email alias, but simply a normal email account.

Key Takeaways

Email aliases are incredibly useful tools that can be easily created in most email services. The ability to preserve your email’s privacy or manage multiple emails through one main account is a major convenience for companies and individuals alike.

The key things to remember are:

  • When using an email alias, the primary email account is doing all the email activity while disguised with an alias.
  • Email aliases are useful for keeping track of and organizing inbound emails.
  • Using email aliases for cold outreach is not recommended and can compromise the primary sender’s reputation.