Starting today, you can create and manage multiple email aliases from a single Hotmail account. Together with features that we introduced in November that let you use Hotmail with any existing email address, the new aliasing feature makes it easy to use a different email address and still get all the benefits of Hotmail without having to change your primary email address and online identity.
The email address a person uses is a big part of their online identity. The average person maintains three different email addresses in order to organize different types of email, maintain different personas, or keep junk mail away from a primary email address. So there are many good reasons that people want multiple email addresses, but maintaining multiple accounts, with different user names and passwords that require you to check multiple inboxes, is inefficient. With today’s update, Hotmail helps you save time by making it easier to manage your current and future email addresses in one place.
Hotmail (and many other email services) already allow you to just add a plus sign (‘+’) and a descriptive word to the first part of your email address. For instance, if your email address was email@example.com and you wanted to create an alias for online shopping, you could use firstname.lastname@example.org. Email sent to this alias will still be delivered to your inbox or to a particular folder. This can help with managing different types of incoming email. In addition to the plus feature, we’ve also released Sweep to help manage this type of incoming email traffic.
However, with the plus addresses that many services offer, it’s still very easy to determine your actual email address and there are times when you simply don’t want to give out any part of your real email address – that’s where our new alias feature helps you out. Email aliases let you create completely different email addresses that you can use to receive email into your primary account without anyone knowing what your primary email address is.
Let’s say you’re in the market for a new car. There are a bunch of websites that will email you price quotes, sales alerts, etc. During your car search, these messages are helpful, but once you’re done, they become clutter that can be difficult to stop. By using an alias on these websites instead of your main email address, you can avoid this. And when you’re done, just turn the alias off, ensuring future unwanted messages that are sent to that alias don’t land in your inbox.
You might also be concerned that your address could be sold to other companies or could result in a large amount of new email that you don’t want or doesn’t belong in the same place as your regular email. Or maybe you want an address that’s better suited to your hard-core gaming persona rather than your normal, professional one. Starting today, you can add up to five aliases per year to your Hotmail account, up to fifteen aliases in total, all designed to make it a lot easier to organize different types of email and personas in one Hotmail inbox without having to give out your primary email address if you don’t want to.
With the option to use Hotmail with any email address and the ability to easily add aliases, we look forward to hearing how you’re better managing and securing your online identity.
Director, Windows Live Product Management