July 18, 2016
Do you think it’s convenient to use your Gmail, AOL or Yahoo e-mail address for business? That might be true, but it could also be turning away potential clients and harming your professional credibility without you even knowing it.
I often receive e-mails from business owners and entrepreneurs who use free e-mail services like Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo etc. when representing their business. If you’re one of these people, it’s time to change your e-mail addresses to your business domain.
A recent survey conducted by GoDaddy revealed that 75 percent of consumers view a professional domain-based e-mail address that matches the domain of a website as extremely important for gaining their trust when purchasing.
“You never forget a first impression, either in real life or online. Often your first direct interaction with a customer takes place over e-mail and so looking professional in this context is hugely important,” GoDaddy chief product officer Steven Aldrich said.
Using free e-mail services gives the impression your business is amateurish and is not trustworthy.
“From the moment a consumer views your e-mail address on a business card, your website, or in their inbox, they are immediately going to make judgments about your business, so don’t fall into the trap of using a personal address that anyone could get. It detracts from the trustworthiness you’re looking to convey,” Aldrich continued.
People Buy From People They Trust
According to the survey, 33 percent of respondents doubt the legitimacy of the business owner while 24 percent would be hesitant to provide their contact information to such a site that uses a free e-mail service address.
And ‘email@example.com’ doesn’t count. If you want to be taken seriously and build trust amongst your followers, then you need to take your business branding and e-mail reputation seriously too by using an e-mail address such as ‘firstname.lastname@example.org.’
“Using a professional e-mail address that ends with your company’s domain offers you an opportunity to build your brand every time you interact with a customer versus promoting an Internet e-mail giant like Gmail, Yahoo and others,” said Aldrich.
Another interesting result that came from the survey is that using a professional based e-mail address is three times more important that being active on social media.
Putting Your Best Professional Foot Forward Is More Important Than Ever
In today’s day and age of spammers and other nefarious characters trying to cheat our money away from us, it’s more important than ever to present our legitimate businesses in as much a professional light as possible.
You don’t want to look like a spammer.
You don’t want to appear amateurish.
You want to build trust with those you communicate with.
It may seem inconsequential to use a Gmail e-mail address, but studies like this prove what I’ve been saying for years where it can have a very adverse effect on the bottom line of your business.
Do you want to be respected for being a legitimate, trustworthy and respected business? Then ditch the free e-mail service and start using your website’s professional e-mail address instead.
You can still use the Gmail service to send and receive e-mails this way, you just need to set up the settings as a POP3 account.
Have you ever encountered someone who professes to be in business but is using a personal/free e-mail service to communicate with?
What was your honest reaction when seeing it?
Did it affect your decision to doing business with them?
As the founder, Susan Friesen brings a unique advantage to eVision Media clients by having earned a Bachelor in Business Administration degree with a concentration in Computer Information Systems through the Thompson River's University. Her experience in the Web development industry since 1999 has gained her much insight and knowledge in how to effectively brand a business and then translate that to a user-friendly, search-engine friendly, custom designed website. She is a graduate of the Vancouver Film School multi-media program and also earned several certificates in technology through the University of Victoria and Athabasca University. She won the 2003-2004 Governor General's Bronze Academic Award for achieving the highest academic standing in a diploma-level post secondary program. http://evisionmedia.ca