Free email services are damaging trust in small business

October 26th, 2020 · by Domains Direct · 2 min read

To this day, there are times when you spot a small business that has its own web domain and yet uses Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail for their email. But it's easy to say which looks more professional out of and, right?

This is a missed opportunity. Your email domain is an often-overlooked branding tool that can help gain potential customers’ trust. When businesses don't bother, it's likely that they wanted to save a few bucks.

While, yes, small and medium businesses have to be frugal, it’s even better to be more discerning between what is a cost and what is actually an investment that can boost your profit.

The problem is that not having an email domain can be a major hurdle in building connections with customers. More and more studies show that businesses using free email services are losing the trust of potential customers.

A 2016 survey by GoDaddy reveals that three-quarters out of 1,000 respondents think having a domain-based email that matches your website is very important for a small business to earn their trust.

Specifically, the survey found that when a seller uses a personal email address, 33% doubt trustworthiness and legitimacy, 24% would be hesitant to give their personal information and 23% would be hesitant to give their credit card information.

In short, companies with brand-specific email addresses look more professional, credible, responsible and trustworthy than those with Yahoo or Gmail addresses.

This is apparently costing businesses revenues that could easily make up for the dollars they think they’re saving.

Despite growing evidence, why then do small businesses continue to ignore email domains?

Research done by Colmar Brunton in 2018 can get us to the heart of the matter.

  • Forty percent of businesses without a domain name, which is a first-step to an email domain, think the nature of their business doesn’t require one.

  • And yet, more respondents associated business name email addresses with each of seven positive qualities (professional, credible, knowledgeable, trustworthy, reliable, responsive and approachable) than generic email addresses.

  • However, businesses who say they are likely to buy a domain name lack awareness on how to purchase one. Among those who don’t have a domain name, only one in seven know exactly how to purchase it, making know-how the biggest barrier.

So we can see that the problem has two roots: lack of basic appreciation of email domains and lack of technical know-how. If you're already reading this, the first one of those probably isn't a problem. And the good news is that the second one is easily solved.

It's time to start using your domain for your email. Email management is built into our sister company MyHost’s web hosting packages, which make it easy to create and manage email addresses. Once you've registered your domain with us you’ll get a discount code that opens up six months free web hosting with My Host.

You won’t just have an email domain name. You’ll also be able to easily create and manage email accounts and have a reliable team of experts to ensure your website is secure and running excellently. All this will build up a professional identity that assures customers (and potential customers) that they can trust and do business with you.