Last updated on March 21st, 2020 by Vinita Menon

Small business owners know that before they can chase new customers and sales, they have to chase credibility. Every customer touchpoint –– both online and offline –– is an exercise in branding, and strong, consistent branding goes a long way in building trust and credibility. But why then do so many small businesses undo their brand-building efforts by using a free email address?

As a small business, the financial decisions you make can have a significant impact on your bottom line . When you’re just starting out, paying for a professional email service can seem like a luxury or an unnecessary expense. It’s this assumption that buying business email is expensive that often leads new businesses to settle for the less professional alternative –– sending emails from a free email service. 

Maybe it’s not even the expense, maybe you’re just not aware of the weight your email address carries. But picture this: you get an email from a small business offering its services as a staffing company. You’ve been on the lookout for a job change, so the subject line has you hooked, you are drawn in by the sleek images and clever copywriting, and you are just about to click the ‘Sign Up Now’ CTA button at the bottom when you notice the from address –

I bet that’s going straight into your spam folder.

What the Numbers Say About Free Email

  • 58% of customers said they would not be comfortable sharing credit card information with a business that was not using a real business email address
  • When it came to the level of importance of different digital touchpoints for forming a company’s professional image, 86% customers said a professional email address was extremely important; as opposed to only 56% giving the same level of importance to its social media presence
  • 63% of customers believed that a business using a personal email address was not professional
  • 69% of customers questioned whether such a business valued data privacy
  • Business email is the fourth biggest trust factor among prospective buyers
  • 33% of customers doubt the trustworthiness of business using free email
  • 24% of customers are concerned about sharing personal info with a business using free email
  • 23% of customers are concerned about sharing credit card info with a business using free email
  • 59% of customers  say email marketing influences their decision to purchase

What a Free Email Address Says About You

Communication is key to building a relationship with your customers and partners. Your interactions with them will probably begin over email, and if your very first communication touchpoint comes across as unprofessional, you’re starting the fight with one hand tied behind your back. You bought a domain for your business, so you obviously understand the importance of setting up a digital presence. So why not extend the branding effort into your communications?

A business email address is not only more professional, but it is also a branding opportunity for your business every time you converse with a customer. It helps provide a consistent image of the company to a prospect perusing your website, visiting your social media pages, and eventually seeing your name in their inbox. It also increases the chances of your well-crafted emails successfully skipping the dreaded spam filters.

A cold email about your content writing services may very well be appealing to a prospective customer, but unsupported by a professional email address, could at best make your business look like a side hustle and at worst like a scam. Sending professional emails from a personal email address makes it seems like you are not fully committed to your business. 

A hero in a broken email market

One of the biggest reasons small business owners shy away from investing in professional email is the assumption that it is expensive, and this is not completely unfounded. Enterprise solutions like G Suite and Office 365 are considered the gold standard in business communications, but they come with a big, expensive catch. 

One can’t just buy business email from Google or Microsoft without having to pay for an entire suite of additional productivity tools. Purchasing G Suite is the only way to get Google’s business email product, so even if you only want to use your business’s domain on Gmail, you’ll need to spend $72 a year. With Office 365, you will pay $60 a year for its most bare-bones plan. And both of these are plans are just for one account. As your business scales and the number of people on your team grows, these costs will jump up quickly.

That’s why we built Titan, the world’s first business email designed specifically for a small business’s needs and budget. You can get up and running on Titan in minutes by signing up for a free 30-day trial. If you’re loving it, you can keep using it for just $1.49 a month! It’s just as reliable as the free email you know and love, without the hefty price tag and unnecessary add-ons.

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Originally published 14th January 2020 08:12:59am, last updated on March 21st, 2020

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