For a small business owner, credibility is everything. It’s something you need to build before you go looking for customers so they can trust you. Every customer touchpoint—online and offline—is an exercise in branding. Strong, consistent branding goes a long way in establishing credibility.
But why, then, do so many small businesses undo their brand-building efforts by using a free email address?
Money, maybe? Small businesses run a tight ship because every financial decision impacts the bottom line. When you’re just starting out as a small business owner, paying for a professional email service can seem like a luxury or an unnecessary expense. It’s this business-email-is-expensive thinking that leads many new businesses to settle for a less professional alternative—sending emails from a free email service.
Or maybe it’s not the expense. Maybe you’re just not aware of the impact your email address creates. So picture this. You get an email from a staffing company offering its services. You’ve been on the lookout for a job change, so the subject line has you hooked. Then you are drawn in by the sleek images and clever copywriting, so you are just about to click the “Sign Up” button at the bottom when you notice the “from” address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Your trust factor likely went down simply because of the lack of professionalism in the email address.
Communication is key to building great customer relationships. But your interactions with them likely begin over email. So if that first touchpoint feels unprofessional, you’re starting the fight with both hands tied behind your back. You bought a domain for your business, so you obviously know how crucial setting up a digital presence is. Why not extend your branding effort across all communications?
A business email address is simply more professional. It’s a branding opportunity every time you converse with a customer. It helps build a consistent image of your company to prospects who visit your website and/or social media pages when they eventually see your name in their inbox. It also increases the odds of your emails successfully avoiding the dreaded spam folder.
For example, a cold email about your content writing services may be appealing to a prospective customer. But when it comes from an email address that doesn’t feel professional, it makes your business look like a side hustle or, worse, a scam.
One of the biggest reasons small business owners shy away from investing in professional email is the assumption that it is expensive. That’s not completely unfounded. Enterprise solutions such as Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) and Office 365 are considered the gold standard in business communications, but they come with a big, expensive catch. You can’t just buy business email from Google or Microsoft without paying for an entire set of additional tools—tools you may or may not need.
Case in point: purchasing Google Workspace is the only way to get their 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 per user. With Office 365, you will pay $60 per user each year for its most bare-bones plan. As your business scales and your team grows, these costs will rise quickly.
Fortunately, there are other options out there that better meet the needs of small businesses. Titan, of course, is our favorite. Titan is the first business email built specifically for small businesses with features that help streamline productivity and ultimately help businesses create meaningful customer relationships. You’ll need to purchase a domain from one of Titan’s partners if you don’t already have one, and then you’ll be able to use Titan’s email suite with a business email address that matches your website domain. You’ll be well on your way to building your brand’s credibility and successfully growing your business.