It’s not entirely unusual for a new business that’s just starting out to use an email address from a free service to save time.
Using Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, or another free email service might be convenient because you already use it, and you might even think you’re saving money with a free service. But that email could actually be costing you big time by driving away potential customers.
According to a survey by GoDaddy, 75% of U.S. ecommerce customers think it’s an important trust factor for a small business to have an email that matches their website domain.
Too often, small businesses will put a good amount of investment into their website and managed I.T. needs but make a big mistake when it comes to their email addresses by using a free service like Gmail, Hotmail, and others.
Here are a few more eye-opening stats illustrating how using a generic email address can hurt your business:
- 33% of consumers doubt the trustworthiness of a generic email used for a business.
- 24% of people are concerned about sharing personal information with a company not using a custom email domain.
- 23% of consumers have reservations about giving their credit card details to a company using an email address from a free service.
Why Do Companies Use Generic Email Addresses?
Say you’re planning to order catering for a big company function. You’ve narrowed down the options to two companies that both have great reviews.
When you contact both for price quotes the email addresses they’re using come back as:
- Company 1: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Company 2: email@example.com
Which company are you more likely to trust? Most people would say Company 2, because they’re using a custom email that matches their website domain.
But while most people agree that personalized email addresses look better and are more trustworthy, still companies use @gmail.com and @aol.com instead of something that reflects their company. Why?
Here are some of the reasons:
- They don’t want to bother with a custom domain right away and figure they’ll get one “some time.”
- They mistakenly think that getting custom email addresses set up is going to be expensive (it’s not!).
- They don’t realize that they’re losing business by using a free generic email address.
Why You Should Switch to Office 365 and Use Custom Domain Emails
Office 365 is an excellent productivity suite for businesses of all sizes. It makes the Microsoft Office products available from any location using desktop or mobile, and also has several additional productivity tools and cloud storage included.
One of the additional features that Office 365 offers is the ability to set up custom domain email addresses right in the program. Not only does this save time, it also helps small businesses gain the respect they deserve.
Here are the top reasons why you should stop using that generic email address now and switch to ones that match your custom domain.
The security of many free email services is VERY lacking. Services such as Yahoo and AOL have some of the worst security records in the business, with multiple huge data breaches on record. Free email services also often do not support 2FA (Two Factor Authentication), which is an additional security measure that every email service worth their salt should at least offer to their customers. This security measure helps stop an attacker that has managed to get your email address and password from logging in to your email account. Office 365 email hosting has best in class security features including 2FA to keep your email safe.
Most free email services offer no solution for backing up your email. If they suffer some kind of server failure or software problem and all your email disappears, their attitude is “sorry, you’re out of luck – at least you weren’t paying for our service”. A proper email provider has solutions for backing up your email in an automated manner so in the event of some kind of failure, you can always get your email back. Office 365 email hosting supports multiple backup solutions that work very well for keeping your email safe from data loss.
Many free email services offer little to no spam protection. While we admit that Gmail in particular does not have this problem, pretty much every other free email service has pretty bad spam protection. They can’t seem to stop even the most obvious spam emails from reaching your inbox. Office 365 email hosting has excellent spam protection options, and your system can be configured so that you almost never see any spam emails.
Look More Professional
Nothing shouts “we don’t quite have it all together” like using a free email. It looks unprofessional and makes customers wonder if your company is as reliable as someone else that is using a domain email.
When your emails match your website address, it shows that your company is professional and has their act together when it comes to presenting yourself to your customers.
Gain More Trust
We’ve already discussed some statistics on trust that basically show that consumers don’t trust businesses with a free generic email address as much as they do companies that have custom emails that match their website address.
Business email came in #4 in the trust factors consumers use to evaluate whether or not to do business with a company.
Those trust factors and how much they were weighted in a small business buying decision included:
- SSL (whether their website is secure): 60%
- Content on their website: 53%
- Reviews/testimonials: 46%
- Business email: 45%
Easy to Add More Users
If you’re using a generic email address, like firstname.lastname@example.org, what happens as you add more employees that need email addresses? You could end up with a mess of addresses that don’t match, like “topcatr@ or topcatering-jill@” causing confusion.
When you use a custom domain for your email, you have complete freedom in how your emails are set up – using full name or first name and last initial, etc… – so there’s no consistency issue when you need to add a new employee or new department email.
Use Your Email Where You Like
If you’re using a free email from yahoo or gmail, what happens if you don’t like their service? You’re pretty much stuck with it because you don’t own the email domain.
When you set up custom emails in Office 365, they’re based upon your business domain and you can use them wherever you like, on any webhost you choose.
Get Custom Email Hosting with Office 365 Today
Texas I.T. Pros offers custom email hosting with Office 365 and can get you set up in no time with professional-looking, custom email addresses with best in class security and availability.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 940-239-6500 or reach out online.