What Does Your Email Address Say About You?
Eighty-five percent of florists are doing something that 70 percent of the buying public considers unprofessional.
A recent survey showed that 70 percent of people think a non-branded email address is unprofessional. Skeptical? Here are just some of the comments:
I am leery of email addresses that are connected to free account services, such as Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail. It would make me suspect that the company could be a fly-by-night operation or possibly a scam.
There’s absolutely no reason, other than ignorance, for someone to use anything other than their domain name for their email, if promoting a business.
Using a non-domain-level address is just the height of laziness (or cheapness) and shows a lack of commitment to your business.
If a company doesn’t bother to get a domain name with email … I wonder what else they don’t bother to do.
Using free email accounts like Gmail and Yahoo indicates they’re cheap and most likely to cut corners rather than provide quality work. Using the ISP email account indicates to me that they’re lazy and not worth my time to deal with.
The same survey showed that the overwhelming majority (over 90 percent) considered branded email (like firstname.lastname@example.org) to be the most professional option.
Unfortunately, the vast majority (85 percent*) of florists are getting it wrong by using non-branded email addresses. Roughly a third of florists use a Gmail account, which three percent of consumers deem “most professional,” but about 70 percent of consumers rate only as “acceptable” or worse. About 10 percent of surveyed florists use a Yahoo address, which roughly 70 percent of consumers consider “totally unprofessional.”
Why It Matters
Derrick Myers, CPA, CFP, PFCI, a speaker at last year’s Canadian Florist Business Forum, and other industry experts say the future of the floral industry is fewer, but bigger shops. The shops that will survive and thrive are the shops that get everything right. They know that they can’t alienate 70 percent of the public by not using professional email addresses.
Enhanced credibility is only one advantage of using a branded email address. Think about how many emails you receive in a given day. In a crowded inbox, an email from an address with a recognized name is more likely to get opened, whereas something like email@example.com could easily be dismissed as spam. Additionally, when using a branded email address, you are also sharing your url; anyone who has your email address knows where to buy from you online. That’s not the case with even the second-best option (@gmail.com address).
Website providers that are committed to the success of their clients, like Strider and Flower Shop Network, offer branded email services for sites they host. “In this highly competitive market filled with scammers and brand imposters, a domain brand email address gives your business credibility and potential customers assurance that you are the right choice,” said Jamie Jamison Adams, search engine marketing manager for Flower Shop Network.
The first step is to ask if your website provider can offer you a branded email. If they cannot, things get a little more complicated. You’re going to have to involve another provider, like Gmail For Business or FastMail.
Configuring email services gets technical and will involve some changes to the DNS entries for your website. This will likely involve your website provider, so be prepared for some back-and-forth as you pass along DNS information from your new email provider.
You may encounter some deliverability issues that can only be solved with more back and forth and additional DNS entries. This can be frustrating, but persevere! The end result is worth it. We’re not talking about a small gain here. We’re talking about a huge increase in credibility among the vast majority of the buying public.
* TESTING METHODOLOGY
The analysis was done using the registration list from a recent industry event. The full list was constrained to just the retail florists in attendance (removing vendors, speakers, etc.). Each remaining email was then analyzed to get the numbers used in this article.