75 Percent of Consumers Say Professional Email Addresses Key to Trust

Survey: 75 Percent of Americans Find Professional Email Addresses More Trustworthy

Three-quarters (or 75 percent) of U.S ecommerce customers think having a domain-based email that matches your website is a very important factor when it comes to trusting an online small business. This statistic arises from a recent survey conducted by GoDaddy (NYSE: GDDY).

GoDaddy, which provides domain registration and hosting services to small businesses, commissioned the study to identify the most important factors for people looking to purchase products or services online. The results reveal insight what online sellers most need t gain consumers’ trust.

It found that using a @gmail, @yahoo or other generic email address can give the impression that your business is somewhat amateurish. This, of course, is really not how you inspire confidence in prospective buyers. A generic email address can not only affect your business’ credibility, but also negatively impact profits.

Generic Email Addresses Can Negatively Impact Profits.

Nearly a quarter of survey respondents said they would be reluctant to provide their credit card information and or other personal information like phone number and contact details to an online seller who uses a generic personal email address.

If a company uses a generic email address such as brand@gmail.com, consumers are 35 percent more likely to research the company through online customer reviews, the survey says. However, when you use a professional email address (name@yourcompanyname.com), you succeed on multiple fronts.

“You never forget a first impression, either in real life or online. Often your first direct interaction with a customer takes place over email and so looking professional in this context is hugely important,” said Steven Aldrich, Chief Product Officer at GoDaddy in the official announcement revealing the survey results. “Using a professional email address that ends with your company’s domain offers you an opportunity to build your brand every time you interact with a customer versus promoting an Internet email giant like Gmail, Yahoo and others.”

Not even maintaining an active social media channel is as strong an indicator of your brand’s trustworthiness in the customers’ eyes, the survey found.

Professional Email Addresses More Important Than an Active Social Media Channel

In fact, survey respondents ranked domain-based email addresses as three times more important as an indicator of trustworthiness than maintaining an active social media channel, such as Facebook or Twitter. Only 14 percent of respondents said having an active social media account is an extremely important factor when trusting an online small business.

Respondents also listed a number of other factors they consider important when it comes to trusting online small businesses, including:

  1. Having a website security certificate. A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate indicates that an ecommerce brand is serious about protecting the information that customers enter on its website.
  2. The quality of content on the business’ website. Small business ecommerce customers trust descriptive, error-free content that offers real value to visitors.
  3. Third-party customer reviews from sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. An estimated 88 percent of consumers actually trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

All these factors reveal what’s really important when looking professional to consumers while doing business online.

Looking Professional is More Important than Ever Before

According to the survey, it has never been more important for small businesses to look professional online. This is especially true now when 60 percent of consumers are looking to support small and independent businesses.

“From the moment a consumer views your email address on a business card, your website or in their inbox, they are immediately going to make judgments about your business, so don’t fall into the trap of using a personal address that anyone could get. It detracts from the trustworthiness you’re looking to convey,” added Aldrich in the press release announcing the survey.

Top 10 Factors for Building Online Trust Infographic

GoDaddy, which also provides domain-based email accounts with its domain registrar and hosting services, conducted the survey in February 2016, with 1,000 American adults responding. Check out the top 10 factors the survey found help small businesses build online trust in the infographic below:

Survey: 75 Percent of Americans Find Professional Email Addresses More Trustworthy - Factors for Trust Online Infographic

Images: GoDaddy

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David William David William is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. He covers franchises, brick and mortar businesses, public policy and other small business issues. He is also founding editor of WebWriterSpotlight.