VIDEO: It’s Time To Dump That Free Business Email Address

by | Mar 27, 2019 | General Business

A lot of businesses use a free business email address (i.e. [email protected], [email protected], etc.) rather than an email address with a branded domain. For example, rather than Pixelayn using a free email address of [email protected] or [email protected], we use branded email addresses that end in @pixelayn.com.

The question is… does this even matter? Do consumers view a business as less legitimate when using a free email address?

Although I have my own beliefs on this as a consumer, I wanted to see what other consumers had to say on the topic. So, I did what any curious entrepreneur would do… I put together a quick survey.

You may also be interested in: How To Safely And Easily Manage Your Passwords

Survey Overview 

The survey was completed online, and it focused on respondents with the following demographics:

  • Age: 25-54
  • Gender: All Genders
  • Location: United States (Iowa Only)

The sample size of the survey was small, yet it gave a good representation of the regional market. If we were going to make a major business decision, we would want more in-depth market research with focus groups and consumer observation. However, I don’t consider changing from a free business email address to a branded email address to be a major business decision.

With this said, here is a breakdown of our respondents:

  • Total Respondents: 10
  • Gender
    • Male: 5
    • Female: 5
  • Age
    • 25-34: 3
    • 35-44: 7
    • 45-54: 2

Survey Question #1 

Question Type: Open Ended

Question: What do you think about a business when you see them using a Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, or some other free email address? For example: [email protected] or [email protected]

The responses to this first question were split very close to even. You can see the exact responses below. I’ve color-coded the responses with red being negative, yellow being neutral, and green being positive.

Survey Question #2  

Question Type: Rating Scale (1 to 10)

Question: When a business uses a free email address (i.e. [email protected]), how much does this change your decision to buy from them?

Scale Description:

  • 1 — I’d lose trust and wouldn’t buy from them
  • 10 — I’d still trust them and buy from them

The average rating was a 4.47. This shows that enough of the market cares about businesses using free email address that it shouldn’t be ignored

Digging in deeper to these results, there was a pattern based upon gender and age:

  • Gender-Based Responses:
    • Average Rating (Males): 3.9
    • Average Rating (Females): 5.2
  • Age-Based Responses:
    • Average Rating (25-34): 6.1
    • Average Rating (35-44): 4.2
    • Average Rating (45-54): 1.0

Again, this is a small sample size of only ten respondents; however, here’s what this data suggests. Males are more likely than females to avoid buying from a company who uses a free business email address. 

Also, the younger demographic appears to care less than the older demographic. To be honest, this was the complete opposite of what I thought going into the survey. So, this is really interesting.  

Survey Conclusion 

Although this survey contained a small sample size, the data shouldn’t be ignored.

If your business is using a free email address, it’s time to make a change. Sure, there will be costs associated with this change (i.e. email hosting, reprinting marketing materials, etc.), yet the increased trust consumers will place in your business is much more important than these minor costs.

If you have any questions or comments, connect with us on Twitter (@TeamPixelayn). You can also connect with me directly on Twitter (@rdglick) or shoot me an email at (ryan at pixelayn dot com). 

Ryan has been heavily involved in the world of Information Technology and entrepreneurship since the early 2000s. From small business consulting to Fortune 500 IT leadership, Ryan has a wide array of industry knowledge. He earned his BBA from the University of Iowa in 2004 majoring in Management Information Systems and later earned his MBA from the University of Iowa in 2009 with a focus on Management and Marketing. When he's not spending time with his wife and three young children, you'll find Ryan pounding away at his keyboard, spinning on his Peloton, or listening to a good audiobook or podcast.

Connect with Ryan on Twitter or Instagram.

Ryan Glick

Co-Founder, Pixelayn Innovations

Ryan has been heavily involved in the world of Information Technology and entrepreneurship since the early 2000s. From small business consulting to Fortune 500 IT leadership, Ryan has a wide array of industry knowledge. He earned his BBA from the University of Iowa in 2004 majoring in Management Information Systems and later earned his MBA from the University of Iowa in 2009 with a focus on Management and Marketing. When he's not spending time with his wife and three young children, you'll find Ryan pounding away at his keyboard, spinning on his Peloton, or listening to a good audiobook or podcast.

Connect with Ryan on Twitter or Instagram.

Ryan Glick

Co-Founder, Pixelayn Innovations