How Your Email Address Can Make or Break Your Flower Business
Ask a florist what’s on their wish list and most will have “more corporate accounts” near the top. But, at the same time, roughly 85% of florists are doing something that seriously hurts their credibility in general and with corporate customers in particular.
If you are using non-branded or free email to contact your clients you are actively damaging your reputation and credibility. Which email would you trust more, “[email protected]" or “[email protected]”?
According to a recent Visible Logic survey 70 percent of the buying public considers unbranded email unprofessional. And a lot of them think that unbranded email is really unprofessional. Here are just some of their comments:
“I am leery of email addresses that are 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 cheap-ness) and shows a lack of commitment to your business.”
Notice a theme? Unbranded emails send a message that you aren’t a professional.
In today’s crowded market, when consumers have so many flower-buying options, and so many of them have already been burned by order-gatherers and misleading ads, that’s the last message you can afford to send.
The future of the floral industry is beginning to look like there will be fewer but bigger flower shops. For your business to survive you need to get everything right and not take any shortcuts. By using a non-branded email you are alienating 70% of the public.
Fortunately, there is an easy solution to this problem. The same Visible Logic survey showed that more than 90 percent of respondents considered branded email, such as [email protected] or [email protected], to be the most professional, credible and trustworthy option.
Reasons to Switch
Still not convinced that branded emails enhance your credibility? Here are other reasons:
1. You may already be paying for it.
If you’ve purchased a domain name for your shop (ABCFlowerShop. com), you already have the right to use that domain in your email address. All you need is an email service provider to make it work. In some cases website providers (such as Flower Shop Network or Strider Florist 2.0) include these services for their clients, so the best first step is to contact your website provider and ask for help. (What if your provider can’t help you? Keep reading.)
2. A branded email is a marketing tool.
Every time you send a message to someone using a branded email, you’re sharing your URL with them. Anyone who has your email address knows exactly where to find your website and eventually buy from you online. (Consider: [email protected] versus [email protected].)
3. A branded email gets better open rates.
In a crowded inbox an email address with a recognized name is far more likely to get opened and far less likely to be dismissed as spam.
4. You can standardize email addresses for your entire business.
When you use branded emails, you have more control over your customers’ experience with everyone on staff. By instituting standard email protocols ([email protected] or manderson@ABCFlowerShop. com), you also make your team more accessible and further underscore your professionalism. Plus, when you require employees to communicate via branded emails, you maintain control over that account even after that employee moves on.
While most of the committed providers of ecommerce websites for florists offer branded email services it is not universal. If your website provider doesn’t provide branded email don’t worry, you still have options, but it does become more complicated.
Properly configuring branded email services through another provider (such as Gmail or FastMail) will involve changes to the domain name system (DNS) entries for your website. Be prepared for some back and forth with your website provider as you pass along DNS information from your new email provider. You can also find provider-specific tutorials online to help you navigate this process.
It is possible that you will encounter some deliverability issues, which is when your sent emails do not reach the recipient. These issues can only be solved with more back and forth and extra DNS entries. If you at any point find this process frustrating try and persevere. At the end of the day this process will greatly increase your credibility and reputation amongst clients and colleagues alike.
And don't worry — your new email account(s) can almost always be accessed with whatever interface you already know and love. Regardless of who is providing your new email services you should still be able to work with email applications (called a "client") like Gmail, Outlook, the Apple Mail app, etc.