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    The importance of domain branding in a cybersecurity conscious society

    Protecting your brand identity in today’s digital world is of paramount importance, especially if you are engaging with customers and asking for their feedback. Consumers are savvy and something as simple as a bona fide branded domain can build trust and, in turn, increase response rates to your online surveys.

    Why does it really matter, I hear you asking? Consumers today can be reached in a multitude of different ways but respondents are wary of handing over personal data unless they know it is a legitimate request and the data will be handled and stored securely. Therefore, it’s helpful to all concerned to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff and identify immediately who has sent the message.

    A simple way to ensure this is with secure domain branding. Something that can only be done with your organisation’s explicit consent and direct involvement, making it the safest and most reassuring way to engage with your target audience.

    What is domain branding?

    Basically, you are giving your customers an easy, sure-fire way of recognising you. By placing your brand name in the URL of your survey, you will leave no doubt in their mind that the survey has come from you. There will be no other brand name visible!

    Example:  ‘something’.yourdomain.com               e.g. customersurvey.abcltd.com

    How Domain Branding can help build trust online

    Domain branding is an important cog in the wheel of creating customer loyalty. If existing customers recognise your brand, you immediately remove one barrier to survey completion. It makes sense as, after all, you have invested in building a strong brand identity and your website address is the first reference point a consumer sees when deciding whether or not to take part in your survey. To make a good first impression and increase the likelihood of engagement, add a professional finishing touch by customising your survey's web address.

    Respondents are becoming more aware of cyberattacks daily and a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing! This, unfortunately can have an adverse knock-on effect, if people receive a survey to complete, don’t know where it has come from and, therefore, choose not to respond to it.

    Build awareness with white label surveys

    Creating white label surveys and online forms, with a secure subdomain of your choice, lets you deliver a fully branded experience, allowing you to;

    • Highlight your brand assets
    • Make custom branded templates
    • Create custom URL branding

    The minute your survey lands in your customer’s inbox, they will know it is a valid request for feedback from a trusted source. By making customers aware right at the start that it is a legitimate data gathering process and their data will be dealt with responsibly is a solid business policy that will create subliminal reassurance.

    How to White Label (domain brand) your survey

    1. Login to your SmartSurvey account.


    1. Click on Custom Domain in the Advanced Settings panel.


    1 Domain branding Domain branding for online surveys


    1. Enter your chosen domain and click Add. (you will need to create a CNAME within your DNS and point it to cname.smartsurvey.co.uk)

    2 Domain branding White label your online questionnaire

    Once your DNS settings have been changed, your domain brand will changed pending the approval of your SSL certificate. Contact us if you need any further information or would like to find out more about domain branding.

    SSL Status:

    When adding a custom domain, SSL should be enabled automatically within 24/48 hours. Check the padlock colour positioned to the left of your custom domain listing to see the status.

    3 Domain branding


    GDPR Compliance

    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), that comes into effect in May 2018, will make it essential for every business to apply due diligence with regard to being compliant with people’s personal data so why not get started now?

    GDPR has been drafted to give people more control over how their personal information is used and to improve trust in the ever-evolving digital economy. The transparency of domain branding will help individuals see that you take guardianship of their data seriously.

    Secure data storage and access to it needs managing with clearly defined policies. If you are collecting data electronically but are not sure if your surveys or web forms comply? Use this GDPR compliance checker to assess how well prepared you are.

    How to build brand security

    Brand trustworthiness should be at the forefront of any business strategy and a solid cybersecurity policy helps to achieve this. Research conducted by IBM shows that good cybersecurity can be good marketing.

    Other custom security settings can further safeguard your data and give you added peace of mind. When conducting online surveys, it pays to put security settings in place by:

    • Limiting access to sensitive data with admin controls
    • Regularly reviewing access rights
    • Restricting access by IP address

    As technology becomes more central to business procedures, developing credibility with your customers is essential to protect your brand. Layering another level of protection in your infrastructure is a recommended best practice.

    Safe and Secure Data Collection

    Find out more about Domain Branding


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    The Pros and Cons of Using Open Ended Questions

    About Author

    Default Author Image
    Phil Cleave

    Phil is part of the Content team at SmartSurvey and has over 20 years experience in the PR and Comms sector writing for Tech Companies.

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