Where would we be in business without email? We’re more likely to send an email these days than pick up the phone and have a conversation with someone. It has fundamentally changed the way we interact with each other, and how we do business.
Of course, there are still times that a phone or video call is more appropriate than email. When you get the opportunity to introduce yourself and your business to a potential new client, it’s better to do it in person. A phone call is also easier when you expect a lot of questions, or when you’re dealing with a sensitive or complex matter.
Although email is less personal, it’s essential for business. You can send an email at any time of the day (or night), it’s quick and easy, and the perfect communication tool when you need written proof or confirmation of something important. Also, let’s not forget to mention that email is a hugely powerful marketing tool.
According to the latest global marketing statistics from HubSpot, 89% of companies say they use email as their primary channel for gaining leads, and 72% of consumers say email is their preferred way of brand communication. New and returning customers want to sign up to your newsletter and engage with your email campaigns. They want to hear from you, whether it’s for the love of your content or to find out about your specials and promotions.
Now that we have clarified how important business emails are, raises the following questions: Where are your emails hosted? And is this the best option for your business?
Let’s look at all the options for email hosting and see which one applies to you.
- Free email hosting
Free email platforms such as Gmail from Google, Yahoo! Mail from Yahoo! and Outlook from Microsoft are great as personal email accounts. You may also be able to sign up for a free or low-cost webmail service from your internet provider, such as [email protected] if you’re with Spark. However, there’s always the risk that they’ll change it or axe it altogether, as Vodafone did in November 2017.
We believe that the tools you use for your business require a bit more thought and care. That’s why we don’t recommend using a free email address such as @gmail.com for your business communication. It looks rather unprofessional, and it also promotes another business instead of your own.
Keep in mind that free email platforms also offer less security. Some mail filters block emails from free email providers and pick them up as spam. Your messages get sent straight to the junk mail folder and that’s not helpful.
- Email hosting by your website company
Many website companies offer free email accounts alongside your website hosting. It seems to be the easiest and most hassle-free option to have your website, domain name and email hosting all with the same provider, making life nice and easy.
Potential issues with this option are limited disk space/storage, low security, and sometimes limited functionality. All that can be restricting as your business grows and requires more email accounts or higher volumes. Extra charges may apply when you need more storage space.
If you’ve signed up with an online platform such as Free Parking, Wix, Go Daddy (just to name a few) it can be stressful when something goes wrong. They are often based overseas and communicating in English may not be their strong point.
- Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) / Microsoft 365
Dedicated services by the leading industry providers are the most powerful options for your business email hosting, whether you’re a small business or scaling up to the next level. They offer lots of storage space, no less than 30GB on lowest plan, they are affordable and have the best security.
It’s an extra subscription, but a useful one. A subscription to a hosted email service such as Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace often comes with other tools that are handy for running your business: shared contacts and calendars, built-in video conferencing, and team chat.
Backed up with 24/7 customer support, these cloud-based products are ideal for the modern workspace as they give you and your team the tools to create and collaborate effectively. The subscription is an extra investment but you can count on it that the service is secure, reliable and easy to use.
What features matter for most business types
- Customer and technical support
Having a good IT person to assist you with the technical aspects of business is critical. Look for a provider that is local and easy to get a hold of, so there’s always someone available to help you out when there’s an issue or if things aren’t working right.
- Staying safe online
This is a big one. As we all know, many viruses and other nasties are sent via email. That’s why you need anti-spam, anti-malware, and phishing detection. Your business is much better off using a provider that has tools with those important security features built in.
- Mailbox and cloud storage
If you and your staff make business decisions or communicate with customers via email, it’s important to have plenty of storage room. You’ll want an easy system to archive important messages and not hit the max too soon. For this, a cloud-based system for your business email hosting is the most convenient choice.
- Sending and size limits
If you need to share files often, you don’t want to keep hitting a size limit for attachments and get an error message. To avoid this, you can save your file to a cloud service such as Sharepoint, Dropbox, or Google Drive and share a link to the files instead. Once your file is stored in the cloud, you can include a link to the document in your email message. Another easy way to send large files is WeTransfer. They offer transfers of up to 2GB at no cost.
Which email hosting is right for your business?
There are a few things to consider, and what’s important depends on the type of business you have. For example, businesses in healthcare and finance have strict compliance regulations to adhere to, but that extremely high level of security may not be as crucial for a small electrical business.
At Monster Creative we focus on dedicated website hosting services. Making sure these are fast and secure and not compromised by email hosting or storage space limits. We work with two IT companies that serve our Northland based businesses with excellent email hosting and responsive service. Mention Monster Creative so they roll out the red carpet for you!
Geek 2 U – For 1-5 users/email accounts
Ultra IT – 6-50 users/email accounts
If you’d like to upgrade your email hosting services, you are welcome to contact the Monster Creative team and we can assist you with how to go about upgrading your email hosting services.