Whether you have an office, a storefront, a restaurant or an online-only business, chances are good that you use email. In fact, according to The Radicati Group, by the end of 2019, we, as a global society, are expected to send 246 billion emails per day – of which, 52% ( or roughly 128.8 billion) are expected to be business email. In a field that crowded, it’s important that your messaging not only be targeted, accurate and on brand, but that the email client you use allows you to put your best foot forward – presenting a professional, trustworthy image.
When you use a dedicated email service with a branded domain, you lend authority and credence to your message, making your email recipients more likely to open your email. In addition, dedicated email solutions offer you the level of control and protection you need to prevent security hacks and theft.
The good news is that dedicated email services are often affordable and offer a number of benefits that can make a difference to your company – and your clients. Let’s take a look at just a few of the benefits of putting budget behind your email service.
- Your brand image. With email addresses that end in @yourdomainname, you’ll immediately tell your customers and clients who you are, and what you represent – creating a trustworthy image from the moment your message is received. And because of this, you may even get a boost in business. After all, according to FitSmallBusiness.com, “consumers are 9x more likely to do business with a company that uses a true [branded] business email address, than companies that do not.”
- No messaging limits. Some of the more popular free email services limit the number of recipients you can add on your email and the number of emails you can send. This not only makes sending bulk messages a challenge, but could pose an issue if you have multiple people responding to customers via a single email address, like email@example.com. Meanwhile, paid services don’t tend to set such limits, so you can send and receive as many email messages in a day as you’d like, which will make communicating with customers and vendors easier as you expand your business.
- Protection for files and data. Recently a company which offers free and low-cost email services to individual and small businesses suffered a ‘”catastrophic destruction” at the hands of an as-yet-unknown intruder who trashed all of the company’s primary and backup data in the United States, according to Krebs on Security. The breach was so vast that “the firm’s founder says he now fears 18 years’ worth of customer email may be gone forever.” And while breaches at this level aren’t typical, hacking does happen. Which is one reason that using a secure business email service with state-of-the-art encryption technology, and the power to communicate through a Transport Layer Security-enabled network is important.
- Department- or group-specific email aliases. By giving you the option to create email aliases, like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, you can communicate with more people at once – and give your customers the ability to message entire teams of people – making it easier for them to get the answers and assistance they need faster.
- Streamlined collaboration and document sharing. Not only do email services allow you to securely share documents, files, and data with your team and your clients, but some even give you additional tools so you can collaborate on files at the office and on the go – using any device. That way, you can switch from your laptop to your phone without skipping a beat.
- Integration into other software or tools. Many of today’s business email hosting providers have developed their tools in a way that allows them to seamlessly integrate with the apps and software you rely on. By doing so, they make it easier to do more in less time. Premium email services provide easy integration across your devices and seamless access to updates and upgrades as they become available.
- Additional tech support for your system. If your dedicated email service goes down, or a feature you’ve always counted on suddenly stops working, you’ll often get guaranteed uptimes and 24/7 support from experts who will be there if something goes awry.
- Scalability. Just as your company’s services will need to scale as your client base grows, you’ll also need a business email solution that can scale to meet your needs. Some free email providers do allow you to register multiple email addresses (2 to 500 depending on the provider), but with millions of users worldwide, getting the name you want will likely be a challenge. In addition, although all email systems do offer some level of security, many of the more robust tools are either unavailable or come with a hefty fee, which can make your “free” email services quite costly. However, with a system that allows you to add email addresses in the names you need, get robust, up-to-date security, and add new tools, etc., virtually on the fly, you can get a service that can grow with you – and won’t force you to change systems in the midst of growth.
- Easier transitions. When you sign up for a business email account with most free services, what they have, is what you get. And that may be fine as you start your business, but as you grow in size and in scope, you may need a more robust server, more storage or more tools and security. However, because many free services are highly limited you may not have the ability to upgrade, period. However, most fee-based email hosting providers do have the ability to adjust to meet your needs as your business grows and changes – and can even help you seamlessly transition to a flexible cloud-based system when you’re ready.
- More features. Most free email services offer a single service, or a handful of tools – some of which you’ll use, some of which you won’t. But with a business email solution created and maintained by a paid provider, you’ll get a wider range of tools, like integrated calendars, instant messaging, file storage and sharing and more. Plus, you’ll also have the option to add on tools for a nominal fee, rather than having to invest in tools individually.
Although you may be tempted by a fee-free business email solution, it’s worth considering what’s to come – and whether that solution will project a professional image, grow with you, protect your files and data, and allow you to access the tools you need to succeed.