Imagine a world without email. Difficult, isn’t it? Electronic mail has become a cornerstone of modern life, from business inquiries to account notifications and confirmations. We rely on it heavily throughout our professional and personal lives, and its absence is keenly felt.
However, there are two main types of email account. There are free services provided by platforms like Gmail and Yahoo, offering @webmailprovider.com addresses and advertising-funded webmail interfaces. And then there are customized email accounts, tailored to suit a registered domain and consequently projecting a far more professional ambiance.
Keeping it professional
For a new business, it may be tempting to save a few dollars by choosing the mass-market webmail option. Instead of email@example.com, an email address of firstname.lastname@example.org still conveys the same message – or does it?
In reality, email hosting through webmail companies brings a number of specific drawbacks:
- It suggests a lack of permanence or dependability that could worry potential clients, especially if rival brands have been established for a long time.
- It’s far more likely to arrive marked as spam, particularly given Gmail’s historic junk mail associations.
- It does little to promote your business, yet it does promote the service provider – Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc.
- Customer service is notoriously poor, lacking one-to-one support or even direct communication with tech support departments.
- Webmail addresses are really intended for personal accounts rather than professional ones, lacking corporate functionality like vacation responders or calendars.
- Many of the most common or popular names have already been registered, leaving a limited choice of username.
- Because they’re free, webmail accounts often come with significant amounts of advertising, particularly from Yahoo and Mail.com.
- There’s evidence of spammers targeting webmail accounts more than corporate ones, given the far larger user bases involved.
- It’s often difficult to configure accounts how you want them, and even creating sub-folders or rules about incoming messages can be problematic.
So what about the alternative? Email hosting through companies like WestHost ensures you can choose a perfect address, with a domain name that matches your website while generating free publicity every time it reaches someone’s inbox. Multiple accounts may be set up at the same domain name to differentiate specific people or departments – sales@ and marketing@, for instance. Each address’s sender score (the perceived quality of recipient networks) will also be stronger as a standalone brand, than as part of a mass mailing service.
WestHost’s email packages tackle the other arguments leveled against webmail above. It’s easy to contact our tech support 24-7, though technical issues should be few and far between thanks to our inbound spam filter and virus protection software. We bundle in an address book and calendar with every email hosting package, alongside 2GB of message storage. There’s iOS/Android compatibility as standard, alongside OS X and Windows. Server storage expands to 10GB with our Professional package, which also supports 25MB of attachments on every message.
Your choice of email hosting shouldn’t be an afterthought when setting up a new enterprise or brand. In fact, email will be central to any online brand or business:
- It’s the default platform for financial matters like sending or receiving invoices.
- Customers tend to complain via email or social media, requiring swift responses.
- Email is peerless for marketing new products and services to opted-in recipients.
- An agreement made via email serves as a legally binding contract.
- It’s great for confirming outcomes and actions of meetings, webinars or phone calls.
- It provides a permanent, undeletable and written record of who said what – and when.