Learn more about how to use emails for your business

Since the world wide web was opened for public use in 1991, the email as a communication tool grew in popularity, both in the private and corporate sphere. B2B communication today is utterly depended on the business email as the most professional, fast and secure way of transferring crucial information back and forth between entities. Moreover, most of the recent studies on the subject are proving that the email is staying on its throne as the most favourable method of B2B communication.  

The Huffington Post published an article about an online survey, which involved 400 U.S. white-collar employees, and their email habits. The results showed that workers spend 6.3 hours a day checking emails (work and personal accounts), with approximately 80 percent of them checking emails before they get in the office. Furthermore, in the Radicati report for 2016-2020, the number of daily email traffic in 2020 is expected to extend over 257.7 billion.  
 
These numbers tell us a clear story, and the conclusion we can draw from the statistics is that people and businesses consider the email as the cornerstone of communication.  
 
Even though we live in a world dominated by social media and instant messaging, the email is not going anywhere, which is why we wrote this B2B email communication guide to help you manage your inbox. In this introductory section of the guide, we will give you basic information about elementary email subjects, like hosted vs. in-house solutions, POP3 vs. IMAP and choosing the right email provider for your business. If, however, you wish to know more about a specific topic, the chances are that we covered it in one of the other chapters.  
 

Organisational email for business requirements

 
As we said above, emails are the basics of professional communication, and a successful company should have a feasible email strategy that integrates the business and user requirements of the entity. Before you focus on drafting one for your company, you should read our short analysis of the organisational email for business requirements.
 
As a business owner, we urge you to consider the volume of generated and received emails per day/week/month (depending on the size and industry field of the company) and the types of emails you usually get. Once you have gathered and analysed that information, the following step would be to categorise emails. These are the three basic email types you can find in B2B communication:  
 
  1. Personal email: This type of email usually has nothing to do with B2B communication (unless you’re a small business or a freelancer), and it’s commonly used for private correspondence. The reasons companies avoid personal emails are security issues (viruses and malware), risk management or branding and marketing strategy.
  2. Transient email: This type of email is of a circular nature because it contains information about meetings, agendas, promotional materials, offers etc. It’s not retained for record-keeping purposes.
  3. Business email: This type of email is the one you should pay attention to because it’s a record of a business transaction/contract/document/activity, and it should be kept as such. Any emails containing information about policy, reports, analysis or research that affect your business should be classified as a business email.

The organisation of your inbox should be the central question if you want to implement productive business email management. As a company, the issues you need to consider when it comes to making an email management strategy are:

  • record keeping review and retrieval of email content user and customer interaction
  • fast workflow

Once you have an idea about how your inbox should be organised, you should move on to the technical requirements and options.

What are the options for an email business account?

 
In the following section, we are going to discuss the different technical options for an email business account you have at your disposal.
 

Hosted versus in-house email solutions

   

Hosted email solutions are the most accessible and most affordable way to go if you’re a small- or a medium-sized company. If you don’t want the hassle or the expenses of a private email server, an e-mail hosting provider can handle that for you. For a monthly fee, the hosting provider will set up, configure and manage your professional account of your company. The most popular hosting providers on the market today are Network Solutions, Zoho, Rackspace Email, Fasthosts and others.

 
The benefits are a 24/7 support, maintenance and email backup, and having your data stored on multiple servers can be a lifesaver if you lose or misplace essential information. Most of the hosting providers include spam and virus protection in their offers. The downside to this option, however, is security. If you’re not comfortable with how your sensitive information is being handled, or if you want to have control over the safety of your emails, then a hosting provider is not the best option for you.
 
In-house email hosting is a more complicated process than outsourcing hosting to a third-party because you will have to set up and manage the servers on your own. However, this will give you control and flexibility, which are not available any other way. The storage limit, the number of email domains, accounts and aliases is entirely up to you. Your company will be responsible for spam and virus protection, security and software updates.  
 
The negative sides to in-house email solutions are the maintenance expenses and the responsibility of storing vital information on one location. Of course, you can decide to store the data in more than one place, for security reasons, but you’ll have to manage and maintain that server, too.
 

POP3 versus IMAP

 
POP3 and IMAP are email protocols/methods, which are used for setting up an email account. POP3 is an abbreviation for Post Office Protocol, and IMAP is an abbreviation for Internet Message Access Protocol, and both of them allow you to access emails from a remote server. However, this is the one thing these two email protocols have in common, and you should know the differences (benefits and flaws) before you decide which one is better suited for your business.
 
The POP3 email protocol stores you emails locally on your device, which means you can access the messages, even without an internet connection. An internet connection is needed only for receiving or sending emails. Moreover, you save server storage space at the expense of the hard drive space.

The best part about POP3 is that you have an option to keep a copy of your email on the server. The worst part about POP3 is that the emails are not synced between devices, and sometimes email folders can get corrupted, and the recovery process is arduous. Additionally, if your company doesn’t have a high-quality virus program, then downloading attachments from a POP3 email account can be risky due to the fact that everything is saved on the hard drive.
 
The IMAP email protocol is entirely different from the POP3 one. The emails are stored on the drive and are accessible from any number of devices, and they are also synced. This means that if you delete an email from your smartphone, it will be removed from the desktop inbox, too. Of course, you have an option to save emails locally, should you so decide. The downside to IMAP is that it only works with an internet connection, and it’s slower in opening email attachments.
 
Depending on your company’s email requirements and general workflow, you can go with either of these options. If you need constant access to your emails or if you have a limited server storage space, then POP3 would be the better option. On the other hand, if you need to access emails from more than one device and you rely on synchronisation for a streamlined workflow, IMAP would be better suited for your business.
 

Use a dedicated email provider to open a new business email account

 
Before you open your company’s new business email account, there are two more crucial questions you should consider: choosing the proper email provider and an efficient email client.
 
Without going into too many details on the email provider subject, since the next chapter of the guide is dedicated to this topic, we will only emphasise the importance of selecting a reliable provider for your business. You need to find a trustworthy company (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo), which has years of experience and satisfied customers.

The provider should be able to offer a 24/7 support system and outstanding email hosting services. You need to look into strong uptime, along with high reliability and security. Integration with your contacts, calendars and files is also a key feature!
 
On the subject of efficient email clients for your business email, we would recommend that you find one that can help you manage your multiple email accounts and improve your B2B communication. You should use an email client, which can offer you full integration of business communication apps, productivity tools and highly customizable settings. For a Windows operating system, we would suggest Mailbird or Outlook, and for a Mac operating system, you can opt for Airmail.