Choose between the top email providers

We ended the previous chapter of the B2B communication guide on an important note, and that’s the significance of the email provider in your email management strategy. Finding a reliable and efficient email provider is crucial for your B2B communication to run smoothly, which is why this subject deserves a detailed analysis. In this section, we are going to focus on the top email providers on the market today, their features and services.
   

Setting up a business email account is the first step towards proper B2B communication with your associates and clients, and that is why you need to choose a provider that will satisfy your email requirements. Every company is different, with diverse needs depending on the industry and the employee structure. However, learning more about the essential characteristics that define a high-quality email service will give you a clear picture of the subject, and help you make the right choice.
 
The major players on the market are Google with the Google G Suite package and Microsoft with the Microsoft Office 365, but they are not the only ones. We are also going to take a look at Zoho Mail, Amazon WorkMail and Intermedia Exchange.
 

What to look out for in the most popular email providers

 
With all the options available to company managers today, it can be difficult to choose one of the most popular email providers without a proper analysis. Luckily, we made that analysis for you, and we are going to present the results in this article. We took into consideration most of the primary features required for running a successful and maintainable business email strategy.
 
Other than the features we have elaborated below, you should also check the archive capabilities offered by the provider, since saving your B2B correspondence could be of vital importance for your company. Furthermore, some of the email providers offer additional services and features that might tip the scales in their favour. The most prominent examples of this are Google and Microsoft.
 

Reliability

 
We decided to start with reliability because none of the other features would matter if your email provider is not up and running 24/7. The right email provider would offer you and your employees 24-hour support and maintenance, and at the same time will keep up with the technical updates.
 
The end-goal is for you to have constant access to your inbox, even during downtime. Most of the big providers have backup servers in case of outages or planned downtime. Additionally, before you pick an email provider, check out their service level agreement where you should be able to find provisions about support response times and standard levels of service availability. Each of the email providers we mentioned above provides 24/7 support.
 

Integration

 
The purpose of good email management is to make the process of managing simpler, not more arduous, which is why integration is necessary. If you’re already using productivity tools, business communication apps or collaboration tools, then the right email provider should be able to integrate them in the system. This is where Google and Microsoft tend to win more points than the other providers.
 
They both come with their own sets of apps and high level of integration. The Google G Suite is fully integrated with powerful business tools like Google Drive, Calendar and Hangouts, while the Microsoft Office 365 comes with a jam-packed bundle that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote (Access and Publisher are only for PC users). Zoho also has its version of this called Zoho Docs. Intermedia Exchange and Amazon Work Mail provide a level of integration with other apps.
 
However, there is a simple solution to the problem of better integration with business productivity apps: Email clients! They help you manage an unlimited number of accounts, and at the same time, most of them offer high levels of integration with popular apps (Slack, Asana, LinkedIn, Degoo, Dropbox, Moo.do and others). If you’re a Windows user, you can check out the features of Mailbird, Mozilla Thunderbird and Hiri, or if you’re a Mac user, Airmail is a great email client.
 

Security

 
The email hacking problem that has developed in recent years has made the question of security a central one for every business. Today, email providers are measured according to a stricter scale when it comes to security and privacy. All of us use an email address to gain access to tools and applications, and in the business world, these apps tend to store more sensitive information. If a hacker gains access to your email address, he will be able to gain unauthorised third-party access to all these other apps.
 
Securing your business email address is of the utmost importance if you want to protect your data. The first step towards better protection is choosing the right email provider, and the second one is using email encryption.  
 
However, let’s focus on the provider. For now, the best option you have at your disposal is to choose one of the top email providers. Google and Microsoft are the definite frontrunners here!

Spam filter

 
Spam emails waste your time, inbox storage space and are sometimes filled with viruses and malware. Almost all email providers feature a spam filter as part of their service, and some are more efficient than others. However, the fine line between spam and legitimate emails can be easily crossed, so what your company needs is a spam filter, which is not too sensitive to block legitimate messages.
 

Administration and ease of use

 
You, as a business owner, and your team of employees need an email provider, which has a simple administrative dashboard and an intuitive interface. Even though it might not seem like the most important feature on the list, just think about the time that can be saved with a simple and easy email service. All of the providers on our list feature a fairly straightforward inbox, so the choice comes down to a preference for each user. The Microsoft Office 365 is very elegant, and it has a fresh look, while the G Suite categorises the emails in the inbox for you.
 

Mobile access

 
More and more people read and respond to emails on their smartphones. In 2018, the U.S. Consumer Device Preference Report from Movable Ink showed that mobile use spicks during the weekend and in the morning and after-work hours. Furthermore, approximately 66 percent of emails are opened on a mobile device. These numbers are showing the outline of email development, which is why almost all of the email providers today offer mobile access.
 

Cost and storage for top email providers

 
This is the price list for each of the email providers we have mentioned in this article and the storage available to you for that price. Take into consideration, that these are the basic packages and as such, they can be upgraded, which will result in more significant monthly fees and more storage space or access to features.
 
 
  1. Google G Suite – $5 per month for a 30GB storage
  2. Microsoft Office 365 – $8.25 per month for a 50GB storage
  3. Zoho Mail – $2 per month for a 25GB storage
  4. Amazon WorkMail – $4 per month for a 50GB storage
  5. Intermedia Exchange – $7.49 per month for unlimited storage
 

How do you know when it’s time to move from your free business email service provider?

 
If your company started small or if you were a freelancer with a free business email service provider, and now that business has started growing and evolving, it’s probably time to start thinking about a paid business account. There is nothing wrong with using Gmail as long as you can, but when it comes to B2B communication, a professional email is always the better choice. In this section, we will talk about the signs that show you that it’s time for an upgrade!
 
  1. Security – If your company ever experienced a security breach, or you know a colleague that went through that experience, and that’s what got you thinking, using a paid business account will provide you with better security.
  2. Storage – There is not too much to say about this subject since paid business accounts always offer more storage space. If storage is your primary concern, then you should take a look at opening a Microsoft Office 365 or an Amazon WorkMail account.
  3. Tools – Extensive or additional tools are mostly part of the paid account package, and if you feel like you need more administrative control over your inbox, then you should upgrade. Your email toolbox will increase significantly.
  4. Domain names – Using a professional email address is a question of credibility, branding and professionalism. If you want your company to be taken seriously by your peers, then buying a domain name is a start.
  5. Data – Are you tired of ads? Do you have a problem with the provider mining your data? Do you want to manage your email data by yourself? If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then you need to move on to a paid solution.
  6. File sharing – When you’re working in a team, sharing files is bound to come up as a faster working method. Using a paid email solution will provide you with a secure process of file sharing, and you won’t be putting your data at risk.

Tips for switching between business email providers

 
In the last part of this chapter, we would like to give you a few tips for switching between business email providers. The first thing you need to be sure of is that your data will migrate completely. Almost all of the email providers offer full migration, but just to be sure, you should check this with your new email provider before you continue with the process. Another precaution you can take is smart testing. Migrate only one email account, in order to see how the process itself works and is everything in sync. Once you have done this, it will be a lot easier to migrate the other ones.
 

Another thing you should pay attention to during the migration process is to keep the records, data and contact lists from the old account to the new account. Improper data migration can cause you damage or result in lost contacts. Check your IPs, because they need to be clean for your emails to load in the inbox correctly.

 
If you decided to migrate your email account, we would recommend you choose one of the top email providers today!