How to Find Your Perfect Email Package
The centerpiece of business communications in the 21st century is still email. Other apps might seem hot right now, but email remains the universal internal and external communication and collaboration tool.
Email is the hub of correspondence and contact records. It keeps calendars and appointments up to date. It provides crucial reminders to keep businesses running smoothly. It’s indispensable.
These new trends in business communications, such as Slack, may have taken a foothold as far as popularity goes. But email has risen to the challenge. There are new features coming all the time that give collaboration software a run for its money.
With all that email can do, and how important it is on a personal and professional level, choosing the perfect email package is a process to think through carefully.
What Are Your Needs?
It can look easy to just choose a well-known brand name and call it a day, but it is highly recommended to take a deeper gaze into the options and packages available across a variety of providers.
Go beyond the simple ‘send’ and ‘receive’ function of traditional email, and look into all the possibilities and features your business might need in an email package. Things like sharing calendars and accessing a high volume of storage space, not to mention an online support department, could be highly useful, right?
Look into the future of your business and choose from there, so the platform has the capacity to grow with you.
A good way to start the process of choosing an email package is to take a look at your goals and needs. The goal of any business should be to focus on the product and vision, and not just the tools that help facilitate sales. With that in mind, take a look at providers that offer quick learning curves.
If you’re very tech-savvy, and so is your team, you’ve got more companies to choose from that can offer more complicated services and packages. But considering that everyone’s skill level is different, and you might expand your employee numbers, opting for something easy-to-use yet advanced is a better choice. Even if you’ve got years of programming experience, remember that not everyone working for or with you has that type of knowledge.
Why You Need a Professional Domain-based Email
In today’s hectic online world of global competition, a personal email connected to your business gives off the impression of a beginner in the game.
Personal email is typically from a free service such as Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo. The domain name on the receiving end will reflect that hosting company such as JohnDoe@gmail.com. No matter how long you’ve been in business, having a professional email address that uses your professional domain is a must.
For example, having an email such as firstname.lastname@example.org, (domain-based email) shows you’re serious about your business. It also reminds the recipient of your company name every time they receive an email from your or your team.
Email Feature Checklist—The Basics:
When choosing your email provider, there are a number of issues you should include in your checklist. Here are the top considerations.
- Tech Support: choose a service that is easy-to-use, but anticipates that sometimes you’ll need a little help. And you can’t predict when or where that may happen. With a service that provides reliable 24/7 tech support, you can rest easy that problems can be quickly solved. Look for one that offers email and live-chat assistance. Around-the-clock support saves your budget in that hiring an administrator in-house will not be necessary for when email issues arise.
- Storage: the purpose of email is changing from just a simple communication device to that of collaboration and file sharing. With this in mind, storage has become one of the biggest factors in choosing a reputable provider. With the ability to archive, save, and send large files comes a need for high storage capacity. Save your inbox from clutter, and save records of all business correspondence as well. Automatic archival backups with a large file sending capability is a feature to seek out. With all the data in one place, easy access will save you time, and the investment in a good storage package will be worth it in the long run.
- Pricing: an obvious question, but think about the long run. A cheap package might suit your needs now. Consider the future plans for your business. If you’re seeing strong growth potential, buying a slightly more expensive package will save you money going forward. It’s similar to being able to buy a more expensive pair of shoes that won’t need replacing or fixing within a year.
- Mobile-Friendly: most people these days, for better or worse, have a hard time shutting off their work-mode brain. This is especially true when it comes to running a small business. The ability to not only check your email, but also respond in a professional manner while out of the office is expected. Taking your calendars, contacts, and emails with you is a must-have feature. This means your email provider should offer a great mobile-friendly service. Syncing across all mobile, tablet, and laptop devices is one of the most important features in an email system. If you’re on the go, in the airport, waiting on a client dinner, etc., this feature is invaluable. Be sure that calendars, contacts, documents and messages are all available when on your mobile devices.
- Design: this goes without saying, but it can be missed so easily. For something that you and your team will be looking at every day, throughout the day, shouldn’t it look good? An email interface that is easy on the eyes, modern, and streamlined will help you work better. Good design is not only pleasing to the gaze, but affects one’s mood and productivity. Look for something you like, it’s that simple.
A Deeper Look at Features
Now we’ve covered the basics, let’s look at some of the more advanced features today’s businesses (large or small) should be considering when looking for the right email provider and system.
- Effective Project Management: if you’re working in teams, you’ll want to search for an email system that can help you collaborate. Collaboration email will help you work with documents, share tasks and calendars, and communicate more clearly across departments. Look for something that is easy to use and scalable. Collaboration tools are more direct and efficient when there are many people involved in a project or issue.
- Security: your email package should offer air-tight protection, offering secure connections and protocols for data transmission. Built-in virus and spam filtering is also vital, as is protecting your data from potential hackers. With security features such as these also comes the ability to protect your backup data from being breached. An internal, specialist team at the provider that can handle threats as they arise is another feature to look out for.
- Rich Customer Knowledge-Base: before you call the tech support service, it can be easier to find the answers to your questions within the website of the email company itself. Take a look at their FAQs and How-To Sections to see if they offer clear information on everything involved in their email service packages.
- Social Media Integration: if you’re sending out multiple marketing emails to customer lists, integrating social media accounts is a helpful way of increasing visibility. Some email providers that offer marketing email tools will feature simple ways to link your social media accounts within a message. Look for this feature in an email package to ensure that your online presence gets a boost with each message.
Beyond the Major Email Players
It’s often tempting to go with the established ‘big names’ in the market. It can, however, be beneficial to look at some of the fresher options on the email menu too. Remember that newer email products and platforms were born into today’s more advanced digital world. They can be more agile, more user-friendly, and easier to update.
On the other hand, more established companies can offer stability, and can (or should) show a history of growth and support for customers. You can also get a greater sense of who they are and what they stand for – ethics and values shouldn’t be just for show in today’s business world!
But remember, it doesn’t have to be a clear cut choice between old and new. Established technology companies outside of the email world have also broken into the market, offering brand new platforms and features. So, it is possible to get the best of both worlds if you do some digging around, and see who can offer the right mix of innovation and reputation.
The choice of the right email system and provider doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. But it must be a thoughtful and careful decision.
Clearly lay out the factors that go into choosing an email system, such as streamlining your workflow, business growth, and future innovation. Dig into the details before taking the leap. Compare companies, features, and reputations. Take into consideration your organization’s needs and future goals, and think about adjusting your budget to accommodate success. If you do, you’ll be happier with the results.