Are you thinking of moving your business online and wondering why free email addresses are offered with some website hosting plans? Do you need new email addresses? Most of us sign up for a free email address with one of the popular providers – such as Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo. These companies provide an email hosting service that you can access through your web browser – so what are their drawbacks? Below are some points to consider when thinking about the type of email hosting service you need.

Customised addresses

A professional email hosting provider can supply you with customised email addresses linked to your website domain or business name. This gives customers and prospective clients confidence that they are dealing with a legitimate and professional business, and reassures them that their personal and financial details are secure while dealing with you. It is also a good way of advertising your business and your website for free.

Archiving and reliability

Free email services offer no guarantees that your email history or address book won’t simply disappear overnight. You are not eligible for compensation, there is no way of restoring your lost messages or lost contact details, and their customer service may not even reply. This happened to a lot of users after Hotmail was absorbed into Microsoft’s Outlook.com. Being able to audit historical interactions with customers and other companies is often vital for a business so this is not acceptable.

Email management tools

Free email accounts rarely come with many tools for exploring or exporting your archives, auto-responding, email-forwarding, automating mail-shots, templating or changing your email’s appearance to reflect your business livery. On the contrary, a few of them insist on appending advertisements for their own services. In contrast, when you take full control of your email with a professional email hosting package it is usually easier to insert signatures, build forms, append terms and conditions and so on. It is often easier to fully integrate your email system into a CRM or other enterprise software.

Control and administration

Business email accounts allow you to control users and make sure you know who is sending emails in your name. If an employee leaves you can quickly terminate their access to company business; when they join you can ensure they have an email account ready to use. By setting up forwards you can make sure important mail is diverted to another desk when someone is away on leave, and you can issue new passwords on a routine basis.

Security

Although free email providers like Gmail take steps to keep your email secure, their procedures often work against you: every time a user logs in from a different device they flag it as suspicious. This is very unhelpful when you have several employees that need to share a single email account – such as ‘sales’ or ‘enquiries’. If you have to assign well-known account prefixes like ‘sales’, ‘enquiries’, or ‘accounts’ for departmental use, be aware these are prime targets for hackers, so always assign strong passwords to your team members.

Malware detection, spam filtering and intrusion detection are vital for all businesses. Using a professional email hosting service gives you access to specialists you can actually talk to if you need to resolve a problem.

Technical support

Knowing that you have direct access to an expert support team (usually 24/7) is another strong argument for using a professional business email hosting service. If privacy and security are highly important to your business focus, specialist providers will also be able to provide sophisticated email protections such as encryption. Archiving, backup and disaster recovery may also be on offer.

Email options for business

Website starter packages sometimes usually include a limited number of email accounts. 1-3 email boxes might be enough for a sole trader, but a larger company should consider a separate email hosting contract that gives them everything they need. Although most businesses today have a website, you don’t need a website to own a business domain name and use it for all your email correspondence.

Many people are rightly cautious about sharing their details over the internet or to any unknown or unrecognisable email address. Therefore, using professional email hosting services is the way to go for e-commerce enterprises today. The facility to use an email address that matches your brand, with security provision that comes as standard, is essential in order to reassure your customers and suppliers and establish the professional validity of your business.

Professional email from names.co.uk

We’ve got email packages for every type of business, including a Starter option from just a few pounds per month. View here…