Let’s save you some time. If you write emails only to your friends and family, and you never, ever email clients or use email marketing to grow your business, then the answer to “Why do you need hosted email?” is simple:
You can keep using your regular, plain old generic email domain, because you don’t need to worry that a client will see this and assume your business must not be doing very well if you couldn’t even spring for a custom domain.
If you use email to communicate with clients at all, whether it’s answering their questions, telling them their order’s ready, sending an invoice, or introducing them to new products you think they’ll love…
You need hosted email.
And not even just for the extra branding boost you get when a client sees your custom domain name.
Because, as you’ll see, there are a lot more benefits than that (although, to be fair, that boost in perceived legitimacy is nothing to sneeze at, either). Now, first things first:
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What’s the difference between hosted email and web hosting?
If you’ve been researching hosted email for a while, you’ve probably stumbled across the term web hosting. This is not the same as email hosting. Web hosting is a service that gives your website a location on the internet by storing everything you put into your website on a server. (A server is a kind of specialised computer, so it usually handles only one kind of task – in this case, websites.)
Side note: If you don’t yet have a website, you might want to check out a company that offers email hosting as well as web hosting.
Most people start leaving their cyber footprint by creating a website. This makes sense: There’s no point in having an email domain like @companyname.com if there’s no companyname.com for customers to visit. So, you might, first, want to explore web hosting, choose a domain you love and that you feel truly represents your brand, and then get email hosting so you can have a custom email domain that matches your website.
So that’s what web hosting companies do: They give your website a cyber home.
How does email hosting work?
An email hosting service rents out and operates email servers. If you send emails through your hosted email service, the process will look like this:
- You click “send.” The email is uploaded to a server.
- From your server, it goes to the recipient’s email server.
- Your hosting company manages all the technical details of operating the email server, so you can focus on building your brand.
Hosted email is the best choice for the growth of your business:
- Hosted email helps your brand stand out from the crowd
- It is faster, because it gives you access to a dedicated server
- More secure than free webmail.
- Hosted email is much cheaper than operating your own servers
- Hosted email lets you send larger attachments
Get a unique email to stand out from the crowd
If you choose hosted email, you get to create your own custom email domain. (E.g., @companyname.com, instead of @genericfreedomain.com.) In case you’ve ever wondered how big brands put their company name into their email domain, that’s how they do it: with email servers.
A custom email domain helps distinguish your brand from the thousands of other brands vying for your customers’ attention. A generic email domain makes your brand look less valuable, less exclusive, and less trustworthy.
But it gets worse.
People are wary of getting emails from users whose names they don’t recognise. If your email gets to their inbox and it’s so generic that they can’t even remember who you are, then into the deleted folder you go. And do you know how many sales are made from the deleted folder? Yeah. Not many.
Get access to a dedicated email server
When you use free webmail, you’re just one of many users. But when you opt for hosted email, a good hosting company will give you access to a dedicated email server.
Remember: A server is a specialised computer, but it is still a computer. If you’ve ever tried to do anything on your computer while you have a million other programs running in the background, you know how slowly computers can run when they’re focusing on too many things.
Having access to a dedicated email server means faster emails, because servers allow access to only a limited number of users, which means they’ll have less work to do.
Hosted email is more secure than free webmail
This is especially important for your business email. When you’re sending and receiving business email, it’s not just your data that may be compromised by hackers. You’re putting your customers’ data at risk, too.
If you lose your customers’ data because your business email was improperly secured, not only could this make you lose the precious goodwill you’ve worked so hard to build, but you could also end up having to fight expensive lawsuits if your clients accuse you of negligence.
Hackers are constantly evolving to find new ways to access sensitive information. Companies that offer hosted email make it their duty to stay up to date on the latest security methods, so they’re in the best position to protect the sensitive, expensive data in your business email. And it’s not just future lawsuits you end up saving on when you choose hosted email:
Hosted email is much cheaper than operating your own servers.
Some people know they need email servers, so they just set up their own, instead of choosing an email hosting company. Here’s why that may not be the best idea:
When you operate your own servers, you’ll need to hire people to help you do it. You’ll also need to be willing to spend money on buying and maintaining some pretty expensive equipment. When you choose hosted email, you don’t have to worry about any of that. That’s your email hosting company’s problem – not yours.
Send larger attachments with hosted emails
Ever tried to email an important PDF then gotten a message saying the file was too big? Worse, have you ever seen that message when you’re rushing and your client’s rushing, and now you have to figure out how to send your large document to your client as quickly as possible? If that has happened to you, then you already know how infuriating and embarrassing it is. Hosted email lets you send bigger attachments than free webmail services. But hosted email isn’t the only option you have when you’re trying to make sure your business email operates as smoothly as possible…
If you’ve been researching good hosted email options, you’ve probably come across the term hosted exchange. Don’t dismiss it just yet. Hosted exchange might actually be perfect for your business.
What is hosted exchange, and why might you want it?
Hosted exchange is a service in which a provider gives you access to a Microsoft email box on its server. This means you can access your address books, calendars, appointments, and all the other tools that let you stay in sync with clients and important contacts. Hosted exchange makes scheduling meetings a breeze, with side-by-side calendar views and centralized to-do lists. As a bonus, you can even access these offline!
Hosted exchange also lets you store your data in the cloud. Which means, if you need to stay in touch with employees and clients, you’ll have an electronic means of remotely keeping track of all this data. Hosted exchange lets you instantly sync your emails over any device. Need to be out of office a while? Hosted exchange lets you set an automatic out-of-office reply, so that clients who email you don’t just sit at their computers wondering why you haven’t gotten back to them. No more awkward “Sorry I took so long to get back to you” emails.
You won’t worry about the security of your data, either. Hosted exchange gives you built-in defences against threats to your emails. An up-to-date anti-spam filter means threats are detected and destroyed before they can get to your network.
Not everybody needs that extra bit of synchronicity and security. But, if any of this sounds like it might be useful for your business, look into getting hosted exchange. Another term that may be popping up all over your search results is cPanel email. This is a free email service offered by good email hosting companies.
Is cPanel email a good choice for your business?
cPanel (control panel) gives you access to an automation tool and a user-friendly graphical interface that makes it easier to manage your own emails. With cPanel email, you get access to anti-spam protection, and you can sync your emails to your mobile device. cPanel email is free, and it’s an excellent choice if you don’t need to use email services frequently, because you can only add a limited maximum number of mailboxes. This you web host will determine in your hosting package. This number can’t be changed. Lots of people don’t mind having a maximum number of mailboxes. So, think carefully about it and see if you might want to choose cPanel email. The ease of using it might just be worth it to you.
On the other hand, if you choose a hosted email service, you can change the number of mailboxes by simply upgrading your package. You have the advantage of connecting it with mobile devices too. The most important thing in all of this is choosing a good email hosting provider.
If you do this, you’ll worry less about things like backing up your data, keeping yourself from accidentally sending sensitive information to the wrong people, having to come up with creative ways to send files that are too big to be transmitted through free webmail services, and most importantly…
You’ll have someone to talk to if something goes wrong
If you choose free webmail for your business emails, you might save some money in the short run. But, you’re pretty much on your own whenever anything goes wrong. If you choose hosted email, you’ll have access to people whose entire job is making sure your emails are always secure and available when you need them. There are three very important reasons to get hosted email:
Hosted email is way more affordable than you think.
You don’t have to go bankrupt trying to find good options for hosted email.
You’re too busy to worry about the minutiae of sending emails.
You work hard. You don’t have time to think about file sizes or email security.
But these things are important – especially security.
Get hosted email, so you’ll have access to a team that takes care of email security for you.
Hosted email elevates your business.
When you choose hosted email, you’re not just buying email security. You’re buying a great first impression with even your ficklest clients.
This isn’t the place to cut corners. A good first impression is the best foundation to a great business relationship, and lifelong clients are the lifeblood of any successful business.
It’s time you took your business to the next level with hosted email.