Business Free Email Accounts
The world of electronic mail aka email is one of the most commonly used forms of communication these days. Email is used for a wide range of reasons. Some people use email to share files and pictures with their family and personal friends. One the flip side businesses and their employees use email to transmit documents and important information.
When you are running a company, whether brick and mortar or online, email is no longer optional but it is a must. Email is a part of the fabric of everyday life. This is why taking the seemingly attractive free offers for email might not be your best option.
The majority of email users use a free email webmail account, a free account courtesy of their ISP or an email address attached to their job. We are going to look at the disadvantages involved with each of these options.
Seductive But Deadly Beauty
Probably the most well known option in the world of free email is Hotmail from Microsoft. Microsoft made a decision to invest in webmail with $400 million in 1998 for about 9 million users. This system has grown to 120 million users and still growing which means it is the largest free webmail provider. The strategy that Microsoft and others have used is to encourage its users to upgrade to paid products and services.
Free is good but it has obvious benefits but some hidden disadvantages. When a service is free you will not know how the account is being administered. The level of service usually corresponds to what you have paid for it. Not too much customer service at all. The other is you never know what restrictions could be imposed at any point in time. This is not a good place to be for a business.
Not Quite Free Is Really Not Much Better
Internet Service Providers or ISPs give email addresses as part of their standard service packages. This is why we say “Not Quite Free” since you are already paying for the service. This type of service has even more challenges and leaves you with limited options.
The biggest problem with these services is that you are bound to the ISP. The only way to switch is to pay ridiculous fees. You will also be identified with the ISP based on your email address. This will give the impression of being a small time operator or just a wannabe. Service levels are typically weak, virus protection and spam filtering is usually lacking.
A Short Term Solution To A Long Term Problem
There are many who take advantage of the free email addresses supplied by their employer. While this type of email address is good for the job many small business owners use it because it is the only one that they have. The biggest drawback to using this type of email address is privacy. You will subject to the scrutiny of your employer. You also have no guarantees as to how long this arrangement will be allowed to continue. If your business grows you will have to break away at some point.
Your Very Own Email Address
Apart from having a personalized domain such as firstname.lastname@example.org , the major difference between the types of email accounts mentioned above and having your own is simple – control. As the owner of your domain, the email account belongs to you as well, meaning you have control of where and how it is managed. You can determine how much storage and bandwidth is required to manage it, what security features are implemented, if you prefer a webmail interface or an offline client and so forth. Having your own email establishes credibility with your audience, and being that it’s associated with your website, it makes you much easier to find online.
Free webmail, ISP accounts and work email addresses might serve benefits to the average user, but as a business owner, they will do nothing but limit your potential. By owning your email address you can distance yourself entirely from a third-party company and have more authority over the fate of your business.
Originally posted 2012-04-12 06:02:08.