Free email service is tempting when you first start a business, but using addresses such as Yahoo, Hotmail can actually cost you sales and customers.
Free email services don’t cost money, but they don’t look as professional and aren’t as safe as having email that matches your domain name. Before you take the easy route, consider these problems when choosing free services over hosting your own domain email server.
1. Spam Filters
Many email providers automatically block free email domains such as Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail. Blocking free email domains cuts down on most incoming spam and junk mail. Spammers prefer free domains, because they know that spam accounts are usually suspended after too many complaints. If you use free email accounts for correspondence such as order confirmations or receipts, your communication will probably go straight to spam inboxes. This issue makes it frustrating for you and your customers.
2. No Logging or Filtering
When you use free email, your business does not have control over email account settings or logging options that you have with hosted email. Free emails are limited on what type of settings you can configure. You can’t log user activity, watch for incoming and outgoing email or track who logs in to the accounts. You also can’t filter incoming or outgoing email. With free email domains, your control over communications is very limited.
3. Reduced Professionalism
Think about how free email looks to your customers. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Does it look professional to send communication from Gmail or Yahoo? Most phishing attempts come from free email domains, so educated customers are more suspicious when they receive email communication from one of these domains. When you host your own email servers, you ensure customers that communication is legitimately from your business.
4. Better Virus Protection
Email servers host a variety of antivirus and anti-phishing software. You can also purchase third-party software that runs on your server. If you choose to host email servers using a cloud computing host, the cloud host usually has its own antivirus software that protects your employees. Free email domains have antivirus protection, but this protection isn’t as good as the options you have with hosting your own server. Most antivirus software that runs on your email server lets you update and configure its settings to incorporate filters that suit your business needs. For instance, if you run a business that incorporates adult topics, you might want to allow these emails.
5. Better Collaboration and Calendar Tools
Email server software includes calendars, planning and collaboration tools. Each of your employees has an account, and these accounts are placed into groups and distribution lists. These tools let you plan events and coordinate meetings. Gmail has a calendar tool, but it isn’t as elaborate or useful as an internal email server. You can also control who has access to certain distribution lists, so only authorized accounts can email several users at one time.