Email is one of the great inventions of the internet. Everyone uses it, and you can get a free account from any internet service provider. But like any other service, you get what you pay for.
Businesses need to brand their messages with their domain name. Bob@BobsCompany.com has more credibility than BobsCompany@yahoo.com. Small companies can get a free domain name based address by using the mail server supplied their hosting provider. We happily set this up for cost-sensitive businesses, but recommend Google Apps for those who can afford it.
Google Apps provide one of the best user experiences on the internet. Most of our clients that use Google mail – ourselves included – simply use Google’s webmail, which greatly simpifies using email across mulitiple devices, and their calendar is equally impressive.
The value of Google Apps for email came to focus recently, when a client using free email got blacklisted because the hosting provider (a very reputable hosting company) was hacked. As a result, our client had some email bouncebacks. While the hosting company was eventually able to remove the blacklisting, it was an inconvenience. In addition, this client has had some problems with spam, while all Google users have had trouble-free service for the more than ten years we’ve been offering it.
Every business is different, and each needs to justify their information technology costs. Those on a tight budget will sensibly choose free email, but those who have established a steady revenue stream may find spending a few dollars per month to be a worthwhile cost for hassle-free email.