When you're in the midst of getting a startup off the ground, it seems there are a million things to do and even more issues and considerations clamoring for your attention. Choosing an email service for your new business may be something that it's tempting not to give too much thought to, but it's actually a really important element of your enterprise.Find out more about how to get started with your start-up by reading the rest of this guide.
Getting the right email app or client for your needs can make a huge difference to your workflow, productivity, and how smoothly things operate on a day-to-day basis. It can also affect how potential clients view your business and its professional aspect. You may be surprised at just how many different options there are out there and the different features and tools offered by each. Here are the key things to take into consideration when selecting an email service - and you won't regret the extra time spent in ensuring you pick the one that'll serve your startup best.
How You Work
Thinking about the way in which you work is the most important thing to consider. If you'll be taking on a remote or hybrid team, then choosing an email service that has plenty of features to support collaborative working, including a team chat for virtual meetings and conferences, is essential.
Every different email platform or client will have different tools and features on offer - even if many of these are similar. Figuring out the ones that will work for you, as well as those that you don't require, is the first stage of identifying the best option for your startup. As part of this process, consider the user interface of each provider, the desktop app, and whether it's mobile-friendly to ensure that you’ll be choosing the email client that best supports your way of working and supports great productivity and workflow.
Some email services are free, some you'll need to pay for, and, of course, your budget will play the most crucial role in this aspect of the decision-making process. It's not just about saving money, though. You may decide that the additional expenditure is worth it for the added professionalism of an email address featuring your business domain name, for example, or that the integrations offered by another option are worth paying for, for the time you'll save as a result of having them.
If you're struggling to come to a decision, it's worth bearing in mind that most email platforms offer a free basic tier, so you can get an idea of whether it's the right one for you before committing any funds.
The Customer Service on Offer
Next on the list of things to consider: is customer service. You'll need to think about whether it's acceptable for your service provider to have a help desk open to calls and emails during office hours only or if you'd prefer access to 24/7 support.
Look, too, at the ways that are available to contact customer services and check plenty of online reviews of the provider to find out the experiences of past and current customers, paying particular attention to any problems they’ve faced and how they’ve been resolved (or otherwise).
Look at Storage Space
Before signing on the dotted line of any plan, it's important to check how much storage space is available to avoid the annoyance of frequently having to delete emails to free up space for incoming messages or not being able to send an attachment as it's too large.
It's worth bearing in mind if you're weighing up free versus paid email platforms, that you usually get significantly less storage space with the free options - but, as a startup, this may still more than meet your needs in the early days.
Ease of Migration
If you need to migrate your emails and other files over from a previous provider, then you’ll need to carefully check that this process will be a quick and easy one to avoid any interruption to your business activities. Most providers offer tools to make the migration a simple one, so there’s no need for a complicated manual undertaking, but do ensure that this is the case as part of making your decision. Some email platforms will deal with the migration for you for added convenience.
Is Security Up to Par?
This is another vital consideration - the last thing your startup needs to experience is a cyberattack in its early days. Check the email provider's credentials on this score carefully. It should deploy SSL encryption at the very least and, ideally, incorporate a range of anti-malware and anti-phishing tools to protect your account against viruses, spam, and other cyber threats.
For even greater peace of mind, you may want to consider an option that comes with advanced data protection features and allows you to set two-factor authentication to add even more powerful defenses to your email account. Further, find out exactly how the provider will protect you from the spoofing of your custom domain address and whether you’ll have the option to customize spam filtering via blacklists and whitelists if this is relevant.
Consider finding out whether the apps deployed by the provider are independently audited and if the code used is open source to get the full picture.
Useful Extra Features
As well as the collaborative features we mentioned at the top, it's also worth thinking about other extra tools and perks that you'd like included in your email service in an ideal world. Whether this is a calendar that syncs with your inbox, the ability to leave voice notes, or a range of integrations, these things could make a big difference to the smooth running of your work day.
Check the Terms
This might seem like something you definitely don’t have time for, but reading the small print could save you a major future headache. Check what you’re signing up for very carefully, especially if you’re paying for the provision. Pay particular attention to things like the contract length, penalties for leaving the contract before its term is up, and any responsibilities you have as a client.
If you’re not sure about any part of the small print, get in touch with a company representative to have them clarify - this makes for a great opportunity to check out the quality of the customer service, too!
Selecting an Email Service for Your Business's Future
When picking an email service for your brand-new business, keeping an eye on the future is advisable, too. To this end, keep scaling options in mind: if you're starting on a free tier, what is the nature of the paid plans? Thinking about whether it offers the sort of features and tools you can envisage your business needing as it grows will stand you in good stead when your business is ready to take its next step.
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