There are many email service providers (ESP) in the market right now. There are paid email service providers that cover some exclusive services for businesses such as connecting up your domain name, but free email service providers can be just as great as far as basic email services are concerned.
In the modern age, email could be considered one of the “older” ways to communicate with someone, if you compare it to instant messaging, video call applications, and the like. However, it remains to be one of the most reliable ways to track your communication history with your clients, engage with new customers through email marketing, not to mention emails generally make your communication more private and secure.
Whether you’re looking to create your first email address or simply on the lookout for the best email service provider for your business, this article helps guide you through the best of both paid and free ESPs.
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These are the best subscription-based business email service providers for 2021. Aside from providing you with top-notch email service quality, some of the names on this list are also known for providing the best level of security, integration, and user-friendliness for their users.
Here are our picks for the best business email service providers to try:
Hands down the best when it comes to security and privacy
ProtonMail is one of the email service providers that we come to test and fell in love with. There’s something about the minimalistic user interface that reminds you of how emails should be: no frills, allows you to send and receive emails, and keeps the same private and secure.
Founded in 2014, ProtonMail is a Swiss-based email service that puts much importance on privacy, above all else. It allows you to sign up anonymously, your IP addresses are not recorded, and all your emails are end-to-end encrypted (this means that even ProtonMail can’t “read” your emails).
It has a free plan; paid service starting at only $5.00 per month
If you’re looking for power, Microsoft Office 365 is for you.
Office 365 is a paid subscription under the ubiquitous and highly popular Microsoft brand. Office 365 allows both small and large enterprises to have access to important and powerful tools needed for their communication, organization, and smooth functioning.
Office 365 allows a business to have access to hosted email solutions. This is beneficial to businesses because:
Personal Plan is available for $69.99/year; Premium Plan is available for $99.99/year.
Best Bang-For-The-Buck Email Service Provider
If you’re just getting started but you’re looking to get an email service provider to help you manage your business communications better, then Zoho Mail is the provider you’re looking for. Their rates aside (which are quite practical and affordable), the suite of services they offer seems to take care of most of your business needs.
Composing a message in Zoho will let you appreciate how minimal the design is. You can also compose and manage multiple emails at once with relative ease thanks to its intuitive user interface. Zoho also functions well with cloud-based storage apps such as Google Drive and OneDrive, letting you attach files coming from these apps with ease. You can also easily compose messages complete with tables and various formatting options with just a few clicks of a button.
Available for free (up to 5 users). Paid services start at $1/user/month with 5GB of storage per user
Offers the Widest Integration Among Business Email Service Providers
No email provider is as famous as Gmail and for good reason. They have come close to perfecting the business of email, and continue to provide value for their services (most of which are for free).
The most important advantage for going with Gmail for Business through Google Workspace is that you will have no difficulty accessing other Google-made applications such as Meet, Drive, and Calendars.
If you value customizability, Gmail allows you to play around with themes, play around with many settings, create tons of labels and filters to help you organize your email better.
Available for Free and Enterprise Plan starts at $25/user/month
The Best New Email Service Provider in The Market
Compared to industry giants Office365 and Gmail, Hey.com is the new kid on the block. It takes a lot of guts to come up with a business and pit it with the aforementioned giants, but Hey seems to be handling it pretty well thus far.
Most email service providers allow emails (regardless of who sent them) in your inbox and leave you to figure out whether to put it in the trash or not, Hey’s Screener does a great job of doing the opposite. It doesn’t allow anything to go into your inbox, and it leaves you to approve or transfer the email “blocked” by the Screener instead.
Free for 14 days ONLY then $99/year
When something is offered free of charge, sometimes it ends up being disappointing as the features are too limited, or even the basic features are not accessible. Luckily, that’s not the case when it comes to free email providers. The names on this list include tons of features at no cost. To make the task of picking the best free email provider easier, we gathered together a list of the different types of email accounts you try out.
Here are our picks for the best free email service providers to try:
Best Free Email Service Provider
Gmail is the second-highest email provider in terms of market share, trailing just behind Apple’s Apple Mail. Gmail is Google’s email service provider and you can try it free once you sign up with a Google account. The great thing is that signing up will not only let you have access to Gmail but also to Google’s other services such as Meet, Calendar, and various Office Applications (Docs, Slides, and Sheets).
With a generous 15 GB of free storage, there’s plenty of space to use for your business files and other things you wish to be available on the Cloud.
Free but also has paid business services as mentioned above.
The Vintage That Keeps On Giving
Founded in 1994, Yahoo! Mail is probably the only one aside from Google who has seen the worst of the dot-com bubble and lived to tell its tale. While Yahoo! no longer enjoys the same market share as far as its search engine and email service businesses are concerned, this does not stop them from providing quality services free of charge.
Need Unlimited Storage? This one’s for you.
Verizon recently acquired AOL Mail in 2015. Before that, along with Yahoo! and Google, AOL (through the now-defunct AIM) were the industry giants of the email service provider industry.
AOL allows you to access your inbox from its nostalgic news-filled homepage. Its built-in spam filters and virus protection are on par with what other email providers offer. A unique feature is that you can send text and instant messages from specific windows in your email inbox.
Over 200 Domain Names to Choose From
Tired of not getting your own domain name included in your email address? Well, the unique feature of Mail.com is that it gives you access to 200 custom domain names that may closely resemble those which you like. You can choose an area that fits your profession, personality, location, or lifestyle. This personalization of an email address will work as identification of a specific person.
Best suited for freelancers/self-employed and small businesses
iCloud Mail is Apple’s answer to Google’s GSuite. It provides for easy setup; however, the only disadvantage is that it is only accessible to those with Apple devices. Once you’ve gone over this hurdle though, you’ll find that having an iCloud account is convenient. It gives you access to your device’s Cloud drive, including photos, notes, reminders, and even your calendar. If you have multiple Apple devices, you know how amazing these devices interact with each other.
When selecting a business email service provider, you want to set criteria based on what you need as a business. These may include how much storage you need, how the user interface looks (including ease of use), how easy (or difficult) it is to customize, and other features such as integrated messaging, setting filters/labels, and the ability to import other data. Of course, part of your consideration should also include the basics – price, availability of support, scalability, security, and reputation.
Similar to a business email service provider, when selecting a free email provider, you want to look for the features you need. This could include how much storage you need, how the user interface looks (including ease of use), how easy (or difficult) it is to customize, and other features such as integrated messaging, setting filters/labels, and the ability to import other data.
An Email Client is an application that you install on your device to allow you to manage your emails (whether the email account was created within the application itself or through a webmail provider). Examples of these are Microsoft Outlook, Apple’s Apple Mail, and Mozilla Thunderbird.
Whereas Webmail is your web-based email service provider. You can create an email account directly with them and without even downloading any other applications, such as an email client, you can still manage your emails. Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and AOL are some examples.
These internet protocols run in the background to help you manage your email account from Webmail to your chosen Email Client.
POP or POP3 (in its latest iteration), stands for “post office protocol”, and is the preferred protocol for individuals with just one email account and one email client. POP3 allows the user to access his/her emails despite not being offline; it presupposes that you have been online prior.
IMAP, or “internet mail access protocol”, is the older protocol. Here, your email can only be accessed online.
Exchange is the protocol Microsoft uses and while bearing similarities with IMAP, it has built-in integrations such as calendars, tasks, and even address books that are helpful if you’re running an organization.
That completes the list of the best free and paid email service providers in the market today. We might see some new players in the industry in the coming years, but for now, these names are at the top of our list for being feature-rich, user-friendly, easy to set up, and cost-efficient.
We would just like to reiterate that choosing your email service provider is a completely personal choice. Be sure to carefully weigh your business needs and match them with the ones these providers offer. Make the most out of your email provider by fully exploring its wealth of features and services.
Last updated on by Joshua Holdeman
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