9+ Best Email Service Providers for Your Business in 2021 (Paid and Free)

Best Email Service Providers

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.

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links where we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you choose to purchase a plan from a link on this page. These are merely the products, tools, and services we recommend when it comes to running your business. You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.

What are the Best Business Email Service Providers?

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:

1. ProtonMail

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.

ProtonMail

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).

Noteworthy features:

  • End-to-end encryption.
  • Expiry date for email (to add an extra layer of security)
  • Has autoresponder, email filters, and multi-user support with paid plans.
  • Available in multiple devices

Pricing:

It has a free plan; paid service starting at only $5.00 per month

2. Office365

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.

Microsoft Office365

Office 365 allows a business to have access to hosted email solutions. This is beneficial to businesses because:

  1. Allows you to create and build a brand name
  2. Offers a different level of security,
  3. Customizable storage options (you can tailor it depending on your needs)
  4. Provides integrations.

Noteworthy features:

  • Supports many add-ins.
  • Allows users to easily organize and find emails
  • Accessible through a mobile app for iOS and Android devices.
  • Can easily access other Microsoft Office applications such as Skype

Pricing:

Personal Plan is available for $69.99/year; Premium Plan is available for $99.99/year.

3. Zoho Mail

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.

Zoho Mail

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.

Noteworthy features:

  • Works well for teams.
  • Supports tabbed email windows.
  • Access to other Zoho Applications is easy
  • Clean and minimalist design is a plus
  • Lets users organize their emails with ease

Pricing:

Available for free (up to 5 users). Paid services start at $1/user/month with 5GB of storage per user

4. Gmail for Business

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.

Gmail for Business

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.

Noteworthy features:

  • Offers private messaging features
  • Great spam protection
  • Includes 15 GB of storage shared between Drive and Mail
  • Designed to work well with other Google Apps

Pricing:

Available for Free and Enterprise Plan starts at $25/user/month

5. Hey

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.

Hey.com

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.

Noteworthy features:

  • Impressive screener for spam
  • Papertrail feature for transaction receipts
  • Clean user interface
  • Great privacy policy

Pricing:

Free for 14 days ONLY then $99/year

What are the Best Free Email Service Providers?

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:

1. Gmail

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.

Gmail

Noteworthy features:

  • Machine learning nudges you to follow up and respond to messages
  • Allows you to view attachments, snooze messages, and open attachments without opening mails.
  • Allows you access Google Meet from your inbox.
  • Gmail blocks phishing emails automatically

Pricing:

Free but also has paid business services as mentioned above.

2. Yahoo! Mail

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.

Yahoo Mail

Noteworthy features:

  • Effective spam filters.
  • Has a great and intuitive search function
  • Allows you to create 500 disposable addresses without containing your personal data.
  • Easily import contacts from a file, Facebook, Google, or Outlook account.
  • Allows access to Yahoo Calendar.
  • 1 TB of storage

3. AOL Mail

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 Mail

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.

Noteworthy features:

  • Unlimited storage
  • Send email attachments up to 25 MB
  • Supports keyboard shortcuts to easily do tasks
  • Lets you preview messages without opening them
  • Great customer service

4. Mail.com

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.

Mail

Noteworthy features:

  • Unlimited storage (free of charge)
  • Has built-in antivirus protection in place
  • Provides access to mobile devices

5. iCloud Mail

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.

iCloud Mail

Noteworthy features:

  • Easy to set up for Apple users.
  • Makes unsubscribing from email lists very easy.
  • Includes 5 GB of free online storage (but upgradeable through a subscription)
  • Accessible to other devices (including Windows-based browsers)

Email Service Providers FAQ’s

What Should I Look For In A Business Email Service Provider?

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.

What Should I Look For In A Free Email Service Provider?

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.

What’s the difference between an Email Client and Webmail?

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.

What is POP3, IMAP, and Exchange?

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.

Email Service Providers Summary

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

Joshua Holdeman
About the author

Joshua Holdeman is a DevOps Engineer, Sr. Software Engineer, and Digital Marketing Consultant. With over 12 years in the industry and backed by hundreds of digital marketing projects and websites developed under his direction, he brings experience and knowledge allowing for the recommendation of high-impact business software, tools, and programs to help non-profit organizations, small businesses, and entrepreneurs to launch or grow their business. Before starting this blog, Josh was the Sr. Software Engineer for a world leader in a marketing and graphic communications franchise system.

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