Email may seem like a fossil in terms of the history of the internet, but it has remained one of the most important communication tools. Other services may come and go, but nothing has managed to unseat email yet.
Email is essential for running a business; not least because signing up to any online service without an email address would be impossible. You couldn’t have a website, social media accounts or send promotional emails without one.
When you want to advance beyond the email client bundled in with your web hosting (Roundcube, Nextcloud, Horde, etc) then you’re going to need to find a free email service for your business. When choosing the best email service for your needs, you need to consider:
- How much storage do you need?
- Will you access on mobile, desktop, or both?
- Will you use your own domain name?
- Do you need all the extras? Calendar, file management, integrated to-do list?
- Are you willing to pay anything for it?
- Do adverts bother you?
- What level of security do you need?
When you know your requirements, you can start to navigate the range of free and paid email services available. Here are four of the best free email services for your business to explore.
As far as free email services go, Gmail has it all. You can use Gmail for your business and get 15GB of storage for emails and files. You’ll also have access to the Google Drive suite and a calendar. This could be all you need to run your business. As Google has made it so quick and easy to sign up for an email address, a lot of the usernames are already taken. If you would like to use your own domain name on the Gmail platform, this costs around £4 per month per user for the basic plan.
2. Zoho Mail
Zoho Mail is offered as part of the Zoho Workplace, and is ideal for fledgling companies trying to keep costs down. Although you will start with less storage than Gmail (5GB) you can use your own domain name for free, so it offers a distinct advantage. Another key advantage is that Zoho Mail is ad-free and incredibly secure. If you feel uneasy about the volume of data you have to hand over to Gmail to be able to use a free email account, this could be a better fit.
Every office worker is familiar with the Outlook suite. In 2013, Microsoft bundled the service into an online suite, with email, calendar, tasks and contacts rolled into the Outlook.com umbrella. If you want to use Outlook.com for your business, you’ll need to sign up for the Microsoft 365 Business Basic which costs £3.80 per month per user. If you make the switch to Outlook.com, be aware of the sensitive spam filter which could snag important emails.
4. Proton Mail
When security is a top priority and leaked emails are your main concern, encrypted email is the way to go. Switzerland-based ProtonMail will solve all of your email woes by offering an end-to-end encrypted email service. When you sign up, you don’t even have to hand over any personal information. Simply choose a username and secure password to get up-and-running. Paid upgrades are available for more storage and to remove the email sending limit (150 per day).