Often business owners asked me why do they need to to pay to use Google Apps for Work while they can use consumer version of Gmail for free?
I would answer the question in 3 perspectives: Brand, Identity and Control.
Email as a Brand
1. Every businesses has a name.
A successful brand appears to you at least 5 times a day via different mediums.
Email is being the cheapest and easiest way to have people remember you (Your Name) and your company (Brand name).
If you’re using free emails, probably you are not able to get a friendly name and ended up something like:
Now comparing it to firstname.lastname@example.org, you will straight know that my website is mylifebbs.com without telling you. This also gives a direct impression to people to remember you.
2. You need a proper email for email marketing.
The fundamental of Internet Marketing is email, and it still works today. Just think why big corporations like Google, Microsfot, Groupon etc still sending so many marketing emails everyday?
Yet, in order to utilize the power of email marketing, you first need to have a proper email address. Using free email services to do email marketing will only lead you to Account Suspension.
Email as Your Identity
1. Prevent Identity Thief
With Branding, comes Identity. Never let identity thief steal your hard works. This is the basic of phishing email, scammer pretend to be you and use your identity to have your customers and suppliers fall into the trap.
Again we use email@example.com as example, the easiest way to scam your customers is to register a new email as firstname.lastname@example.org and tell your customers that you are using this new email address, please do this and that.
2. Sender Authentication
When you are using a proper email service such as Google Apps for Work, there are email sender authentication mechanisms (SPF, DKIM and DARMC) to inform the public database that you’re the real sender. Recipient’s server will reject emails that are sent from unauthenticated email server.
With this, you’re proactively preventing credibility damage and reduce risk to your business.
1. Centralized Users Control
Free email service is designed for personal use. When you have many staffs to manage, it will be a disaster to manage the accounts without a proper control panel to create, rename, reset password for the user accounts.
With cloud based email, you can further define different email policies to control the data flows, email identity (email signature, disclaimer etc) and so on.
2. Data Protection.
You may lost the access to the free email account if you forgot the password, employee left in bad intention and so on.
In some cases, the email account might be suspended permanently by service provider if the email is sending spams or abusing the system, which sometimes might due to account being hi-jacked.
Again, with commercial version of cloud email service, you do not need to worry all these problems. There are data recovery and backup features, service logs to record all the activities and so on.
Well, I hope this blog post gives you a new insights of your email. It can do more than just email if you do it right, and it might cost you a fortune to pay for a bad lesson.