Email Services: Not All Solutions Are Created Equal

What is the best email service for your business? I’m going to spoil the headline right now – it’s going to be Google’s G suite. With that hard-hitting question out of the way, let’s break down the differences between different providers, and what they mean for your business.

Option #1: ISP accounts

Whether it’s Comcast, Spectrum, or whoever is your local internet service provider, chances are when signing up you will be presented with the option of creating an email account (if they don’t automatically create one for you). In fact, many people are still hanging on to their AOL account from the dial-up days. So what are the positives and the negatives to using an ISP account?

The Good

The only positive to an ISP account compared to other email services is this: great customer service. This is a relative statement, as one might put calling Comcast for technical support in the same category as going to the DMV. However; most web email customer service is either automated, slow, or both (if it isn’t nonexistent). Having the ability to call and speak with a real human being about problems may be a big benefit for personal email, though problems with personal email are exceptionally rare.

The Bad

If you switch service providers, keeping your email account will be a hassle at best and a nightmare at worst. If a company folds or is bought out by another company, it’s not fun to go down with the ship and have your email address permanently changed to the new service provider’s address.

Option #2: Hosting service email accounts

When you host your website through a hosting service, most of the time that host has a mail server. This is great when using it for the purposes of delivering forms and mailing lists, but what about for more traditional incoming and outgoing mail? Let’s take a look.

The Good

The biggest advantage of using a hosting service’s email account is having access to your domain automatically for your e-mail address. Instead of “@gmail.com”, you can end your email address in “@insertyourdomainhere.com”. This gives your email address a professional look.

The Bad

Just like ISP emails, your emails will be stored on your hosting services server, so while you will be able to retain your email address if you own your domain, backing up and migrating emails will be necessary if you switch hosting services. On top of this, the web interfaces for these services are usually mediocre compared to the giants of webmail. It’s best to use a standalone email client if you go this route.

Option #3: Webmail

From Gmail to Yahoo mail, there are a plethora of options when it comes to using web email services for your business. While different services have different pros and cons overall, let’s look at what the most popular services have in common.

The Good

Great storage, familiar interfaces, very low risk in your email service being shut down; webmail has a lot going for it. I think if you’re starting out and want to test the waters without spending any money on a professional email, webmail is the way to go. Gmail email addresses don’t look too bad professionally because of their commonness, especially for very small businesses that will only be using one account. Because there are so many options, there’s definitely something for everyone in this category.

The Bad

As many good things as webmail has going for it, bringing your own domain name to the same place where your e-mail address is stored is impossible with some services and costly with others. This can make your domain look less professional overall when compared to options that utilize your domain name.

Option #4: Google G Suite

I hope the spoiler in the beginning didn’t put you off from reading this far. Let’s read into why this is #1 on our list of email services for businesses.

The Good

The flexibility of Gmail/webmail, with the ability to bring your own domain name to the service. Rock-solid 24/7 customer support. The best security in the game. Cloud storage included. If you’re serious about having a professional, flexible, easy to use email, look no further.

The Bad

It costs money. At $6 per user per month, this may be overkill for those that are just starting out, and won’t be using the service often enough to warrant the price.

Just remember…

At the end of the day, picking what service to use is largely going to be determined by your understanding of your business, and where you’re looking to take it. If you’re mostly using your email as a means of occasional communication, webmail might be the best option for you. If you’re communicating with clients often using email, the professionalism of a hosting service email or G Suite will give you and your clients an extra level of confidence in communicating. Whatever email service you choose, the important thing is to get out there and get started.

Why YouTube Matters for your Business

When it comes to marketing yourself or your brand online, being able to form a genuine connection is vital to reaching your audience and generating potential business through your content.

It’s no secret that videos are currently the most popular type of content on the on the web today. If you can effectively demonstrate your brand’s products or services through video content, you have the upper hand when it comes to gaining new business.

Online platforms such as YouTube are an excellent and creative outlet for marketing in today’s media centered environment. If you haven’t thought about using videos to market your business, it’s time to consider adding YouTube to your online strategy. It will help boost your SEO, build your traffic and expand your social reach online.

Here are 5 reasons why you need to start using YouTube for your business now:

1. YouTube has a Massive Global Audience

A recent Business Insider article revealed that YouTube has a monthly audience of 1.8 Billion users and “that’s just the people who are logged in.” This number is inching closer to Facebook’s 2 Billion monthly user count. In terms of search engine use, YouTube is ranked second behind Google. No matter who your audience is or where they are located, they are most likely using YouTube to search for and view video content.

2. Boost Your SEO: Google Owns It

Google, the world’s number #1 search engine, acquired YouTube in 2006. In recent years, YouTube has become Google’s most popular service, edging out Gmail. Because Google owns YouTube, there is a built-in advantage for SEO, as Google favors businesses that utilize their tools. Essentially, this means that videos from their platform will have an upper hand in ranking high within search results. In fact, many prominent YouTubers use it to effectively assert themselves on the first page of Google search results.

3. YouTube Videos are Easy to Make

You don’t need to an expert videographer to make a YouTube video. For beginners, you can get away with making videos with the built-in camera on your mobile device or laptop. Although your picture doesn’t have to be perfect, your audio should be loud and clear. The one thing that commonly drives away viewers is poor quality audio. In this case, it doesn’t hurt to pick up an inexpensive microphone to help boost the clarity of your audio. You’ll find that a simple upgrade to your audio will actually put you ahead of many other marketers on YouTube. Later on, as you get more experienced in this facet of marketing, you can always purchase a few pieces of equipment to make the process easier and give your videos a more professional touch.

4. Personalize your Brand to Build Credibility

Video has the power to make the interaction between businesses and customers more personal by giving an actual face and voice to the brand, which allows the brand to demonstrate their products or services in a very real way. This can allow the brand to further connect with their audience, which helps create trust and credibility.

YouTube provides a platform to show how knowledgeable you are about your particular niche or field. Providing insights and added information helps prove how proficient you are in your field and that you are a trusted resource. Showing users the behind-the-scenes aspects of your brand will allow your audience to really get to know what you or your brand stand­­ for.

5. Build a Community

YouTube is a fantastic platform to showcase your brand and create a regular audience. If your business doesn’t currently have a YouTube channel, creating a new one will allow you to tap into an entirely new audience. If people genuinely like your content, they will stick around and subscribe to receive your latest video updates. This is reason enough to create a channel for your brand that users can find and follow. By simply clicking the subscribe button, they will become part of your community.

Getting your brand or business seen and heard can be a challenge. With the increasing amount of people using YouTube to market their businesses, this platform is steadly becoming more significant than ever.

If you’re hesitant about getting your business on YouTube, don’t wait any longer. It’s time to hit the Play button on success.