Are you a freelancer, or small business or a professional in legal, medical or accounting industry and using free email like gmail.com, outlook.com, or yahoo.com? I have been asked this question umpteen times on why should we opt for a Premium Email service rather than a free or freemium email service.
In 2020, the number of global e-mail users amounted to four billion and is set to grow to 4.6 billion users in 2025. With the internet becoming increasingly accessible, the number of emails sent and received globally has increased each year since 2017. While roughly 306.4 billion emails were estimated to have been sent and received each day in 2020, this figure is expected to increase to over 376.4 billion daily mails by 2025. Source: Statistica
While there are millions of businesses functioning with a free email address, free isn’t always better, especially when it comes to something you rely on every day. Most business and even some home users opt for a premium e-mail solution. Some of the more popular options are Google Workspace by Google and Microsoft 365 from Microsoft.
Here are some of the reasons why you should consider using Premium Email Services and not free email services:
- Security — This is the #1 reason why should you opt for premium emails. When you create a free @gmail.com, @outlook.com or @yahoo.com or similar email platform, hackers with malicious intent can create an email account with similar name for misuse. For E.g. you create an email account email@example.com, someone else can create an account firstname.lastname@example.org (notice the “o” has been replaced with the number zero). Premium emails allow you to use custom domains which ensure that malicious attacks like these are reduced significantly.
- Storage — Email platforms have been around for a decade, and most of the free email service providers have now started capping the storage limit, people end up storing content at alternative backup locations. Every Google Account starts with 15 GB of free storage that’s shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. Microsoft offers 15 GB of email storage space per free Outlook.com account. Once the quota is over, you will have to upgrade to Premium plan from these providers to continue using their platform.
- Privacy — When you use a free email provider, privacy is usually the first one that will be sacrificed. Most users do not know this because they do not read the agreements before signing up for the account. To know what you are giving to the provider you can read the license agreement or you can take a good guess on how the company is making their money. For Google, this is advertisements. For Microsoft, this is selling licenses and products.
- Email Deliverability — When you send email using gmail.com or outlook.com or yahoo.com, the email deliverability may not be guaranteed as some enterprise email gateway consider them as potential spam or phishing attacks. When you use your own domain and assuming you don’t spam by mass mailing unsolicited emails, the email deliverability is much higher because you can verify your domain signature with the email service provider using techniques like SPF, DMARC and DKIM.
- Branding — This is the most important aspect using Premium Email Services because you can use your own personalized domain to create your email. Imagine sending your cv using email@example.com instead of firstname.lastname@example.org and the impact it puts on your potential employer. Or using email@example.com instead of firstname.lastname@example.org when sending out promotions.
- Customer Support — Premium Email Platforms even with the most basic plans come with email, phone or chat based support options. If you are hustling, email platform issues are the last thing you want on your calendar. Instead of spending hours on community support portals to address issues with your free email, it is better to work with support team of premium email providers and get your issues fixed in a predefined service levels.
Conclusion: Free emails services may be lucrative in the beginning but may end up costing much higher due to security lapses, lost opportunities, lack of support and limited storage. I would recommend the following premium services even if you need a single email account.
- Google Workspace — Starting at USD 6 per user per month (or INR 125 per user per month for first 20 users, and INR 210 per user per month for additional users), Google Workspace offers email, calendar, contacts and Google Drive along with highly secure identity management systems that enables multi factor authentication and basic to advanced device management. Use this link to register for a new subscription and reach out to me using Contact Me form, and I will send a 20% off discount code valid for the first year.
- Microsoft 365 — Starting at USD 5 per user per month (or INR 125 per user per month), Microsoft offers email, calendar, contacts, OneDrive, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Planner, Microsoft Stream, and Azure Active Directory with highly secure identity and access management, multi factor authentication, and basic to advance device management. Use this link to register for a new subscription and reach out to me using Contact Me form, and I will provide free email configuration for your Microsoft 365 Tenant.