Updated July 2017
Email is something we use all the time. In many ways, email has taken over as the primary means of communication in the business world.
For me (and many others), my email address is a part of my identity, and it’s how clients are most likely to interact with me. That’s why it’s incredibly important to consider how your email address appears to your contacts.
Funny story: my name lends itself to a few jokes. At my first job, the protocol was to create an email address using the first letter of your first name and your full last name. Much to my dismay, this left me with an email address of firstname.lastname@example.org. At every job since, I have insisted my address be tony or email@example.com. No more body parts!
Email addresses ending in “@hotmail.com,” “@verizon.net,” or similar can cause a number of problems for your business.
1. First, companies like Verizon do not allow you to transfer your email address if you switch to another provider.
2. Second, if an employee is using an email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org, and he/she decides to take another job at a competitor across town, it is not easy to safeguard company information.
3. A less obvious problem is the quality of your email provider. Many companies use their website host’s email service. Although this provides a professional-looking email address with your company domain, the hosts frequently do not provide quality services. This results in blacklisted email servers and lost emails.
(Do we even have to mention how unprofessional Hotmail and Yahoo email addresses look?)
Benefits of Using Gmail for Business
The G Suite provides many important solutions to these problems. As of January 2017, more than three million businesses are paying for G Suite services. Here are 5 reasons 3M businesses moved to the G Suite:
1. Gmail is a high quality email service, and their collaboration apps are second to none. Many second-rate email providers do not include services such as IMAP or mobile solutions. Google provides excellent mobile support across all platforms.
2. The sign up process is fairly painless and intuitive (although, if you’re not familiar with your domain name server settings and what an mx record is, it might be wise to get professional help to set this up).
3. Blacklisting is rare for Google’s servers. Even if it does happen, it’s usually short-lived. I guess when you have close to 500 million users, you can throw your weight around a little.
4. One of the greatest benefits of using an enterprise-grade service is the ability to administrate your employees’ email accounts. Remember the illustration of the employee who left to work for a competitor? That employee’s account could be locked, suspended, or redirected so that company info does not leave the company.
5. G Suite for business is not free – the cost is $10/month/user as of July 2017. Despite the investment, G Suite easily pays for itself in being a very solid solution. Downtime does happen occasionally, but it’s usually very short and quite rare.
-Do I need to use an @gmail.com address? No, you do not need to use a Gmail address – actually, that’s the very thing we are trying to avoid. The Google Apps service directs your “@mycompany.com” email to Google’s servers and then provides you with an interface similar to Gmail. Although there’s no advertising, it’s all business.
Are there alternatives to G Suite?
Certainly! The main recommended alternative is Microsoft’s Office 365/Exchange 365 services. This service is comparable in cost and quality. Many times, the decision comes down to what you and your employees are most comfortable using. If most of your users already use Gmail for personal email, the transition to G Suite is a cinch.
However, if most users rely heavily on Microsoft Office products (especially Outlook), then it may be more appropriate to consider Microsoft’s offerings.