Last year, over 188 billion emails circulated compared to 60 million Facebook updates and 1.4 million tweets. Email and social media are great for staying in touch with friends and family. Businesses are even using some of these same free social platforms and consumer-level email services to ramp up quickly and cheaply. But, are they really the best choice for primary business communication? Ask yourself these questions:
Who You Gonna Call?
Free email offers no accountability if your emails aren't delivered or if you can't send a message at 2AM. That leaves your business at the mercy of a provider who isn't financially or legally accountable for outages or breaches. If you have an issue that you need help with, you could find yourself browsing volumes of support documents online with no access to live help.
Can You Fight the Law?
Not properly classifying and archiving messages could result in huge fines from legal disputes or regulatory agencies. Some free email services permanently delete messages after as little as 30 days. If you need that message a year later to support a court case, you'll be out of luck - and possibly paying fines.
How Big Can You Get?
According to The Radicati Group, the number of email users is estimated to rise to 1.9 billion by 2013. Each new user requires not only enough space to store current emails, but also storage and retrieval for archived messages. This is an area that free email isn't designed to accommodate.
Whose Business Is It?
Differentiating your business with a branded email domain gives your business credibility and reinforces your brand. Using free services give off an impression that your business is unstable and serves as a red flag for potential clients. Furthermore, consumer-level email services have a reputation for ending up in the spam box making it harder to communicate with clients.
If you’re using or considering free email for your business, investigate hosted email options that meet the requirements of business email and keep you from making huge investments in business-grade email infrastructure and support. For options, compare Rackspace Hosted Email services.