Why Host Your Email Separate from Your Website?
As a business owner, there’s nothing more frustrating than having problems with your email account. If you’re considering a website redesign, then you might be worried that a hosting switch will knock out your email. How can you ensure that your email stays up and running during this transition?
The most important step is making sure that your email is hosted on specialized servers. Email hosting servers include security measures that protect your email account from being hacked and use spam filters to keep your inbox safe. This saves you the long and costly process of recovering a hacked account or trying to get your email taken off of a blacklist.
If your web host is currently managing your email accounts, it’s likely your email and your web hosting could use an upgrade. There are plenty of easy, safe options for email hosting. Let’s look at a few of them.
Safe & Secure Email Hosting
There are many companies that offer email hosting on specialized servers, any of which are a big step up from using the same hosting as your website. Here are three of our favorite choices and who they work best for.
- G Suite by Google Cloud: Google provides reliable email hosting for custom email addresses on your domain. It’s a solution that’s affordable and simple to set up. It will also feel very familiar since it uses a Gmail inbox. This solution works best for smaller companies or those that heavily depend on Google products for collaboration. Currently, a G Suite account gives you access to a custom Gmail address, a full suite of Google business tools, and productivity add-ons (a couple of our favorites are Streak and Yet Another Mail Merge).
- Microsoft Office 365: On the other side of the coin, you have Microsoft’s email service. It leverages Outlook and other popular Microsoft tools that are common to corporate and small business environments. This option might be preferable if you’re more comfortable using Microsoft products or if your company has a more traditional technology stack.
- Rackspace Email Hosting: If neither G Suite or Office 365 feel like the right fit, then Rackspace is a good option. They’re experts at setting up email addresses and can help you choose between their own email hosting solutions or a solution from one of their many partners. They also undertake all the work of migrating your email accounts which can save you a huge amount of time.
These solutions are a great fit for keeping your email accounts safe, secure, and in line with best practices.
But, this is just one component of your business email. You also need to think about your email database and marketing automation.
Best Tools for Email Marketing and Marketing Automation
Most businesses also use email as a marketing and/or transactional tool, through newsletters, order tracking, or email nurturing. Here are a few of our favorite email marketing platforms for making email work harder for you.
- MailChimp: This is a great platform to start your email marketing on since it’s beginner-friendly, while robust enough to grow with you. It provides a simple set of tools for creating signup forms, segmenting your email list, and sending email blasts or nurturing campaigns. We’re happy to recommend it because we’ve had success using it for our own email marketing needs.
- SendGrid: This reliable and well-tested platform is great if email updates are essential to your customer experience. It handles promotional emails and newsletters just like MailChimp, but it’s also very effective for use cases like password resets, order confirmations, and account notifications. If the majority of your business is done online, or you have very high volume, then SendGrid might be the best all around solution for you.
- Marketo and HubSpot: These companies provide powerful marketing automation software. They’re great solutions for companies that make extensive use of content marketing and online marketing. They provide a full-funnel approach centered around email nurturing campaigns and inbound sales. Hubspot has great free CRM and entry level marketing and sales tools that are useful to any size or type of business, while Marketo is more oriented toward larger B2B businesses. Salesforce provides similar options as well.
Implementing one of these systems can simplify the deployment of your email marketing and help you track the results.
Setting Up Email for Success
If your email is still managed by your web host, or your email database is just a spreadsheet, then it might be time to make a change. Embracing email best practices will protect you from risks like hacking and spam. It will also give you the confidence that your email won’t fail when you need it most. Taking advantage of email marketing automation is also a great way to boost the ROI of your lead list.
If you still aren’t sure where to start, then we recommend contacting Rackspace. They can help you survey your options and make the choice that best fits your business.