Trending March 2024 # 8 Best Email Providers For Small Business In 2023 # Suggested April 2024 # Top 5 Popular

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For any small business, investing in resources is a huge deal. When choosing an email host, you want the best value for the price you’re investing in. Different factors, including the price, storage, security, and additional features, determine if an email host is the best fit for you.

Having that said, different businesses have different priorities. For instance, a service-oriented business would prefer an intelligent phishing filter over more extensive cloud storage. This article lists eight of the best email hosts you could choose from if you’re a small business owner. 

Keep reading to know which of these services best fits your needs, and jumpstart your business today!

Although there may be a slight difference in preferences, a few factors remain prerequisites when looking for an email. The most significant limitation for a small business is the cost factor. You would want to choose a service that would give you the best result for your investment.

Storage is yet another bare necessity. You would want enough storage to fit your business-related files and documents on your email host. The size may, however, differ according to the nature of your business.

When investing, you must be sure about how secure the service is. You will use their service to store and forward sensitive information that you would not want a third party to access. Similarly, you would like to stay safe from spam and phishing bots that would impose a more significant security threat to your business.

Lastly, you must see if the additional features, such as free domain, customer support, and fluid interface, meet your enterprise needs.

We have gathered eight email hosts you would want to consider while looking for an email service for your small business. We have introduced each email according to its price, storage space, security level, and additional features it offers.

Price : $6/per month or user

Storage: 30GB

Security: Strong

Google Workspace has become a household name in terms of email hosting. With one of the best user experiences, most users are drawn to it because its interface is similar to the free version of Gmail. This makes it easier for the users to adjust to the hosting.

The basic business plan for Google Workspace starts from $6/per month with a total storage of 30GB on Google Drive. The service is highly reliable and has impressive security features like smart spam filters and even a physical security key for when you try to log in to your account.

Using Google Workspace, you can choose a custom email address using Google Workspace to make yourself stand out. You can synchronize your account with other Google services to collaborate with your team. Additionally, it has features such as smart compose that helps you write emails and check your grammar.

Google Workspace is, however, a luxury email hosting service. Many small businesses may be unable to afford to spend $6 a month on email hosting alone. You can also only send an attachment of 25MB with the email. Anything that exceeds the limit gets stored on your GDrive. Similarly, customer support for Google Workspace could be better than other hosting services available.

Price : $1.24/per month or per user

Storage: 2GB

Security: Weak

Namecheap has been growing quite popular due to its cheap price options. With the basic plan starting from $1.24/month, it has become one of the best budget-friendly email hosts. The total storage space available on the basic plan is 5GB, with additional space in bigger plans.

Although Namecheap has spam filters, there are better ones in the market. It does offer Two-factor authentication, but it is only available on an online email client. This could leave your account vulnerable to hacking.

Namecheap offers free domain names to match your email address. This could be a smart way to represent your business in front of your clients.

Price : $3/per month or user

Storage: 2GB

Security: Strong

Fastmail has been growing quite popular among users recently. The service mostly prioritizes the privacy and security of the users and their information. Plans for Fastmail start from $3/month, and they provide 2GB worth of storage space in the plan with an email attachment limit of 70MB. You could upgrade to a better plan if you want more storage space.

Fastmail prides itself on being reliable with its knowledgeable customer support team. Let’s be honest; anyone would prefer talking to a human with a fundamental understanding of your problem than an automated voice message. If you run into an issue, rest assured you will have a customer support officer helping you out with the matter.

The main reason why users prefer using Fastmail is because of its privacy and security options. Fastmail has a strict privacy policy that keeps your data secure within its servers so you can store sensitive data and not worry about it getting leaked. Similarly, it supports two-factor authentication and has app-specific passwords for email clients that do not support 2FA.

The downside to FastMail is that they do not sell domain names. Although you can link your pre-purchased domain name with the hosting services, you will have to manually connect your domain with Fastmail.

Price: $3/per month or user

Storage: 1TB

Security: Strong

Microsoft 365 is yet another household name when it comes to email hosting. The basic business plan for Microsoft 365 starts from $3/month. The total storage space the email hosting service provides is massive, with 50GB mailbox storage and 1TB space on OneDrive, their cloud storage. You could even send attachments up to 150MB using Microsoft 365!

Microsoft 365 offers 24-hour tech support, so if you run into any issue, you can have your problem addressed as soon as possible. With standard secure storage space, its AI smartly filters out any spam, virus, or phishing links from appearing on your email.

Most users are already familiar with the personal or customer version of Microsoft 365, so making the switch to Microsoft 365 is swift. Microsoft 365 is extremely user-friendly, and you can collaborate with your team using the online version of MS Word, Excel, and Teams. With the basic package, you could host online meetings with up to 300 users!

Price: $1/per month or user

Storage: 5GB

Security: Strong

ZOHO mails is another option if you’re looking for a budget-friendly email hosting service. With the basic plan starting for only $1, you also get to host emails for free for up to 5 users. The service offers storage space of 5GB with additional storage in bigger plans. Additionally, it has a high attachment size limit of 250 MB.

ZOHO offers good security features. The emails you send through ZOHO are encrypted on both ends. The mailing service itself secures the decryption key. You can even send confidential information with a SecurePass code. Additionally,  ZOHO claims not to use your data in data mining. So, you can store personal information in the service.

You also get access to collaboration tools such as Writer and Sheets from the ZOHO Office Suite in the higher plans of ZOHO mail. All these features make the hosting email service a good option for small businesses.

There are, however, many limitations to ZOHO. Unlike other services, they don’t offer a free domain. The small storage space of 5GB might not be enough if your business grows. The basic package of the service does not offer as many features as the higher plans cost more.

Price: $4.95/per month or user

Storage: 25GB

Security: Average

Dreamhost is a great email hosting service for growing small businesses. With a starting price of $4.95/month, you can save 63% on a yearly plan at $2.95/month. Additionally, Dreamhost offers a storage space of 25GB per user.

The email hosting service filters potential threats from your mail, including spam, viruses, and phishing. This will protect you from potential security vulnerabilities.

You should use this email hosting service if your business has a higher staff count, as you can create several email addresses for your employees. Dreamhost offers a free domain for a year and includes a WordPress site builder that does not require any code. You can also synchronize your email across your devices and applications.

However, the price increases exorbitantly in a year to $12.99/month. Dreamhost also falls short on office suite applications that other services offer. You will also have to pay for the domain after the first year of registration.

Price: $3.19/per month or user

Storage: 1TB

Security: Strong

Turbify is an email hosting service for businesses formerly known as Yahoo Small Business. The base-level plan for Turbify starts from $3.19/month, but the prices go down per mailbox as you add more employees to the plan. With the same plan, you get 1TB worth of email space, so if you’re a service-oriented company, this would be something you would want to consider.

The email hosting company has amazing security features, including smart spam filters and email encryption. This will keep you safe from malicious emails and reduce the chances of your emails being leaked by a third party.

Turbify also offers a free domain with your purchase. This way, you can stand out in front of your customers. The experience is equally as smooth on mobile applications, so you don’t have to open your desktop every time you wish to view something. Additionally, Turbify includes document handling, content displays, and calendars in its packages.

To state the obvious, Turbify could be expensive for small business owners. Although the prices eventually go down when you add more employees, it could still be too much for some. As the service is newly introduced, adjusting to the interface might take some time.

Price: $1.37/per month or user

Storage: 200GB

Security: Strong

Yandex is yet another email hosting service that is reliable and easy on the pocket. The basic plan for Yandex 360 starts from $1.37/month. It offers a massive storage space of 200GB! You can attach up to 25MB worth of files while sending emails. Anything that exceeds this limit will be stored on Disk, the cloud storage service included with the Yandex 360 subscription. 

You also get a free domain with your purchase and additional collaboration tools such as disk, messenger, documents, sender, notes, and many more. These tools will help you collaborate with your team to create different documents, communicate, or keep meeting minutes. 

Yandex also provides around-the-clock customer support and states that they reply within 3 hours of the complaint being registered. However, as Yandex is not as popularised, you may have issues using the service in the beginning.

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Whatsapp Marketing For Business: Best Practices In 2023

WhatApp is the most popular messaging app in the world (see Figure 1). Businesses use WhatsApp for commercial purposes, such as building their connections through Whatsapp marketing campaigns because it provides several benefits to businesses in reaching out to their existing and new consumers.

Figure 1. Most popular global mobile messenger apps as of January 2023

Source: Statista

In this article, we will explain WhatsApp marketing for business, its benefits and the best WhatsApp marketing strategies to successfully implement it.

What is WhatsApp marketing?

WhatsApp marketing is a multi-dimensional marketing approach that leverages the features and capabilities of the WhatsApp messaging app to achieve marketing and communication objectives. Given that WhatsApp is a platform with over two billion users worldwide and the number one messaging app across the world, it presents a significant opportunity for businesses to reach a large and diverse audience in a direct and personalized manner.

Businesses use WhatsApp Business app as one of their marketing channels to:

Advertise products, services, or brands

Directly engage with customers

Send promotional messages

Some successful and famous WhatsApp marketing examples include:

Netflix used WhatsApp notifications not only retained its existing customers but also brought back users who had unsubscribed to resubscribe

Absolut Vodka used WhatsApp marketing campaign to promote the launch of a limited-edition line of vodka

What are the benefits of WhatsApp marketing for business? 1- Large user base

WhatsApp has a huge global user base. It’s one of the world’s most popular messaging apps with over two billion users. This presents a vast pool of potential customers for businesses to reach out to.

2- Direct communication

WhatsApp allows businesses to communicate directly and instantaneously with their customers. This creates an opportunity for real-time engagement, personalized customer service, and immediate resolution of queries or issues.

3- Multimedia support

WhatsApp supports a wide variety of content types, including text, images, videos, voice messages, and documents. This enables businesses to deliver rich and engaging content that can effectively showcase their products or services.

4- High engagement rates

People tend to check their WhatsApp messages regularly, leading to high engagement rates. This means that businesses can potentially get their message seen and read quickly.

5- Cost-effectiveness

Compared to traditional marketing channels, WhatsApp can be a more cost-effective solution, especially for small businesses. It’s free to use, and even the business version incurs minimal costs.

6- Trust and credibility

WhatsApp is a trusted platform that people use to communicate with friends and family. By being present on this platform, businesses can leverage this trust and build credibility with their audience.

7- Customer preference

More and more, customers prefer quick and convenient communication channels to reach companies. By adopting a WhatsApp marketing strategy, businesses can cater to this preference and improve customer satisfaction.

What are the best practices for a successful WhatsApp marketing strategy? 1- Define your goals, target audience, and KPIs

Next, understand who your target audience is. Learn about their needs, preferences, and how they use WhatsApp. 

Then, establish KPIs (key performance indicators) to measure the success of your strategy. These could include metrics like: 

Message delivery and read rates

Response rates

Customer feedback, etc.

2- Create a good WhatsApp Business profile and a brand persona

Your WhatsApp Business profile is the first point of interaction that customers have with your brand on the platform. Therefore, it’s crucial that you take the time to create a detailed and engaging profile. You should have a WhatsApp Business account that leverages WhatsApp Business API for many reasons (see Figure 2). For more, check out our articles on WhatsApp Business API and the best WhatsApp Business partners.

Figure 2: WhatsApp Business API vs Business App

Your business profile should include all the necessary information about your business such as: 

Your business name

A profile (ideally your company logo or something that is instantly recognizable and connected with your brand)

Contact details

Address

Business hours

Website URL

A brief description of your business 

Ensure that all the information provided is accurate and up-to-date to prevent any confusion.

Remember, your WhatsApp Business profile and brand persona reflect your brand identity. A well-crafted profile and a consistent brand persona can significantly enhance your brand image and credibility on WhatsApp.

Start building a contact list of customers who have opted in to receive your messages. It begins with gaining consent from your customers to send them WhatsApp messages. This can be done through various touchpoints, such as your: 

Website

Social media platforms

In-store communications

Email campaigns

When collecting consent, be clear about what type of content you will be sending. This transparency can help in reducing opt-outs and maintaining a healthy contact list.

Segmenting your customer base allows you to tailor your messages to specific groups, making your communications more personalized and relevant. You can segment your customers based on various parameters like: 

Demographics (age, gender, location, etc.)

Buying behavior (purchase history, browsing behavior, product preferences, etc.)

Their interactions with your previous WhatsApp messages

4- Send personalized messages to each customer profile

Personalized marketing messages are powerful to improve engagement and build stronger relationships with your customers. When you send personalized marketing messages, you’re showing your customers that you know and understand them, and that you value their unique preferences and needs.

This involves tailoring your messages based on the customer profile or the segment they belong to. For example, if you have a segment of customers who have shown an interest in a specific product category, you could send them personalized messages about new arrivals, special offers, or content related to that category.

Personalized messaging could be as simple as using the customer’s name, or more complex like sending product recommendations based on their past purchases.

5- Automate WhatsApp reminders and notifications

Automation can save time and improve efficiency. Use the automated messaging feature of WhatsApp Business to send reminders, order updates, appointment confirmations, etc. But remember, while automation is useful, it shouldn’t compromise the personal touch in customer interactions.

6- Deliver automated WhatsApp customer support powered by chatbots

An important part of a marketing strategy is to also offer excellent customer support when your customers need it. However, handling a large volume of customer queries and issues in real-time can be challenging. That’s where chatbots come in.

Chatbots are AI-powered tools that can simulate conversation with users in natural language. When integrated with WhatsApp, they can handle a multitude of tasks such as: 

Answering FAQs

Providing information about products or services

Taking orders

These are also the reasons why customer support and marketing is intertwined.

Implement a chatbot to handle common queries and provide instant support. However, ensure there’s an option for customers to connect with a human agent when needed. 

7- Get feedback from your customers

Customer feedback is a valuable source of insight for improving your services. Regularly ask your existing customers for feedback on your products, services, or their experience with your WhatsApp service. This will not only help you make necessary improvements but also make customers feel valued and listened to.

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us:

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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The 10 Best Small Business Crm Software

As a small business owner, you know that managing customer relationships is crucial for your success. That’s where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software comes in handy. CRM software helps you streamline your sales, marketing, and customer service efforts by organizing and automating various tasks and processes.

When it comes to small businesses, finding the right CRM solution can be a game-changer. The right CRM software will not only help you manage your contacts and sales pipeline but also provide valuable insights into your customers’ behavior. This knowledge can be used to improve your marketing strategies, enhance customer satisfaction, and ultimately boost your revenue.

Keep reading to discover which CRM software suits your small business best!

Importance of CRM Software for Small Businesses

As a small business owner, you might be wondering why CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is essential for your company. After all, you have a limited budget and resources to manage. However, investing in a good CRM system can be a game-changer for your business. Here’s why:

Time-saving and Efficiency Improved Customer Experience Enhanced Team Collaboration

CRM software encourages collaboration between different departments within your company by providing a centralized platform for sharing customer information. This means that everyone has access to the same data and can work together more effectively to meet customer needs.

Data-driven Decision Making

With a wealth of information at your fingertips, you can make informed decisions based on real-time data rather than relying on gut feelings or guesswork. This helps you identify trends, spot potential problems early on, and make strategic decisions that drive business growth.

Scalability

As your business grows, so do the number of customers you need to manage. A good CRM system is designed to scale with your company’s needs without requiring significant additional investments in time or resources.

In conclusion, incorporating CRM software into your small business operations is crucial for streamlining processes, improving customer satisfaction, fostering collaboration among team members, making data-driven decisions, and ensuring scalability as your company grows. By choosing the right CRM solution from the list above that suits your specific needs and budget constraints, you’ll be well on your way to achieving long-term success.

HubSpot CRM: Free, User-friendly, and Scalable

As a small business owner, you’re always looking for ways to streamline your processes and improve efficiency. One of the best tools to help you achieve this is HubSpot CRM. This customer relationship management (CRM) software stands out for its free, user-friendly, and scalable features that cater specifically to small businesses like yours.

Free: Yes, you read that right! HubSpot CRM offers a powerful suite of features at no cost. You can manage your contacts, track deals, and monitor sales activities without spending a dime. This makes it an ideal choice if you’re just starting out or operating on a tight budget.

User-friendly: HubSpot CRM is designed with simplicity in mind. Its intuitive interface means that even if you’re new to using CRM software, you’ll be able to navigate the platform with ease. Plus, there’s an extensive library of resources and tutorials available to help you get the most out of the software.

Salesforce Essentials: Comprehensive Features for Growing Businesses

As a small business owner, you’re always on the lookout for tools that can help you grow and streamline your operations. Salesforce Essentials is a CRM software designed specifically for small businesses like yours, offering a comprehensive set of features that cater to your unique needs.

User-Friendly Interface

Salesforce Essentials boasts an intuitive interface that’s easy to navigate, even for those who aren’t tech-savvy. This means you can quickly get started with managing your customer relationships without having to spend hours learning the ins and outs of the software.

Customizable Dashboards

One of the standout features of Salesforce Essentials is its customizable dashboards. You can create personalized views that display the data most relevant to your business goals, making it easier for you to track progress and make informed decisions.

Sales and Customer Support Integration

With Salesforce Essentials, you’ll be able to integrate sales and customer support processes seamlessly. This ensures that your team members have access to all the information they need when interacting with customers, helping them provide top-notch service while closing deals more efficiently.

Automation Capabilities

Time is a precious resource in any small business, which is why Salesforce Essentials offers automation capabilities to save you time on repetitive tasks. With features like automated follow-ups and lead scoring, you can focus on what truly matters – growing your business.

Scalability for Growth

As your business grows, so do your CRM needs. Salesforce Essentials has been designed with scalability in mind, allowing you to add more users and features as needed without any hassle.

Zoho CRM: Affordable and Customizable Solution

When it comes to finding a CRM software that’s both budget-friendly and highly adaptable to your business needs, Zoho CRM is an excellent choice. This powerful tool offers a wide range of features that cater to small businesses looking for an easy-to-use and cost-effective solution.

Key Features

Sales Force Automation: Zoho CRM automates essential sales tasks, like lead management, contact management, and deal tracking, so you can focus on closing deals instead of getting bogged down in administrative work.

Customization: With its drag-and-drop interface, you can easily customize Zoho CRM’s modules, fields, and layouts to match your unique business processes.

Omnichannel Communication: Stay connected with your customers across various platforms like email, phone calls, live chat, and social media – all from within the CRM.

Third-Party Integrations: Zoho CRM integrates seamlessly with popular business apps like G Suite, Microsoft Office 365, Mailchimp, and more.

Pricing Why Choose Zoho CRM?

If you’re searching for a budget-friendly yet powerful CRM solution that can grow alongside your small business needs, Zoho CRM is worth considering. Its customization options allow you to tailor the software to your specific requirements while keeping costs low. Plus, its robust feature set ensures that you have all the tools necessary to manage customer relationships effectively.

Freshsales: AI-driven Insights and Automation Capabilities

When looking for a CRM solution that leverages cutting-edge technology, Freshsales should be at the top of your list. This powerful small business CRM software harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to provide you with valuable insights and automation capabilities, making it easier for you to manage your sales process and customer relationships.

AI-driven Insights Automation Capabilities

One of the standout features of Freshsales is its robust automation capabilities. With its built-in workflow automation tools, you can streamline repetitive tasks such as sending follow-up emails or updating lead statuses. This not only saves time but also reduces the risk of human error in these crucial processes.

Additional Features

Apart from its AI-driven insights and automation capabilities, Freshsales offers a host of other features designed to make managing your small business’s sales process a breeze:

Visual sales pipeline management

Built-in phone and email integration

Customizable reports and dashboards

Integration with popular third-party apps

Pipedrive: Sales-focused CRM with Visual Pipeline Management

When it comes to managing your sales process effectively, Pipedrive stands out as a powerful CRM solution tailored for small businesses. This sales-focused CRM is designed to streamline your sales pipeline, helping you close deals faster and grow your business.

Visual Sales Pipeline

One of the key features that sets Pipedrive apart from other CRM platforms is its visual sales pipeline management. With an easy-to-understand interface, you can quickly view and track the progress of each deal in real-time. This allows you to identify bottlenecks, prioritize tasks, and make data-driven decisions to improve your sales process.

Customizable Stages and Fields

Pipedrive offers flexibility by allowing you to customize stages and fields according to your unique sales process. You can easily add or modify stages, create custom fields for deals, contacts, or organizations, and even set up multiple pipelines if needed.

Activity Reminders and Notifications

Never miss an important follow-up or meeting again with Pipedrive’s activity reminders and notifications. The platform ensures that you stay on top of your tasks by sending timely reminders via email or mobile notifications.

Integration with Popular Apps

Pipedrive seamlessly integrates with a wide range of popular apps such as Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), Microsoft Office 365, Trello, Slack, Mailchimp, and more. This enables you to streamline workflows across different tools while keeping all your data in sync.

Advanced Reporting and Analytics Pricing Plans Insightly: Project Management Integration and Relationship Tracking

When it comes to managing your small business, you need a CRM that can handle more than just customer interactions. That’s where Insightly comes into play. This powerful CRM software not only helps you manage your customer relationships but also integrates seamlessly with project management tools, making it an excellent choice for small businesses looking for a comprehensive solution.

Project Management Integration

One of the standout features of Insightly is its built-in project management capabilities. You can easily create and manage projects, tasks, and milestones directly within the CRM. This integration helps streamline your workflow by allowing you to track the progress of sales opportunities and customer interactions alongside your ongoing projects.

By keeping all your data in one place, Insightly ensures that everyone on your team has access to the information they need to make informed decisions. Plus, with real-time updates and notifications, you’ll always be aware of any changes or updates in project status.

Relationship Tracking

Another key feature of Insightly is its relationship tracking functionality. This allows you to build a comprehensive view of each customer by connecting their contact information with related projects, sales opportunities, emails, and other interactions.

With this 360-degree view of each customer, your team can better understand their needs and preferences. This insight enables you to tailor your approach and deliver personalized experiences that strengthen relationships and drive loyalty.

In addition to tracking relationships between customers and your business, Insightly also allows you to map connections between contacts themselves. This feature helps uncover potential networking or referral opportunities that could lead to new business growth.

Nimble: Social Media Integration and Contact Management

In today’s digital age, social media plays a crucial role in connecting with your customers and prospects. Nimble understands this and offers a CRM solution that seamlessly integrates social media platforms to help you manage contacts more efficiently.

Social Media Integration

Nimble’s social media integration allows you to connect your company’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram accounts directly to the CRM platform. This integration enables you to:

View your contacts’ social profiles and recent activity

Monitor brand mentions and relevant hashtags

Schedule and publish posts across multiple platforms

This comprehensive approach to social media management helps you stay on top of your customers’ needs, preferences, and pain points.

Contact Management

Efficient contact management is essential for small businesses looking to build strong relationships with their customers. Nimble offers a range of features designed to make managing contacts easier:

Unified Contact Records: Nimble consolidates contact information from various sources (email, social media, etc.) into a single record for each person. This ensures that you always have the most up-to-date information at your fingertips.

Contact Enrichment: Nimble automatically enriches contact profiles with publicly available data such as job titles, company details, and social profiles. This additional information can help you better understand your contacts’ background and interests.

Task Management & Reminders: Set tasks related to specific contacts or deals directly within the CRM platform. You can also set reminders for important dates like follow-ups or contract renewals.

Keap (formerly Infusionsoft): All-in-one Sales and Marketing Platform

When it comes to managing your sales and marketing efforts, Keap offers a comprehensive solution that’s perfect for small businesses. As an all-in-one platform, Keap combines CRM, email marketing, and automation tools, making it easier for you to manage your customer relationships and drive growth.

Key Features

Automation: Save time and streamline your business processes with Keap’s powerful automation capabilities. From sending personalized follow-up emails to managing tasks and appointments, Keap ensures nothing falls through the cracks.

E-commerce Integration: If you’re selling products or services online, Keap’s e-commerce integration makes it easy to manage orders and payments right within the platform. You can even set up automated billing and invoicing for recurring payments.

Mobile App: Stay connected on-the-go with the Keap mobile app. Access your contacts, appointments, tasks, and more from anywhere using your smartphone or tablet.

Pricing

Keap offers three pricing tiers based on the features you need:

Keap Grow: Ideal for solopreneurs or small teams looking for basic CRM functionality.

Infusionsoft: Designed for established businesses requiring a complete sales and marketing solution.

Bitrix24: Collaboration Tools and Communication Features

When you’re running a small business, effective communication and collaboration are essential for success. That’s where Bitrix24 comes in, offering a powerful CRM solution with a strong focus on collaboration tools and communication features.

Streamlined Communication

Bitrix24 makes it easy for your team to stay connected with built-in tools like instant messaging, video conferencing, and email integration. You can even set up group chats or private conversations to discuss specific deals or client issues. By keeping all your communication in one place, you’ll save time and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Collaborative Workspace

With Bitrix24, you can create a virtual workspace where your team can collaborate on projects, tasks, and documents. The platform offers file sharing capabilities and document management tools that make it easy to store, edit, and share important files with your colleagues. Plus, the task management feature allows you to assign tasks to team members, set deadlines, and track progress all within the CRM system.

Social Intranet Customizable CRM Pricing Options Less Annoying CRM: Simple Interface and Straightforward Pricing

When it comes to managing customer relationships, you might be looking for a CRM solution that’s easy to use and doesn’t break the bank. Look no further than Less Annoying CRM! This platform is designed specifically for small businesses, focusing on simplicity and affordability.

Simple Interface

One of the key selling points of Less Annoying CRM is its intuitive interface. You don’t need any technical expertise to navigate the platform, making it perfect for small business owners who want to spend more time growing their business and less time learning complicated software. The dashboard provides a clear overview of your contacts, tasks, and calendar events so you can stay organized and on top of your game.

Straightforward Pricing

Budget is often a primary concern for small businesses when choosing a CRM solution. With Less Annoying CRM, you won’t have to worry about hidden fees or complex pricing structures. They offer a flat monthly rate of $15 per user with no additional costs or long-term contracts. This means you can scale your team as needed without worrying about fluctuating expenses.

Key Features

Contact management: Keep all customer information in one place, making it easy to find what you need when you need it.

Task tracking: Assign tasks to team members and set deadlines to ensure everyone stays on track.

Calendar integration: Sync your calendar with the platform so you never miss an important meeting or event.

Collaboration tools: Share notes, tasks, and files with team members for seamless communication.

FAQs

What is CRM software and why is it important for small businesses? CRM, or Customer Relationship Management software, is a type of tool that helps businesses manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle. The goal is to improve customer service relationships, retain customers, and drive sales growth. For small businesses, using a CRM can provide a unified platform to store all customer and prospect data, manage communication, track sales activities, and create reports. This helps the business to stay organized, make data-driven decisions, and provide personalized service, which are critical for growth and competitiveness.

How to choose the right CRM software for a small business? When choosing CRM software for a small business, you should consider the size of your business, your industry, the specific needs of your business, and your budget. A good CRM should be user-friendly, scalable, and customizable. It should also offer integration with other software that you already use in your business, like email marketing tools or accounting software. Check out reviews and get a trial version if possible before making a final decision.

Are there affordable CRM options for small businesses? Yes, there are many CRM options that are affordable for small businesses. Some CRM software providers offer free versions with basic features, which can be a good starting point for small businesses or startups. There are also CRM platforms that offer different pricing tiers based on the number of users or the features you need. It’s important to evaluate the value the software will bring to your business against its cost.

Can CRM software help in automating the tasks in a small business? Absolutely, one of the key benefits of CRM software is the ability to automate tasks. This can range from simple tasks such as sending automated email responses to more complex tasks like lead scoring and sales follow-ups. Automation can save a significant amount of time and reduce the chance of human error, allowing small businesses to focus more on strategic planning and customer service.

Is it difficult to implement CRM software in a small business? The difficulty of implementing CRM software can vary depending on the complexity of the software and the specific needs of your business. However, many CRM platforms are designed with user-friendly interfaces and provide support and training materials to help users get started. Moreover, some CRM providers offer professional services to assist with the setup and integration process. Starting with clear objectives and a well-planned strategy can also make the implementation process smoother.

8 Best Practices For Targeted Email Marketing (+Why It Works!)

If you’re looking for a way to directly reach your customers and prospects in a place they’re checking at least once a day, then email marketing is the answer to your problems.

Email marketing helps you get in front of consumers to drive action, increase awareness for your business, and reach them in a place they’re spending time. The possibilities for email marketing success are endless–as long as you understand email marketing’s power and have the right strategy in place.

One of the best strategies for email marketing is through sending targeted emails. In this post, we’ll answer all your questions about targeted emails, including:

What is targeted email marketing?

Why is email marketing important?

How does targeted email marketing work?

What are email marketing best practices?

Let’s dive right in.

What is targeted email marketing?

First things first: Let’s define the term. Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy that allows you to send email messages directly to your email list, a subset of your email list, or a list of email addresses.

The purpose of email marketing is to:

Provide valuable information to potential clients and customers

Promote your business

Get people interested in your business

Targeted email marketing is similar, but it entails sending personalized marketing messages to a targeted list of email addresses. These email lists are curated to specifically align with your marketing goals–whether it’s a list of potential customers in your area or customers with attributes similar to your current customers.

5 reasons email marketing is important 

Targeted emails can serve many purposes, and email marketing is a highly effective marketing strategy. Here are some of the benefits of email marketing for small businesses:

1. People use email every day (multiple times per day!)

There are 5.6 billion active email accounts in the world, and 99% of consumers check their email every day. In a time when it’s hard to guarantee 99% for anything, this is a pretty incredible stat!

Plus, not only do most consumers check their emails every day, but the average person checks their emails 20 times per day!

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2. It reaches consumers directly

When you send an email marketing message, you’re getting directly to your customers through their inboxes, which we already know they’re checking daily. This gives you a one-to-one connection with your customers that’s hard to find in digital marketing, making it a great and effective way to reach people.

3. It can drive users to take an action 4. It keeps your business top of mind

In addition to using email marketing to drive your audience to take an action, you can also send educational information that presents you as a leader in your industry. This positions your business as a resource and can help you stay top of mind with your audience, leading them to contact you when they need a business in your industry.

5. It’s easily tracked

One complaint many marketers and business owners have with various marketing strategies is the inability to track and measure success. With targeted email marketing, however, you don’t have that problem.

You can see a number of important and helpful email marketing kpis, including:

Open rate: The number of people who opened your email out of the number of people who received it. A good open rate for a marketing email is around 20%, but it varies by industry.

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Unsubscribes: The number of people opting out of receiving your emails.

These metrics tell you how effective your email marketing campaigns are and where there are areas for improvement. For instance, a less-than-stellar open rate might tell you that you need to test new email subject lines to encourage more customers to open your email.

How does targeted email marketing work?

Email marketing isn’t complex–as we defined, it entails sending marketing messages to your audience via email. But, how do you actually do that? And how do you make those emails targeted to specific users?

There are several ways targeted email marketing can work:

You can use a CRM

Related: Get easy strategies to build an email list.

You can try an email marketing platform

If your CRM doesn’t have this feature or you want to personalize your emails a bit more, you can try an email marketing platform–there are even some free email marketing services you can use like MailChimp. When you use one of these platforms, you upload your list, create your email, and send it from there.

The only downside with using an email marketing platform is that you often have to segment your list yourself to send targeted emails.

You can work with an email marketing service

If you want to outsource your email marketing, you can work with an email marketing agency to run this for you. An email marketing service can help by using best practices to create the right strategy and messages, segment your audience, and A/B test your emails to drive the best results. They can also curate email lists for you so you can reach audiences outside of your CRM or existing email list.

8 targeted email marketing best practices for an effective strategy

Now that you have an understanding of what email marketing is and why it’s important, it’s time to talk strategy. The great thing about email marketing is that you can adjust your strategy based on your specific goals and objectives.

Here, we’ve outlined eight targeted email marketing best practices to help you create the best strategy for your business.

1. Personalize your messages 2. Use segmentation

Not all consumers are alike. Yes, anyone on your mailing list has at least one thing in common: an interest in your company. But most companies have several buyer personas. These personas basically represent the different groups of consumers who do business with you. Plus, if you’re running targeted email marketing and using an email list, you’ll want to segment the list based on specific attributes or interests.

Let’s say you own a sporting goods store. You might have four different personas:

Parents Buying Sports Gear for Their Children

Hiking & Camping Enthusiasts

Adults Who Play Sports in Recreational Leagues

Elite Runners and Cyclists

The elite runners won’t be interested in hiking shoes, just like the hikers don’t have a need for children’s baseball gloves. That’s where list segmentation comes in and allows you to target your email marketing messages to the right audience.

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By breaking your audience down by demographics, attributes, and previous interactions with your brand, you can send everyone emails that are relevant only to their needs.

You can also segment your list by consumer action. So, for example, you can create a list segment for customers who have recently made a purchase and send post-purchase emails to stay top of mind, build loyalty, and get feedback.

3. Create the right subject lines and email content

The subject line and email content will make or break the success of your email marketing strategy.

(We have some subject line ideas for you here!)

Make sure you’re creating email content that is straightforward, appeals to your target audience, and clearly outlines what action they should take.

4. Outline a year-long email marketing strategy

One of the great things about email marketing is that you can technically run it as a one-and-done tactic as part of your overall marketing strategy. But, when it comes to getting down to business with email marketing, it’s even better to outline a plan for the whole year.

Here are some times during the year that email marketing might work for you:

Holidays: The holidays are a great time to check in with your customers and prospects to remind them about your business and the goods and services you provide, let them know about upcoming specials, and more. And, the holidays are spaced out throughout the year, so you have a built-in plan ready to go! (Check out these holiday email subject lines for inspiration for your campaigns!)

Down times: Are there times during the year that your business needs a little boost? Do you have a seasonal business? Plan ahead by adding email marketing during that time and running a special or promotion.

If you’re not ready to plan a full year for your email marketing, there are plenty of other options that will keep you at the top of consumers’ inboxes.

Related: Find out the top types of emails you should be sending–and when!

5. Plan to amplify your promotions

If you’re planning your promotions or events for the year, make sure to incorporate email marketing as part of that plan. Consumers love promotions. In fact, 61% of consumers enjoy receiving promotional emails weekly.

I’m a sucker for sales emails, and I’ve discovered some of my favorite local businesses this way. I see an email for a discounted dog bath, and I make my dogs an appointment right away. I get a promotion for a new restaurant that’s offering a free appetizer, and I’m there (for pick up) that weekend.

6. Get the word out about your events

Just like targeted email marketing is great for promotions, it’s also great for events. If you’re holding any events during the year, put together an email marketing campaign to accompany it. Make sure that the email includes all details about the event, a link to RSVP if that’s needed, and engaging images that entice the reader to attend.

Say you’re holding an event as you open a new location—you want to target customers in your area who might attend and bring their friends.

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With targeted email marketing, you’re able to get in front of consumers in the right area and increase the chances that more people might attend.

7. Promote your business through education

Another great way to market your business through email is to incorporate some kind of educational campaign. Maybe your auto repair shop creates helpful content for your consumers to take better care of their cars, or maybe you’re a dietician that provides healthy recipes. Or, maybe you don’t create content, but you can gather helpful content and send it as resources for your audience. Whatever it is, you can position your business as a leader in the industry by sending out informational content that doesn’t ask for anything in return.

You can even tack this on to your year-round plan. For example, the car repair shop could send seasonal tips on how to care for your car in the winter and summer. The dietician could send email marketing campaigns around the holidays with healthy recipe ideas.

This is a great way to get the word out about your business and help your potential customers see you as a resource.

8. Tie email marketing to your full strategy

Targeted email marketing works best as part of a holistic marketing strategy. If you’re sending emails that drive traffic to your website, you want to make sure your website looks great and provides the right information.

People may see your email and perform a search for your business, so you’ll want to make sure you’re running SEO so you have a chance of showing up for that search. And, if you’re also running PPC, you can ensure more opportunities to appear in search engines.

Get started with targeted email marketing

Stephanie Heitman

Stephanie is the Associate Director of Content for LocaliQ and WordStream. She has over 10 years of experience in content and social media marketing and loves writing about all things digital marketing. When she’s not researching the latest and greatest marketing news and updates, she’s probably watching reality TV with her husband, reading, or playing with her two pups.

Other posts by Stephanie Heitman

8 Digitization Best Practices In 2023

~90% of business leaders report that digital transformation will be essential for business success. Digitization is the first step in the digital transformation process (Figure 1). Digitization entails converting paper-based text or other documents to digital format and organizing them. However,

More than half of digital transformation attempts fail.

~38% of business leaders suggest that acquiring the resources required to carry out digital transformation is a challenge.

This article explains critical digitization best practices to provide executives with resources for digital transformation.

Figure 1: Digital transformation steps.

1. Follow a workflow and plan for the digitization project

Before starting the digitization process, it is important to have a clear plan for the digitization project. Establish a clear workflow for digitizing physical files to ensure that all steps are completed in an organized and consistent manner.

Alignment deficit is one of the common reasons for digital transformation failures. To solve this problem, top and middle management can agree on digital transformation plans, including plans for digitization.

For digitization projects, the following can be determined: 

The types of materials that will be scanned

The format of the digital surrogates (i.e., the digital version of the physical file)

The intended use of the scanned files

2. Scan documents for digitization

Prepare the documents: Sort them, remove any staples or other bindings, and make their single page. If necessary, repair any damage to the documents before scanning.

Scanning: This step involves scanning analog material into a digital format like an image.

Use good lighting: Good lighting can help ensure that the scans are clear and legible. To boost the contrast between the document and the background, shoot in natural light (ideally daylight).

Use a document feeder: If you are scanning many documents, consider using a document feeder to speed up the process and reduce the risk of damage to the documents. Some automatic document feeders can hold up to 500 pages. Some scanners can also allow you to simultaneously stack multiple documents and scan them to various spots on your device or local network.

Data capture: This step involves extracting information from digital materials using specialized software. For example, optical character recognition (OCR) software can extract data from images.

Quality control: This step involves checking the data for accuracy and completeness.

Data storage and management: This stage entails storing data in a digital format and maintaining it for long-term preservation and access.

3. Leverage OCR & IDC to extract data from unstructured documents

Unstructured data and documents account for ~90% of enterprise data, requiring the integration of multiple technologies to convert them to machine-readable formats.

These tools can convert images and other materials (e.g., PDFs, photos, and handwritten paperwork) into machine-readable data, enabling document automation. This data can be used to

Check documents for data quality issues.

Categorize documents.

Extract insights from documents.

Generate new textual documents like invoices and contracts based on the extracted data.

For example, Fleet Hire Services, a car rental company, used OCR technology to digitize ~11,500 monthly car rental agreements. Using OCR reduced the need for manually entering data about rented vehicles.

4. Test the digitized copies

Before discarding the original documents, it is a good idea to test the digital surrogates to ensure they are accurate and readable. Testing can be critical for compliance with laws and regulations. For example, some United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS) requirements for archiving include:

Authenticity: Archived documents must be created or delivered by the individual purported to have done so.

Integrity: Records need to be:

Complete and unchanged.

Secured from unpermitted modifications.

Changes made after creation are identifiable, as is the individual who made the modifications.

Usability: Records can be located, retrievable, and interpretable. 

To ensure compliance with the archiving regulations for electronic documents, the following testing considerations can be beneficial: 

Quality assurance: Testing the digitized copies allows you to ensure that they are accurate and readable. This is particularly important if the original documents are discarded after digitization.

Detection of errors: Testing the digitized copies can help identify any errors or issues during the digitization process, such as blurry or incomplete scans.

Data integrity: Testing the digitized copies helps ensure the integrity of the data they contain. Important information may be lost or altered if the digitized copies are inaccurate. 

User experience: Testing the digitized copies can help ensure a positive user experience by identifying any issues that can make the digital surrogates difficult to use or access.

5. Create backup copies

It is important to create backup copies of all digitized materials in case the original files are lost or damaged because digitized documents are vulnerable to data loss or corruption due to hardware failures, software errors, or other issues: 

21% of individuals have never created a backup.

29% of data loss cases are due to accidental causes

Approximately ~5% of data loss is caused by lost or misplaced devices, amounting to ~$4 million in penalties (see Figure 2).

There is a ~15% chance that cloud misconfigurations will result in data loss costing up to ~$4M (see Figure 2).

There is a ~12% chance that third-party software vulnerabilities cause data loss worth up to ~$4.5M (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Average cost of data breaches and their frequency (measured in millions of dollars)

If the original files are lost or damaged, and you do not have backup copies, the information they contain can be permanently lost. Creating backup copies of digitized materials can help protect against data loss and ensure that the information is still available if the original files are lost or damaged. 

6. Use a consistent naming convention to store your digital files

Using the same naming convention for scanned files can make it easier to find and organize them. A document naming convention is a set of rules for naming files in a way that shows what they are and how they relate to other file formats.

File naming conventions can increase the probability of successfully searching for files and increase efficiency. Office professionals report that:

~93% of employees have difficulty locating the document they are seeking.

~83% of employees recreate a file because it cannot be located on the organization’s network.

7. Use content services platforms to store documents

For easier access, digitized documents can be stored on content service platforms (CSP). Content services let users store, operate, monitor, and retrieve documents from one place.

Cost-effective storage

Content services platforms can offer cloud repositories to store documents (see Figure 3). CPS cloud services can offer:

1 TB storage space on the cloud for $75.

A user interfaces for monitoring cloud usage with interactive dashboards (see Figure 4).

Increase in storage space on an as-needed basis.

Figure 3: CSP features.

Figure 4: CSP’s user interface for monitoring cloud usage.

Enterprise search

CPSs can be used for improved search capabilities for electronic file format (see Figure 3). They can offer:

Improved search features for digital collections: Platforms for CS can organize digital files using metadata information. Metadata can be added to digital objects like text documents or images to provide additional information about the document, such as the date it was created, the author, and keywords that describe the content. The search feature on content service platforms can be used to look up these digital files.

Predictive filing using AI: CS services can provide artificial intelligence (AI) services to forecast employees’ filing habits. AI can determine where to store files on the content services platform. Using AI in filing can reduce the effort involved in searching for documents.

Version control

CSP can provide version control to inform users about document versions. Version control is important during the digitization process because it makes sure that the most up-to-date version of a document is used. This is important to prevent files from being lost or overwritten.

Specifically, version controls can be important for digitization because

Collaboration: When multiple people are working on a document, version control can help ensure that everyone is working with the most current version and that changes are not lost or overwritten.

Auditability: Version control can help track the history of changes made to a document, making it easier to audit and identify any issues or errors.

Collaboration

CSPs can also offer editing layers to keep new versions of documents from being changed. With editing layers, changes made by different users can be saved in distinct layers. In digital image editing, layers are used to separate different components of an image (see Figure 5).

Figure 5: A document with editing layers.

8. Ensure security for the digital copies

To prevent unauthorized access or data breaches, it is important to make sure that digital information is stored and sent safely. The cost of data breaches in the U.S. was about $9.5 million in 2023.

To ensure the security of digitized documents, it is critical to follow best practices for data security, such as:

Assess and categorize data 

Classify digital information by sensitivity and business value. Discarding non-productive data is especially important if it contains personally identifiable information (PII).

Develop a data usage policy

Business data can be protected by limiting data usage and deactivating after a task. For example, the principle of least privilege—granting users the minimum permission to do their jobs—is a good approach.

Utilize security-improving technologies 

Privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) allow businesses to leverage their data without jeopardizing privacy and security. PETs include:

Use cryptographic methods: Homomorphic encryption and zero-knowledge proofs can prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data. 

Use content encryption for cloud storage: Content encryption can encrypt files in the CSP’s cloud storage. When files or videos are uploaded to the content-encrypted cloud storage, only employees with access keys can only view the content in the storage with content encryption.

Use data masking techniques: Data masking is a group of techniques for modifying sensitive data without altering its structural properties. Automated redaction techniques can remove PII or sensitive personal information (SPI).

For more on best practices in digitization, please contact us at:

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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10+ Best Email Client Apps For Mac In 2023 (Free + Paid)

Email turns 53 this year, and it’s bigger than ever. In fact, 98.4% of users check their email daily, making a good email client your most crucial business tool. Many of us have inboxes that are overflowing — so we need help finding, managing, and responding to important mail. Are you succeeding with your current app?

The good news is that every Mac comes with a decent email client — Apple Mail. It handles multiple accounts, is easy to use, and its integration with Spotlight makes finding emails simple. It works on your mobile devices as well. But it’s not the best at everything.

While writing this review I’ve enjoyed exploring the other email clients available for Mac. After using Airmail for quite a few years, I was wondering if something better has come along.

There are some very good alternatives now, though I concluded that Airmail still has the best balance of features for my needs, and probably for many of yours too.

But I also discovered some others that really interest me, and I’d like to explore further. For example, Spark offers a minimalistic interface that helps you plow through your email.

Then there’s MailMate, which won’t win any beauty contests but has more muscles than any other email client for macOS — at a price. And there are others that may interest you if your priority is security, the Microsoft ecosystem, or sales and contacts.

Finally, using email effectively doesn’t have to be expensive. In the final section, I’ll explain why you might want to stick with the free Apple Mail, choose webmail instead, or try one of the other free email clients that are available.

Using a Windows PC? See the best email client for Windows.

Why Trust Me for This Mac Email App Guide

My name is Adrian, and I write about tech topics on SoftwareHow and other sites. I started using email at university in the 80s, and it really became a key part of my personal and business life in the mid to late 90s when internet access became more common.

Before moving to the Mac, I used quite a number of Windows and Linux email clients, including Netscape Mail (which later turned into Mozilla Thunderbird), Outlook, Evolution and Opera Mail. When Gmail was launched I immediately became a fan and appreciated the huge amount of space they gave me, as well as the smart features of their web app.

After switching to Mac I continued to use Gmail, but as I was working from home I started experimenting with email clients again. First Apple Mail, and then Sparrow, which was smart, minimalistic, and worked perfectly with my Gmail account. After Google purchased and discontinued the app, I switched to Airmail.

I’ve really enjoyed exploring the competition while preparing for this review, though it has meant that I get about ten notifications for every email that comes in. There are some wonderful apps out there, and one will be perfect for you.

Who Needs a Better Email Client for Mac?

Your Mac comes with an adequate email client — Apple Mail. It’s easy to set up, has a lot of features, and is well-integrated into macOS. It’s free and may offer all that you need.

I receive so much email I find it hard to find the important ones. I’m often overwhelmed, and frozen into inaction.

I have an overflowing inbox, and desperately need some tools to sort through it all and start to manage it better.

Whenever I need to respond to an email I procrastinate. I’d like it to be easier. If only my app would suggest what I should say.

I seem to spend half my day dealing with email. Is there a way to speed up the process?

Apple’s Mail has so many features I feel lost. I want something easier.

Apple’s Mail doesn’t have enough features. I want an app fit for a power user.

I deal with a lot of customers and would like to track all of the emails I’ve received from one person or company more efficiently.

I need an email client that works better with Gmail or Microsoft Exchange.

I’m used to instant messaging, and email seems boring. Can we make email more like chat?

I have to use a Windows PC at work and would prefer to use the same email client on both platforms.

Best Email Client for Mac: Our Top Picks

Note: We’ve picked three winners and to make it easier for you to choose the one that fits you, we break them down into the best, the easiest to use, and the most powerful. Learn more below.

Best Overall: Airmail

“Airmail is a new mail client designed with performance and intuitive interaction in mind optimized for macOS “

Five years ago I knew it was time to move to a new email app. After a lot of research, I chose and purchased Airmail. I’ve been happily using it ever since on both Mac and iOS. The app is attractive, easy to use, and boasts a slew of modern and powerful email features at an affordable price.

I’ve had another good look at the competition over the last few weeks, and have concluded that for me, and most of you, Airmail remains the best value email app for the average user. Here’s why.

Airmail is smooth and modern. It’s attractive, affordable, easy to use, very fast, and doesn’t get in your way. Setting up a new email account is a cinch. I’m not the app’s only fan — It’s clean interface won it an Apple Design Award.

The app supports multiple email addresses, and can quickly set up just about every email system out there: iCloud, MS Exchange, Gmail, Google Apps, IMAP, POP3, Yahoo!, AOL, chúng tôi and chúng tôi Like a lot of email clients today, Airmail makes your life easy by giving you a unified inbox — incoming mail from all of your accounts are shown in one place. Each sender is identified by a large avatar.

Working through your inbox is quick. Airmail supports multiple configurable swipe actions, as well as drag and drop. An email can be snoozed until a later time and date if you’re not ready to deal with it now, and quick reply lets you reply to an email as quick as if you were chatting, with options to send or send and archive.

Emails can be composed of rich text, Markdown or HTML. Emails can be sent at a later time and date, which is great if you’re working on an email in the middle of the night but want it to be sent in business hours. And there’s a handy undo send feature too when you realize you’re made an embarrassing mistake just after you hit Send. For that to work, you need to configure your email to be sent after a configurable delay. Once the email is actually sent, there’s nothing more you can do.

Besides the usual folders and stars, Airmail gives you an additional way to organize your emails: you can mark messages as To Do, Memo and Done. I find that a handy way to keep track of the bills I need to pay. Behind the scenes, Airmail is actually using some custom folders to achieve this, but the interface is much neater than normal folders.

Finally, Airmail has excellent support for third-party apps and services. You can send your email to a to-do list app like Omnifocus, Apple Reminder, Things, 2Do, or Todoist, a calendar app like Apple Calendar, Fantastical or BusyCal, or a notes app like Evernote. Read our full Airmail review here.

Easiest Option: Spark

“Email has taken too much time from people. Spark gives time back to all those who live by their inbox. Quickly see what’s important and clean up the rest.”

Spark is another modern, attractive app, but this one is designed to help you get through your emails fast. Boasting fewer features than Airmail, Spark gives you a streamlined interface designed to help you see the emails that are most important, and be able to deal with them quickly. And because it’s free, it’s lightweight on your wallet too.

Spark has intrigued me for some time now, and having just spent two weeks using it, I like it. In fact, I’m going to keep it on my computer for a while and continue to evaluate it. It makes dealing with email quick work, and if that’s important to you, this might be your perfect app.

Spark doesn’t just have a unified inbox like Airmail, it also has a smart inbox. It separates the emails you’ve never seen from the ones you already looked out, and puts the important ones you’ve starred (or in Spark-speak, “pinned”) altogether. It also separates less important emails, like newsletters. Important emails are less likely to be lost in the crowd. Notifications are also smart — you’re only notified when an important email hits your inbox.

Also like Airmail, Spark allows you to postpone an email so you can deal with it later and works together with other apps, though not as many as Airmail.

Breaking news: I’ve just come across a new fast and simple email client for Mac that is now in Beta. Dejalu, from the developer of Sparrow, looks very promising. I’ll be keeping my eye on it.

Most Powerful: MailMate

Most of the more modern apps seem to focus on smoothing the workflow of managing email overload rather than the needs of power users. To gain that power, we need to look at the apps with a longer pedigree, and a bigger price tag. MailMate is the most powerful email client available for macOS. It costs $49.99 from the developer’s website (one-time fee).

Rather than focussing on ease of use, MailMate is a keyboard-centric, text-based email client designed for power users. Like the previous two apps, it boasts a universal inbox and integration with other apps. It works well with multiple IMAP accounts but doesn’t support Microsoft Exchange. MailMate aims to be standards compliant, rather than cater for every proprietary system out there.

But what it lacks in good looks, it has in features and lots of them. For example, MailMate’s smart mailboxes are very smart indeed. You can build up a complex set of rules that filter your mail to display the required emails. A judicious use of smart mailboxes will allow you to automatically organize your email in all sorts of ways.

Here’s an example of a smart mailbox from the developer’s website that displays important emails from one person:

Standards compliance means that MailMate is text only. So the only way to apply formatting is to use Markdown syntax. If you’re not familiar with Markdown, it’s a popular way of adding formatting to text using normal characters, like asterisks and hash symbols. It was created by John Gruber, and you can learn more on his Daring Fireball site.

MailMate contains many more powerful features and is extremely configurable. While I’ve only just scratched the surface, if I’ve managed to whet your appetite, this may be the app for you.

Postbox is another powerful app. While not quite as powerful as MailMate, Postbox has some unique features, has been around for a while, and has a slightly more modern interface. At $40 it is only slightly less expensive. You might want to check it out.

Other Good Email Apps for Mac

1. Canary Mail

If you’re really concerned about keeping your email private and secure, have a look at Canary Mail. It places a special focus on security, and these features are turned on by default. Your email is encrypted, so no one except the recipient will be able to read it. Encryption can be configured and turned off.

A slew of other features are included, such as highlighting important emails, natural language search, smart filters, read receipts, snooze, and templates.

$19.99 from the Mac App Store. Also available for iOS. A free trial is not offered, so I haven’t tested this app personally. But the app is highly rated, receiving an average of 4.1 out of 5 on the Mac App Store.

2. Microsoft Outlook

If you work in a Microsoft environment, then you already have Microsoft Outlook. In fact, it’s probably already installed and set up for you. Your company may require you to use it.

Outlook is well integrated into Microsoft’s Office suite. For example, you’ll be able to email a document directly from Word or Excel’s file menu. And you’ll be able to access your contacts, calendars, and tasks directly from Outlook.

You may be using Microsoft Exchange as the backbone of your email, and Outlook arguably has the best Exchange support out there. After all, Microsoft invented it.

$129.99 (from the Microsoft Store), but most people who use it will already have subscribed to Office 365 (from $6.99/month). Also available for Windows and iOS.

Also Read: Best Alternatives to Microsoft Outlook

3. Unibox

If you love the idea of making email more like a chat app or social network, have a look at Unibox. It’s also one of the best apps if you need to keep track of a lot of attachments. I keep coming back to Unibox, but so far it hasn’t stuck for me. Maybe it will for you.

$13.99 from the Mac App Store. Also available for iOS.

4. Polymail

You’ll notice a lot just looking at this screenshot. Each contact has a clear avatar, and besides seeing the email you selected, you see some information about the contact, including social links, job description, and your past interaction with them. Emails and attachments are listed separately on the same list.

Another highlight of the program is tracking and analytics. The basic features are there in the free version, but you get a lot of extra detail when you upgrade. An activity feed allows you to view all of your tracking in one place. For more power, the app can integrate with Salesforce.

Free from the Mac App Store. Also available for iOS. Pro ($10/month), Team ($16/month) and Enterprise ($49/month) add additional email marketing features and support. Learn more here.

Free Mac Email Options

Still not sure if you need to spend money on an email client? You don’t have to. We’ve already mentioned Spark and Polymail, and here are a few more free options and alternatives.

1. Apple Mail Is Good and Comes Free with macOS

You already have Apple Mail on your Mac, iPhone and iPad. It’s a capable app, and the most common way Apple users access their email. It’s probably good enough for you too.

Apple Mail is easy to set up, and easy to use. It supports swipe gestures, lets you sketch with your mouse, and even adds your signature. The VIP feature lets you separate emails from important people so they’re more easily found. And power users can use smart mailboxes and mailbox rules to organize and automate their email. There’s a lot here to like.

Related: Best Alternatives to Apple Mac Mail

2. Web Clients are Free and Convenient

But you don’t actually have to install an app to access your email. Webmail has been out for decades, and ever since Gmail hit the scene in 2004, it’s quite powerful.

Google (Gmail), Microsoft (Hotmail, then Live, now chúng tôi and Yahoo (Yahoo Mail) offer the most popular web apps. Google offers a second, quite different app, Google Inbox, which attempts to keep your email organized and easier to process.

If you like these web interfaces, but prefer the experience of an app, you can, but not all options are free. Mailplane ($24.99) and Kiwi for Gmail (free for a limited time) offer the Gmail interface in an app, and Boxy ($5.99) and Mail Inbox (free) are unofficial Google Inbox clients. There’s the unofficial Inbox for Outlook ($7.99) on the Mac App Store, and Wavebox (free, or $19.95/year for the Pro version) integrates your email and other online services into a single powerful app. It’s like a browser for your productivity.

And finally, there are web services that provide additional features to your email system, whether you use webmail or an email client. One popular option is SaneBox. It’s not free, but I think it is worth mentioning here anyway. It filters out unimportant emails, collects newsletters and lists into one folder, lets you permanently banish annoying senders, and reminds you to follow up on important emails if you haven’t had a reply.

3. Some Free Email Clients Are Very Good

Mozilla Thunderbird comes to you from the people who create Firefox. It’s been around for fifteen years, is highly polished, and is virtually bug-free. It’s also cross-platform, and works on Mac, Linux, and Windows, though not on mobile. I’ve used it on and off over the years, but not as my main email client for at least a decade.

Thunderbird is easy to set up and customize, and it does more than just email. It’s also a chat, contacts and calendar app, and its tabbed interface lets you jump between these functions quickly and easily. If you’re looking for a free, traditional email client, it’s worth checking out.

Another free option is Mailspring, which was formerly known as Nylas Mail. It comes with some nice-looking themes, including a dark mode, and it, too, works on Mac, Linux, and Windows.

Mailspring is a more modern and professional app than Thunderbird and includes features such as a conversation view, email scheduling and reminders, a unified inbox, touch and gesture support, and lightning-fast search. It can also do mail merge, read receipts, and link tracking, so it’s pretty powerful too.

If you want even more power, there’s Mailspring Pro, which will cost you $8/month. Pro features include templates, contact profiles and company overviews, follow-up reminders, message snoozing and actionable mailbox insights. That sounds a lot like Polymail, so this is one versatile program.

How We Tested and Picked These Mac Email Apps

Comparing email clients isn’t easy. They can be very different, each with its own strengths and target audience. The right app for me may not be the right app for you.

We’re not so much trying to give these apps an absolute ranking, but to help you make the best decision about which one will suit you best in a business context. So we hand-tested each product, aiming to understand what they offer.

Here are the key criteria we looked at when evaluating:

1. How easy is it to install and set up the app?

How familiar are you with email protocols and settings? Most people don’t find them fun at all. The good news is that many of the newer apps make setup a breeze — some almost set up themselves. You simply supply your name and email address, and they do the rest, including your server settings. More powerful apps may not be so easy, but give you more configuration options.

Your email client will need to support your server’s mail protocol. Most support IMAP, but if you need Microsoft Exchange compatibility, make sure the email client offers it. Not all do.

2. Is the app easy to use?

Do you value ease of use, or power and a wider range of functionality? To some extent, you need to choose one or the other. Many of the newer email clients have worked hard on their interface to make it easy to use, and add as little friction as possible.

3. Does the app help you clear your inbox and reply quickly?

Many app developers recognize that the amount of email we receive, write and reply to is a challenge, and streamline the process of clearing our inbox, replying efficiently, and composing new emails.

Features that help clear our inbox include snoozing or postponing an email to deal with it later, and canned responses to make replying quick and friction-free. Features that help create new emails include templates, Markdown support, and signatures. Other useful features you may value include undo send, send later, read receipts.

4. How does the app assist you to manage your email?

If you don’t need it, delete it. But what do you do with all the email you can’t delete? How can you sort important emails from all the clutter? How can you find important emails down the track? Different clients give you different ways to manage it all.

Are you a hunter or a gatherer? Many email clients are great at search, helping you find the right email just when you need it. Others help you file your emails in the right folder for later retrieval. A few email clients offer intelligent features like smart folders, email categorization, rules and unified inboxes that can be of great assistance.

Finally, not all of the information you receive by email should stay in your email app. Some clients offer excellent integration with other apps and services, allowing you to move an email into your calendar, task app, or notes program.

5. Is the app cross-platform, or have a mobile version?

We deal with a lot of email on the go. While it’s not essential to use the same app on your phone and computer, it can help. Does the email client offer a mobile app? And with so many of us using different operating systems at work and home, how cross-platform is the app? And does it matter to you?

6. How well does the app handle security issues?

With about half the email in the world being junk mail, an effective and accurate spam filter is essential. You can deal with spam on the server, with your email client, or both. What other security features does the app offer?

7. How much does the app cost?

Many email clients are free or very reasonably priced. There’s no need to spend a lot of money here. However, the most powerful email options are also the most expensive. It’s up to you to decide whether that price is justified.

Here are the costs of each app we mention in this review, sorted from cheapest to most expensive:

Apple Mail – free (included in macOS)

Spark – free (from the Mac App Store)

Polymail – free (from the Mac App Store)

Mailspring – free (from the developer’s website)

Mozilla Thunderbird – free (from the developer’s website)

Airmail 3 – $9.99 (from the Mac App Store)

Canary Mail – $19.99 (from the Mac App Store)

Unibox – $13.99 (from the Mac App Store)

Postbox – $40 (from the developer’s website)

MailMate – $49.99 (from the developer’s website)

Microsoft Outlook 2024 for Mac – $129.99 (from the Microsoft Store), or included with Office 365 from $6.99/month

What You Need to Know About Email

1. We receive more emails today than ever before

Email remains one of the favorite ways to communicate online. The average office worker receives 121 emails and sends 40 business emails a day. Multiply that by almost four billion active email users, and it really adds up.

The result? Many of us struggle with overflowing inboxes. A few years ago I noticed my wife had 31,000 unread messages in hers. We desperately need tools to manage it, to recognize important emails, and to reply efficiently.

2. Email has some security concerns

Email is not particularly private. Once you send an email, it may bounce between several servers before reaching its destination. Your email can be forwarded without your permission, and more email accounts are being hacked than ever before. Avoid sending sensitive information over email!

It is also the most abused form of communication in existence. Spam (junk mail) makes up about half of all email sent every day, and malware and phishing attacks are a risk and need to be identified. Security is an important issue that our email clients need to address.

3. Email is a client-server architecture

4. Most of us access multiple email addresses from multiple devices

Many of us have several email addresses, and most of us access our email from several devices, including our smartphones. In fact, we read 66% of our email on mobile devices. So it’s handy to have an app that works on a variety of operating systems, and may be essential to have one that can deal with multiple accounts.

5. Email may seem out-of-date

Email has been around for decades and can look out-of-date next to modern social networks and instant messaging apps. Email standards have evolved, but it’s still not a perfect solution. Nevertheless, it’s still one we all use, and as yet nothing has managed to replace it.

To address this, many of the new email clients are adding features, workflows, and interfaces to help us clear our inboxes faster and manage our emails more efficiently. Many of those features started out on mobile platforms, and have found their way onto the Mac. These include swipe gestures to get through your inbox more quickly, conversation views to show you the entire discussion, and quick reply options.

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