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Zoho Mail as a Small Business Alternative
I imagine just about everyone knows that Gmail is one of the best email services available. It's currently 2nd right behind but quickly approaching Hotmail's popularity as you can see here. That said is there ever a circumstance that you would want to use a different email service than Gmail? Well actually yes, and that other email service I speak of isZoho's Business Email.
What does Zoho Corporation do?
You may be asking that to yourself. A very fair question indeed! Well Zoho Corporation sprung up to start hosting email services and what they offer for small businesses is a little different than gmail. You can get google mail for business where you can set up domain name emails and play around with a suite of business apps. It's actually quite good but the downside is that you must pay $5 a month per user which can quickly add up. If you run a tiny company, possibly in web development or design, then you only need 4 or 5 accounts. On top of that, you might not even need all those extra apps and you only want to have the @yourdomain.com at the end of your email. Well that's where Zoho is actually good because they offer a very reasonable free service for businesses up to 10 users for 100% free.
What Do You Get in the Free Version?
You can see that you get the following for free from their pricing page
- 5 GB Mailbox / User
- 5 GB Shared Cloud Storage
- 10 Users Max (For free accounts)
- 1 Domain (With @domain emails etc)
- Online Office Apps
- Docs Desktop Sync
Of course, they do have paid options which starts at $2.5 a month per user for 10gb storage / user or $3.5 for 15 gb storage / user. The premium is a healthy $10 per user with 250 gb of shared company storage and some other nice features. Check their pricing page out on zoho.com for more details.
When to use Zoho?
You can do everything you'd expect including create and control users, maintain permissions, two factor authentication, and enable IMAP access for desktop clients like Thunderbird. If you're like me, you prefer to use Thunderbird (or outlook) so that you can have all your emails checked in one place, easily respond to messages, have none of the clutter, and receive notifications of new emails without even having your browser open. If this is how you operate, would you rather pay $20/25 a month for email accounts hosted on a business' domain or would you rather pay $0 and experience the exact same front end. I think this goes double if you're a one or two man operation that has extra accounts like admin@domain or contact@domain for the sake of professionalism. You can check out Zoho's Business services at https://www.zoho.com/mail/zohomail-pricing.html. If you do enjoy using Google Apps for Businesses, then Gmail may still be the choice for you but at the same time pretty much any tool Google offers can be found elsewhere for free if you know where to look. What email service do you prefer to use for business?
What do you want most in your next email provider?
Of course if you don't like what Zoho offers then you can always switch to another alternative. Google Apps for Business is a safe bet that many small companies swear by but you will typically pay more for it (especially if the alternative is the free 10 user Zoho option)