There’s a common misconception that email giants like Gmail and Yahoo offer better and more secure email services, just because they’re big. Sadly, it isn’t usually the case. Free email hosting services have a bunch of drawbacks, and they’re also vulnerable targets for cyber attackers. Paid email services, although associated with a nominal fee, are more feature-rich, secure, and brandable.
Today, we’ll take a look at why businesses should never use a free email hosting service.
1. Free email hosting lacks professionalism
If you’re a business owner and using a free email hosting account, you’re sending a message that you don’t take your business seriously. Gone are the days when the website was the only emissary of your business. We live in the digital age, where any high school kid can get a website up and running.
Besides, websites have become a standard tool for scamming. A study from Webroot indicated that close to 1.5 million websites are created for phishing purposes every month. People are, therefore, adopting a hostile approach towards businesses that only have a website.
Even if we rule out the scam angle, there are many reasons why people might see your emails as unprofessional. The emails will come from your personal account and will have a free domain extension, like “@gmail.com” or “@yahoo.com” in it.
This gives a terrible first impression to your potential customers. Your customers might think that you aren’t concerned with privacy or aren’t organized enough to have a professional email address.
2. No branding opportunities in free email hosting
Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies, with an estimated ROI of $44 per $1 spent. Creating email campaigns also play a pivotal role in boosting exposure and increasing the branding of your business.
However, you’ll miss out on valuable marketing opportunities if you use a free email account. When people receive emails, they’re more likely to remember the domain name instead of the username. So, if you send emails from a free account, like “email@example.com,” your consumers will probably remember that they received an email from a Gmail account.
On the other hand, if you send an email from a business email account, like “firstname.lastname@example.org,” your consumers will most likely remember the company name. And the more your customers see your business name, the more likely they are to take action.
3. Chance of landing in spam
Brand and promotional emails are at a high risk of ending up in the spam folder. The risk is even higher for free emails, as many spam filters look for promotional emails with Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail extensions.
This filtering occurs because most spammers use free email hosting addresses to carry out phishing attacks. So, if you use a free email account, the chances are that the majority of your emails will land in the spam folder.
4. Lack of privacy in free email hosting
Anything free is not really free. If you’re not paying for a service, the provider will generate profit in some other way. In the case of free email hosting services, it happens through advertisements.
When you sign up for a free email hosting service, you agree to share your personal information. And mostly, this information includes your email conversations.
Even if the provider doesn’t access your private information, the risk of security remains high. All free email providers store data on the cloud. And although cloud security has developed significantly, it remains to be the favorite target for hackers.
5. Loss of data
Storing data on servers comes with other challenges. Most free email hosting providers don’t have robust security measures, making your data vulnerable to data theft or loss. A lot of free email hosting providers also lack backup and recovery capabilities, so if your data disappears, it’s almost impossible to revive it.
6. Lack of personalization
When you send emails from a free email hosting account, there’s no way your customers can identify whether the email is associated with your company. Anyone can impersonate the email address and pretend to be a representative of your organization. This can hurt your company’s credibility and reputation.
When you use paid email hosting services, you can decide who uses an email account with your domain name. Therefore, it eliminates the possibility of duplication and helps you build trust with your customers.
7. Limited features in free email hosting
Free email hosting services offer limited features and functionalities. For starters, the storage space is limited, and there are no expansion options. Moreover, all the emails are stored on the server, so the storage space fills up faster.
These providers also lack intuitive templates. When you create an email campaign, templates are vital to your campaign efficiency. Since free email hosting services lack templates, email campaigns created on them become less effective.
Some other features absent from free email hosting providers are spam filtering, virus removal, and quick migration.
8. Hackers are always looking for free accounts
Free email providers like Gmail and Yahoo have an enormous number of email accounts. The most recent stats add up to 1 billion for Gmail, 400 million for Hotmail, and 227 million for Yahoo Mail. With so much data available, hackers love spending their time and efforts on free email hosting databases.
One of the major recent incidents occurred in 2015 when a total of 272.3 million stolen accounts were discovered. And guess what, all of the accounts were registered on free email services, like Mail.ru (Russian email service), Gmail, and Yahoo.
Dedicated email hosting services deploy multi-factor authentication to ensure only you can access your email account. These providers also provide robust disaster management and backup features to keep your information safe and stored.
Conclusion: Don’t use a free email hosting service
It’s okay to have a personal email, and you can use it to interact with your friends and colleagues. But when it comes to reaching your clients, customers, and business partners, it’s essential to use a domain email hosting service. It makes you look more professional and helps you better engage with your customers. Check Out Eltris for cost-effective, secure, and feature-rich email hosting services.