If anyone needed evidence of the growing importance of email, the Postmaster General’s proposal in January 2009 to eliminate the United States mail delivery on Tuesdays, sure highlights the advantages of email. Cheap and available 24/7/365, email doesn’t take the weekends or nights off, let alone Tuesdays. Continue reading this article to find out more about email web hosting.
Different Email Web Hosting Options
There are three primary email functions to know about. The first, the POP email account (the name stands for Post Office Protocol), often is offered for free with a domain name or with web hosting. Internet Service Providers also offer POP email accounts. The second important service is email forwarding, which means you can have multiple email accounts consolidated. The third is autoresponders, a set up that allows you to send a designated, pre-written response to incoming email.
Email Auto Responders
Suppose you are on a business trip, on vacation, or in the hospital. In any of these cases, it might be important to let people who are trying to communicate with you what’s going on and why you’re not responding. Or suppose that you have a website that invites existing and potential customers to opt-in to your sales fliers or catalogs. In this case, you might want an automated way to acknowledge the request.
Any of these cases can be served by a program called an autoresponder, designed to respond in a pre-determined manner to incoming email. Some autoresponders might be left on all the time for emails to a particular address, while some might change depending on circumstances. You can say as much (or as little) as you like about what you’re doing, acknowledge receipt of the email, and give an estimated time for both your return and a response, as well as direct urgent inquiries to a colleague who is covering for you or your cell phone.
Email auto responding may be built into your ISP’s email address offerings, your mail client, or a function of your website. But it can also be available as a service offered by web hosts.
Email forwarding allows you both to consolidate and to sort your mail. For example, you can direct your mail client to send all email forwarded in from a particular account to a particular folder. And you can avoid giving a “friends and family” email address that is the same as your business email address if there is a good reason to keep them separate. Thus, forwarding email can be a great organizational tool. Like autoresponders, email forwarding may be offered by your ISP, through your website, or as an email web hosting service
POP Email Accounts
Pop email accounts are offered by mail clients and Internet Service Providers (ISPs), as well as included as part of many web hosting offers and domain name purchases. While domain names are often accompanied by one, or as many as three, POP email accounts (sometimes more), it is not unusual to find 100, 500, 1000, or even 5000 pop email accounts offered with web hosting.
POP email accounts offered through an ISP will have the ISP’s address after the @ symbol, like @comcast.net for Comcast. Apple’s new address for its Mail program is @me.com. The unique advantage of POP email accounts with a web host is that the address after the @ is the domain name of your site. This gives you several advantages:
- By linking with the name of your site, it reinforces your email address for clients, customers, and colleagues.
- By linking with the name of your site, it gives further reinforcement of your brand.
- By using site-linked email addresses, you protect your personal email address from spam.
- By using multiple accounts, you can filter email to the proper party, because you can still tailor the front part of the email address, using departments (sales, tech support, customer service) or roles (webmaster), for example, as well as first and last name or first initial and surname.
When you are deciding on web hosting, you should take the time to consider your email web hosting needs, and make it a factor in your web host choice. Look into the future, too, to make sure that upgrading is possible to cover any increases you might foresee. You may also want to check the controls you will have as administrator, to see what choices you will have in determining elements such as the amount of storage space, automatic server deletion (or not), etc.