Post initial setup, a primary concern will be the log-on issue. If your organization is fine with a separate log-on for your email provider, then this step will be quick. However, that's not typically what businesses want or users expect. In general, users expect to sign onto their desktops and have their email and file sharing sign-ons happen as part of that one-step process. Not surprisingly, this is called Single Sign-On (SSO) and it's enabled in one of three ways: through the use of a back-end directory service like Microsoft Active Directory (AD); an identity management service, like Okta (one of our Editors' Choice winners in that category); or several compatible web services that include SSO along with other apps and email services, like Google G Suite Business and Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium (two of the top providers reviewed here). Which method you choose depends on how your business is configured today and your long-term cloud services strategy. It's definitely a conversation you'll need to have either with your in-house IT staff or your outside IT consultant.
The format of email addresses is [email protected] where the local part may be up to 64 octets long and the domain may have a maximum of 255 octets. The formal definitions are in RFC 5322 (sections 3.2.3 and 3.4.1) and RFC 5321—with a more readable form given in the informational RFC 3696 and the associated errata. Note that unlike the syntax of RFC 1034, and RFC 1035 there is no trailing period in the domain name.
Even if you’re not running a burgeoning business, there’s the personal branding component to what an email host can offer. Maybe you’re a graduate student building your personal portfolio and publishing your resumé online when your realize Corporate Hiring Managers are less likely to respond to [email protected] Wouldn’t it be nice to reach out from [email protected] instead? Or maybe you’re establishing a side biz to bring in some extra cash. Would you rather folks considering you for freelance work reach out to [email protected] or [email protected]?
I find it really annoying that people who used to check their email regularly, now leave large intervals between accessing their messages. This seems to be a social media thing where they’re all busy putting up their lunch pictures etc. etc. up for ‘everyone’ to see. Unfortunately this behaviour seems to be spilling over to the less conscientious in their work activities and they seem to be treating digital mail with contempt in some cases. Guess it’s back to paper mail and ‘snail’ delivery – not that that always gets the attention it deserves.
An example here is the rapidly growing trend of "inbox zero." It's actually known by a variety of names, but it refers to the practice of keeping your email inbox count at zero stored emails. Essentially, it's dealing with every email as it comes in and then deleting or archiving each one so that your inbox is always empty. This boils down to a fundamental shift in how users are utilizing their email inboxes.
Some mail services support a tag included in the local-part, such that the address is an alias to a prefix of the local part. For example, the address [email protected] denotes the same delivery address as [email protected] RFC 5233, refers to this convention as sub-addressing, but it is also known as plus addressing, tagged addressing or mail extensions.
A survey conducted (see graphic above; click to enlarge) by email marketing software provider and consulting service ReachMail Media Services of over 1,000 respondents found that varying percentages of different worker generations attempted to adhere to "inbox zero," while other generations actually preferred using their inboxes as personal information managers.
While most businesses will have such suites in place, it often falls to the email service to provide an additional layer of anti-phishing and anti-malware protection. Our reviews found a surprising variance in this department, however, ranging from very robust to completely non-existent, so be careful. Since it's such a huge liability for business owners, this could be one of the most important factors in terms of background features. At the very least, it's better than filing an insurance claim or outright losing funds due to simple social engineering tactics.
For those unlucky enough to choose an email host that doesn't have built-in spam detection, it can often be an ordeal to route email correctly through a third-party filtering service. Some businesses actually prefer engaging with a third-party spam filterer, mostly for compliance or customization reasons. But, for the majority of SMBs, this is headache they would be best off trying to avoid.