The basic email services you need for a smooth and flexible email communication
Although short text messaging has been noisily promoted as the new killer method of daily communication in recent years, emailing still remains a preferred method of information exchange. While sending a message through your mobile device or twitter account is amazingly fast and flexible, you will still need the virtual freedom that the message body of your email software gives you to express your thoughts or business proposals.
Emailing today is possible in two basic ways – by using the free email applications of MSN (firstname.lastname@example.org), Google (you@Gmail.com) or Yahoo (email@example.com), or to get your own email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) through a mail service provider. Going with the first alternative will bring you nothing more than send/attach/receive options, which would generally be enough for you if that’s all you need to communicate with your people. However, to make full use of the email potential, you will be advised to choose a good fully featured hosted email solution.
So let’s take a look at some of the basic email services you will definitely need to require from your future mail provider. Their main mission is to help you run a quick, flexible and smooth email communication with your friends or partners:
POP3/IMAP E-mail Accounts – you will need any of these options to set your own email addresses like email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc. With a POP3 email account you will be able to download all your sent or received messages to your PC, while the IMAP option allows you to leave a copy of each message on the server of your provider. For more details on creating your mailboxes, take a look at our setup email article or the blog post on how to create email accounts. There you can find some really helpful step-by-step video tutorials, as well. To start sending and receiving messages with any of those accounts you will need a configured email client at hand. Most of that software like Mozilla Thunderbird, for example, is offered free of charge on the web.
Webmail – this option offers you an alternative interface for sending and receiving emails. Instead of configuring your own email client application, as mentioned above, just use a browser to open your email accounts like you open a regular website and send/receive emails the way you’d do with a regular mail software.
Email Forwarding – this is one of the many useful services that make the hosted email option a worthy choice. With email forwarding in action you can have e-messages delivered to an email address of yours re-sent automatically to another internal/external email address. This way, two or more independent mailboxes can receive the same messages at a time. This option does save you lots of time and efforts.
Auto-responder Email – another great service that must be on the email options list of your mail provider. It helps you automate the reply to incoming emails until you have the time to check them. This service is especially useful for businesses to keep in touch with their customers on weekends or holidays.