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Email Client Essentials: Choosing the Best for Small Business Success

Email has grown to be an essential part of most businesses. According to statistics, 124.5 billion work emails are sent daily. Also, 62.86% of business professionals prefer to communicate by email. These numbers prove that effective business communication lives and breathes in business email.

The number of emails keeps climbing, making it essential for small businesses to look for an email client to help them succeed in the market.

An email client is a software application that enables users to send, receive, organize, and manage their email. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can choose the right email client that will contribute to the success of your small business. This article will also cover:

  • Popular email clients for small businesses
  • Key features to look for in an email client
  • How to implement an email client in your business
  • How email clients cater to the success of small businesses

Let’s get started!

 

What is an Email Client?

An email client is a software, web-based, or mail app that allows you to manage email accounts from different email service providers. An example is Microsoft Outlook. There are a good number of benefits that come with making use of an email client for your business, and they include:

  • Offline access to emails
  • Advanced security and organization
  • Offline drafting and editing of emails
  • Improved professional image

How does an email client differ from a webmail?

Webmail is a web-based email service that enables you to use email features with your web browser, while an email client can be an app, web-based, or a mail app. Understanding its distinction from webmail services will help you know which one suits your email needs.

Here are more differences between an email client and webmail:

  • With an email client, you can access your emails without having access to the internet. However, with webmail, you can only access emails online.
  • Webmail allows easy access without downloading the software and backs up your information through the email server or website provider. On the other hand, an email client backs up your emails to your computer, albeit manually.
  • An email client allows business users to manage multiple emails and have different email accounts from other domains in a unified inbox.
  • Most email clients allow seamless integration with web-based apps or tools like Slack, Google Docs, and Asana. This helps create a more manageable workflow for completing tasks without leaving the mail app.

Overall, email clients manage your email account and provide an interface to interact with your email.

Key Features to Look for in an Email Client

There are four key features to look out for when choosing an email client for your business — integration capabilities, support, customization and scalability, and customer support.

Let’s look at each of these core features one by one.

Integration capabilities

Not all email clients have robust integration with third-party applications. However, most offer integration features with tools like calendars, contacts, and task management.

Email client

Outlook’s calendar

Calendar integration allows efficient scheduling, meeting management, and visibility into upcoming events. The Outlook calendar is a perfect example.

Integration with task management helps streamline workflow and enhance productivity. Mozilla Thunderbird does a great job of helping you manage your tasks, measure progress, and receive notifications on what is yet to be done.

Security

Another feature to look out for is security. Using an email client that supports message encryption (e.g., PGP, S/MIME) ensures that sensitive business communications are protected from unauthorized access.

Beyond end-to-end encryption, some email clients offer effective spam filtering and phishing protection, protecting your business from malicious emails and potential security threats.

Customization and scalability

Features like personalized email signatures and theme customization contribute significantly to your brand’s identity. So, you need the flexibility to customize certain aspects of the mail app to align with your brand’s identity. Also, the email client should be scalable to meet your needs as your business grows.

Most email clients have a free version, so the pricing may not be a deal breaker. Instead, check for features like email size limit, recipient size limit, and storage.

Support for multiple email accounts

The ability to manage multiple mailboxes from a single interface is another feature that you should look out for, as it helps streamline your communication across different domains, email addresses, or departments.

User-friendly design and mobile access

The user-friendliness of an email client is essential as it helps you easily navigate the app, leading to efficiency and a reduction in the time required for training.

Additionally, when you have mobile access to the email client, you can monitor business deals on the go. Mobile compatibility enables employees to access their emails, calendars, and contacts, facilitating remote work and timely responsiveness to business communications.

Related article: 11 Best Windows Email Clients to Declutter Your Inbox [2024]

Popular Email Clients for Small Businesses

When considering an email client for your small business, there are several excellent options, each with pros and cons. Let’s take a look at some popular email clients.

Mozilla Thunderbird

Email client

The first on this list is Mozilla Thunderbird. It is a free email client that is easy to set up. This email client has many great features and differs from other applications due to its cross-platform compatibility option. Thunderbird makes managing email easier by combining speed, privacy, and the latest tech into one package.

Thunderbird’s built-in ‘do not track’ and remote content blocking are designed to ensure the safety and privacy of sensitive business information in your email. With add-ons, extensions, and themes, you can instantly change the app’s look and feel to suit your brand style.

Its calendar integration allows you to manage multiple calendars, and because it is an open-source project, you can contribute ideas that can be used to help fellow users. All these make Mozilla Thunderbird one of the best free email clients.

Pros

  • Most customizable email client
  • Cross-platform availability
  • Large assortment of plugins
  • Compatible with several platforms, including Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows
  • Support importing of contacts
  • Can handle multiple accounts

Cons

  • The interface can feel outdated
  • Might be overwhelming for new users due to its plethora of features
  • Requires installation of calendar and task list separately, unlike other similar tools
  • It doesn’t offer a featured calendar
  • Bloated and slow
  • No IOS email app, and its Android email app is outdated

Postbox

Email client

Postbox is an email client for Windows and Mac designed for small businesses. It helps them manage their emails more efficiently and effectively. Postbox costs $49 per user for a lifetime purchase and works for Mac or Windows. The application allows you to filter your messages in real-time and organize your emails by tags or contacts. 

It has a modern, pixel-perfect interface and a large selection of pre-canned text snippets, images, and blocks of HTML. Postbox has many well-thought-out keyboard shortcuts that facilitate smooth and quick engagement. 

Postbox’s social view feature lets you browse for updates on all your social networks, making it easy to monitor your brand and straightforward out unnecessary clutter.

Pros

  • Quick filtering
  • Good management of attachments
  • Modern user interface
  • Good email organization and searching
  • Tie-ins to popular online services

Cons

  • Poor customer support
  • No free version (Just a 30-day free trial)
  • No calendar
  • Thunderbird add-ons won’t work

Mailbird

Email client

Mailbird is an intuitive, feature-rich email client that aims to streamline inbox management. It costs $49.50 for the standard plan and $99.75 for the premium plan (one-time payment).

It works seamlessly with any IMAP, POP3, or Exchange email provider, supports significant email services, and is ideal for Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, etc. Mailbird users can manage multiple email addresses from a single place, keeping personal and business emails separate.

Mailbird’s message snoozing allows you to focus on high-priority messages by temporarily removing non-urgent emails from your inbox. The LinkedIn integration feature helps you communicate with your professional network and stay updated with industry news without leaving your inbox.

Pros

  • Mailbird supports multiple accounts and identities very well (including unified folders)
  • You can postpone emails easily
  • Basic email handling is fast
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Has robust integration with third-party apps
  • Lifetime subscription available
  • Customizable

Cons

  • Windows only
  • Lack of email filtering
  • It is not available on the Microsoft Store
  • Steep learning curve

Microsoft Outlook

Email client

Microsoft Outlook is a versatile and widely used mail client with advanced features. It provides robust tools for organizing and managing emails and has additional features such as folders, categorization, flags, and rules.

The calendar and scheduling feature helps you manage appointments, meetings, and events, with the ability to send meeting invitations and synchronize with other calendars. You can create tasks, set reminders, and track your business’s to-do lists within the application, integrating task management with email and calendar functionalities.

Outlook offers a comprehensive contact management system. It allows you to store and organize contact information and easily access it when composing emails or scheduling meetings.

Additionally, it has built-in security measures, including spam filtering, end-to-end encryption, and Information Rights Management (IRM) controls to safeguard your business’s sensitive information.

It is available across various platforms, including Windows, macOS, web-based versions, and email apps (iOS, Android), ensuring accessibility and synchronization across devices.

Pros

  • Integration with Microsoft Office Suite
  • Polished mobile and web apps
  • Comprehensive features
  • Contact management
  • Access to other Microsoft services

Cons

  • Not as intuitive as other email clients
  • It can feel sluggish even on a modern computer
  • Complex for new users
  • Storage limitations

Mailspring

Email client

Mailspring is a feature-rich, modern email client application designed to provide users with a powerful and customizable email experience. It offers a unified inbox that allows you to access and manage emails from different accounts in one place, streamlining the email management process.

Its intuitive and user-friendly interface makes it easy for users to navigate their emails and utilize the various features.

Mailspring provides email tracking capabilities. It allows you to monitor when recipients open your emails and track link clicks, providing valuable insights for email campaigns and outreach efforts. The application also allows you to sleep emails for later viewing and set reminders for follow-up actions, aiding in efficient email management.

Mailspring is designed to be compatible with multiple operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux, giving you flexibility in choosing your preferred platform for email management. It has various extensions and themes, allowing users to extend the app’s functionality and personalize its appearance.

Pros

  • It has excellent integration with Gmail
  • The user interface is neat
  • Supports unified inbox and snoozing
  • Allows an unlimited number of accounts

Cons

  • Limited features in the free version
  • Unstable password handling
  • Slow updates and bug fixes

eM Client

eM Client, the sixth on this list, is an email client designed for Windows and macOS. It offers a clean and user-friendly interface and a wide compatibility range, allowing seamless connections to other services, including Google Workspace, Office 365, Outlook, and Exchange. 

Additionally, you can synchronize notes across devices, enabling you to access your notes conveniently. The integration of chat functionality complements traditional email messaging, offering you an additional means of interaction with employees and clients.

Additional features like the sidebar provide quick access to contextual information, enhance productivity, and save time. Themes and a theme editor allow you to customize the interface to match your brand’s identity. The superfast search feature will enable you to locate messages quickly, making it an excellent choice for catering to your business needs.

Pros

  • It has a unified, intuitive interface
  • Smart inbox
  • Compatible across all devices (mobile phone, PC, tablet, desktop)
  • It is easy to use
  • Affordable pricing
  • Supports S/MIME and PGP technology for email encryption

Cons

  • Prone to malfunction and can be somewhat unreliable
  • The compatibility process can fail
  • Limited customer support

Apple Mail (iCloud)

Apple Mail is a versatile email client that offers a range of features designed to provide a seamless and integrated email experience for users within the Apple ecosystem. Its intuitive design, cross-device integration, and compatibility with third-party email providers make it a popular choice for small businesses using Apple devices.

The application’s unified inbox allows you to manage multiple mail accounts from different providers within a single unified inbox. Apple Mail lets you integrate with other Apple applications and services, such as Contacts, Calendar, and iCloud, providing a cohesive user experience.

With its smart inbox and filter features, you can create and set up filters to automatically categorize your mail and organize incoming emails. While it primarily caters to iCloud Mail, Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook, Apple Mail also supports other email providers, enabling you to access non-Apple email accounts.

Pros

  • Seamlessly integrates with other Apple devices
  • The interface is intuitive and easy to navigate
  • Provides robust security 

Cons

  • Limited features
  • Prone to compatibility issues
  • Limited support on some technical issues
  • Customization constraints

Related article: The Best Mac Email Clients for a Clean Inbox

Examples of Small Businesses Successfully Using These Email Clients

A good number of small businesses around the globe make use of email clients to operate efficiently. Here are a few examples.

Litmus (Apple Mail)

Litmus is a prominent email marketing and analytics company that provides insights into email client market share and empowers marketers to make informed decisions regarding email design, coding, and overall email program focus. The company uses Litmus Email Analytics to compile data from over a billion email opens, providing valuable insights into global email client trends.

Litmus has successfully leveraged Apple Mail’s capabilities, including its user-friendly interface and seamless integration with other Apple devices and services, to provide valuable analytics and empower email marketers.

Magnify247 (eM Client)

It is a customer service company established in 2016 with a total revenue of $3,100. It is located in Indiana, US, and serves community residents and occasionally small businesses using public mail services such as Gmail and Yahoo.

The business switched from MS Outlook because of its cost and appreciated the eM Client’s deep settings and import/export features.

Daniel Moret info service (eM Client)

Daniel Moret Info Service is a small sales business located in Switzerland. It has generated a total revenue of $4,300 since its inception in 2016. 

The company serves small businesses and households with multiple devices, primarily using public mail servers such as Gmail, iCloud, and Outlook.com. They initially found the purchasing process complicated but later appreciated its simplicity.

Nonprofit Theatre (Mozilla Thunderbird)

Amy S., the stage manager for the non-profit theatre troupe, uses Thunderbird to create and manage an email group for every production. Thunderbird makes it easy for her to copy and rename her list for a new production, edit out non-participants, and add new ones.

Communication is simplified, and the contact suggestion feature assists her in recalling numerous names when she wants to send out a schedule change, script addition, or weather cancellation.

YachtCloud (eM Client)

YachtCloud is a Superyacht software integrator in the Netherlands that has been around since 2018 with an estimated revenue of about $2000. The company specializes in the yachting industry, creating custom applications, including a specific email solution with an active-active database topology for shore-and-vessel-based servers.

Implementing an Email Client in Your Businesses

Email communication is crucial for your business’s success, and implementation can streamline your business operation and increase your work pace. Here’s a step-by-step guide on choosing and implementing an email client for your business.

Assess your business needs

Understanding the scope of your needs and business requirements, including the number of users, storage needs, security features, and integration with other tools like calendars and task managers, can help you choose the right email client.

Decide on an email client

This article explored several email clients, such as Microsoft Outlook and Apple Mail. Compare them and decide on one that best fits your business based on features, pricing, and scalability.

Setup and configuration

Follow the setup and configuration guidelines to create a user email account, set up your business domains, and configure the email client security settings based on your business requirements.

Data migration

Suppose you are migrating from another email client or webmail. In that case, ensure your smooth transition by importing existing emails, contacts, and calendar data to the new email client. This can often be done using built-in migration tools or third-party solutions.

Testing and feedback

Thoroughly test the new email client to ensure all features function as expected.

Tips for Migrating From One Email Client to Another 

Migrating from one email client to another or from webmail to an email client can be a smooth process, depending on how you approach the migration procedure. Here are some tips to help you with the migration.

Data backup

Before initiating the migration process, you should ensure that all existing data from the current email client or webmail is automatically or manually backed up to prevent data loss during the transition. 

Migration plan

To ensure a smooth transition, you should develop a comprehensive plan with outlined steps, timelines, milestones, and potential challenges. The plan should also be communicated with your employees to manage expectations and minimize disruptions.

Training and support

Provide adequate training and support to employees to help them adapt to the new email client. Address any concerns or issues promptly to minimize disruption to business operations and ensure a successful migration.

Data mapping and cleanup

Before migration, you should critically assess and clean up your existing data to ensure that unnecessary or outdated information is kept from the new email client, streamlining the process and optimizing data integrity.

Post-migration support

Provide dedicated support channels and resources to address any post-migration issues or queries, ensuring a seamless transition and minimizing disruption to business operations.

Customization and integration

Customize the new email client to meet your business needs and integrate it with other relevant tools or software to maximize its utility.

Best Practices For Training Staff to Use a New Email Client Efficiently

Here are some best practices for training your staff on how to use a new email client efficiently.

Training sessions and hands-on practice

Conduct training sessions to familiarize your staff with the new features and functionalities, emphasizing its benefits for efficient communication and collaboration. It would help if you also encouraged them by providing access to the latest email client and creating opportunities for everyone to explore its features and functions in a controlled environment.

Feedback mechanism and interactive workshops

Establish a feedback mechanism to address any challenges or questions during the transition, ensuring your staff feels supported and confident using the new email client. Organize interactive workshops where staff can actively participate in learning exercises and simulations to familiarize themselves with the latest email client.

Role-specific training and case scenarios

Tailor training to different departments or roles within the organization to highlight specific features relevant to their responsibilities, maximizing the utility of the new email client. Present real-life use case scenarios to illustrate how the latest email client can enhance productivity and address specific business needs.

Encouraging exploration and continual communication

Encourage your staff to explore and experiment with the new email client, enabling them to discover its features and capabilities independently. You should also maintain open lines of communication with staff before, during, and after the training process to ensure that their concerns and feedback are addressed.

Key Takeaways

Let’s recap the key takeaways to ensure you make the best choice afterward for your business:

  • To safeguard sensitive business communications and data, looking for an email client with robust security features, including encryption, spam filtering, and phishing protection against stealth threats, is essential.
  • Integration is essential because you must be at your best when dealing with customers. An email client that seamlessly integrates with other important business tools enhances your operational efficiency.
  • Ease of use is critical. It is not good enough if it needs to be more complex but not simple enough. Choose an email client that is user-friendly and intuitive, as it contributes to your productivity and reduces the time you spend training your employees. Check out also for other additional features that meet your business needs.

Conclusion

We have discussed the pros and cons of popular email clients, including Mozilla Thunderbird, Mailspring, Mailbird, and Postbox.

The correct email client can enhance productivity. Small business owners must recognize its pivotal role in facilitating efficient correspondence and operational workflows. 

Therefore, careful evaluation of available options is paramount; you should ensure that the chosen email client not only meets your immediate requirements but also supports the long-term objectives of your business. In doing so, you can harness the power of a robust email client to propel their ventures forward, enabling you to thrive in an increasingly competitive and digitally-driven business landscape.

FAQ

1. What is an email client, and how does it work?

An email client allows you to send, receive, and manage your email with a user-friendly interface. It connects to your email server to download incoming messages, send outgoing ones, and manage your message history. They can be accessed on mobile devices, tablets, or PCs.

2. How do I choose the right email client for my small business?

To select the right email client for your small business, consider factors like ease of use, reliability, robust support, compatibility with your business’s devices and operating systems, security, and integration with other business tools like calendars and productivity apps.

3. Can I use multiple email accounts with a single email client?

Yes, most email clients allow you to add and manage multiple accounts from different providers in one place, so you can access and manage all your emails without switching between different applications.

4. What are the main differences between free and paid email clients?

Most paid email clients have more advanced features and offer an ad-free experience and a more responsive customer experience than free email clients.

5. How can I ensure the email client I choose is secure?

Look for encryption capabilities to ensure that your email client is secure. Selecting an email client that supports robust authentication methods is essential to prevent unauthorized access to your account.

6. Is it challenging to switch email clients if I’m not satisfied?

Switching email clients is not difficult, as most allow you to import and export your emails, contacts, and other data. You can transfer your existing data to a new email client by following instructions or using third-party tools.

7. How do email clients integrate with other productivity tools?

Email clients integrate with other productivity tools by allowing seamless access and interaction with applications such as calendars, task managers, and cloud storage services. This integration enables users to schedule meetings, set reminders, and access files directly from their email interface.

8. What are some standard troubleshooting tips for email client issues?

Some common troubleshooting tips for email client issues include checking your internet connection, ensuring your email settings are correct, and clearing your email client’s cache or temporary files. Additionally, updating your email client to the latest version and checking for system updates can help resolve potential issues.

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