At Envato Tuts+ we understand the importance of email to the small business owner. That's why we created a series to focus on one of the most popular and best email providers out there. Learn what you need to know to use Gmail for your small business in our comprehensive, multipart series: How to Use Gmail (Ultimate Beginner Guide).
We also provide helpful email advice for those who choose not to use Gmail. For example, you can write more effective business emails after studying the tutorial (regardless of which email service provider you use):
- How to Master Proper Business Email Format - and Avoid Professional DisasterLaura Spencer27 Oct 2020
In this tutorial, learn how to start and end a professional business email:
- How to Start and End a Professional Business EmailLaura Spencer09 Oct 2020
You can also download our email strategies eBook:The Ultimate Guide to Inbox Zero Mastery. (It's available for FREE with the Tuts+ Business Newsletter.)
In this article, we've curated ten of the best, free business email service providers. We'll also share some of the features to look for in a good business email provider.
The Best Source for Email Templates and More (With Unlimited Use)
Envato Elements is the perfect place to find winning email templates. For a low monthly fee, you get unlimited email templates photos, fonts, and more for your business.
Elements is truly one of the best values out there for creatives today. Plus, you can try out many different styles and options thanks to the unlimited downloads.
Free business templates and assets you find online can be tempting. But they're less robust than premium, professionally-designed templates.
With Envato Elements, the best business assets have features such as:
- elegant and stylish typography to capture audience attention
- rich image placeholders to show off photos and videos
- customizable layouts to make every theme your own
Elements templates offer everything you need to present your data and company in a professional manner.
9 Top Features to Look for in a Great Free Business Email Account
Are you wondering: what email should I use for my business?
Business email is important. So, deciding on the best email provider for your needs can be a bit demanding. Every business will have its own specific needs. But there are some basic features that a good business email should offer and is a good starting point.
Here are nine features to look for when you select your business email service:
- Spam Filter. Spam messages are a huge time waster. You don't want to spend your valuable time reading them. That's why you want an email service that's got a system in place to detect and filter out inbox spam.
- Reliability. Your business email provider needs to be up and running when you need it. Your email should always be available. Email downtime could result in lost or unhappy customers.
- Integration. Some email services work well with other business tools such as calendars, and productivity suites. If your business relies heavily on such tools, consider an email package that integrates with the other tools you already use.
- Security. With email hacks being a regular news item, you want your business email provider to offer strong measures to keep your accounts secure. You need to keep your messages safe and don't want any unauthorized use of your email account.
- Ease of Use. As your business grows, more of your staff members need to create and use email accounts. Reduce staff training time by selecting an email service provider that's easy to use.
- Archive Capabilities. The best free business email providers provide a way for you to save, store, and organize your email messages and drafts. For many businesses, keeping an accurate and well-organized record of business communication is vital.
- Advanced Features. When running a small business, advanced email features such as the ability to recall sent messages or schedule tasks within email can be important. Which advanced features are most important depends on your unique business needs.
- Reputation. Your business email service provider needs to have a good reputation. Remember, your email address is one of the first pieces of information prospective clients see.
- Storage. When selecting an email service provider, keep in mind the amount of storage space included with your account. You don't want to run out of space.
If possible, have everyone in your small business use the same email service provider for business purposes. The main reason for this is consistency. If each member of your business team uses a different email service, it can confuse customers and prospective customers.
Plus, using different email services makes it difficult for your business to train employees and set in place procedures for handling business messages. Since various providers offer different features, not all employees will be able to handle messages in the same way if they use different email services.
It's important to pick the right email service provider for your business. The best place to start is to compare the top free and low cost options.
10 Best, Free Business Email Service Providers
Now you know what you should look for in a business email service provider. Let's look at a few notable features of some of the most popular and best free email systems.
Note: Some of these email systems also offer a premium version with more features and the ability to scale with the growth of your business. Be aware though that many free email services use advertisements to pay for the service.
1.Gmail- Best Free Email Service Provider
One of the most popular and best email service providers is Gmail. People use Gmail for personal and business communications alike. According to statistics reported by TechJury in 2022, 1.8 billion people use Gmail.
Gmail has a good reputation. It's got many advanced features such as the Undo Send feature and Email Forwarding. Since Google owns Gmail, it includes a powerful search utility and filter system.
Google has also added strengthened security measures. They include two-step verification and powerful spam filters. This makes it less likely that your account is hacked or that you receive junk messages. Finally, it integrates with popular productivity tools including Google Calendar and Google Docs.
Learn more about how to work with Gmail in our comprehensive series: How to Use Gmail (Ultimate Beginner Guide). And, if you'd like to get started on Gmail right away, then learn how to create an account fast, or jump into some quick tips:
- How to Create a New Gmail Account (Quick Start Guide)Laura Spencer06 Jul 2021
- 30+ Quick Gmail Tips, Tricks, and Important Secrets (+ Video)Laura Spencer18 Mar 2021
2. Outlook.com- Another Top, Free Email Provider
Microsoft's Outlook.com email provider is a strong option if you're looking for the best email provider. Statistics from Litmus.com show that Outlook had over 7% of the email market share in 2021, making it the fourth most popular email package.
This popular email package has the support and resources of Microsoft behind it. An advanced Outlook.com feature is the ability to recover an email after you've accidentally discarded a message. Outlook integrates well with popular software including other Microsoft products.
Outlook.com also uses two-step verification. In other words, you must provide two forms of identification to log in. This makes it harder for hackers to access your account. If you use Outlook.com and want to organize your inbox better, then read this Envato Tuts+ tutorial:
- Tame Your Outlook Inbox With Subfolders, Rules and FiltersBob Flisser16 Apr 2014
3. iCloud Mail- Popular Free Email Provider for Apple Users
You may not realize it, but if you've ever created an Apple ID you can also claim an iCloud email address to associate with your Apple ID.
iCloud email is a possible email choice if you frequently access your email package from your Apple mobile device. Apple employs several security features to make sure that your iCloud account isn't compromised including two-step verification or two-factor authentication. There's also a spam filter.
iCloud email includes some advanced email features including an auto responder and some basic filters. It's part of a larger suite of cloud-based tools that include a contact list, calendar, and a utility for keeping notes and reminders.
If you use iCloud email, review this Tuts+ tutorial to learn more:
- How to Get the Most From iCloud EmailJordan Merrick12 Sep 2013
4.Yahoo! Mail- Professional, Free Email Service Provider
Yahoo! was one of the early Internet companies, dating back to 1994. Yahoo! Mail is popular with many users. In 2016, it was announced that the company was acquired by Verizon.
Despite the recent changes to Yahoo! ownership, you can still sign up for a Yahoo! Mail account. Some Yahoo! Mail features you can benefit from if you choose it as your email provider include:
- Auto deletion of Trash messages after 7 days
- Huge storage capacity (1 TB)
- Built-in web search tool, calendar, and notepad
- Spam filters and SSL encryption
Signing up for a Yahoo! Mail account also gives you access to other Yahoo! services including their news feed, Yahoo! Messenger, and a calendar utility.
5.AOL Mail- Free Email Service With Unlimited Storage
AOL is another early Internet company. In the 1990s the company was known as America Online. It was purchased by Verizon in 2015. The email service remains a popular and strong choice on this list of the best email services.
Key AOL Mail features include advanced spam filters and virus protection. It's also known for the ability to personalize your email address. You can use the MyAddress feature that lets you select your own email domain name.
6. Zoho Mail- Best Ad-Free Email Service Provider
Although Zoho Mail offers several premium levels, there's also a free tier. It allows you to have up to five users. For many small businesses, this will be enough. So, we've included the email service on our list of the best free email providers.
With the free level of Zoho Mail, you're limited to 5 GB of storage per user. It does include antivirus protection and spam filtering. This email service integrates with other Zoho tools such as calendar, tasks, and notes.
It's worth mentioning that even at the free level, Zoho Mail doesn't run advertisements. This isn't true of many other free email services. If your small business already uses Zoho tools, Zoho Mail may be the natural choice for you.
7.GMX Email- Get a Good Free Email Account
GMX Mail offers a good, basic free email account. This is another email service that offers free unlimited email storage. It's known for its popular mobile interface. Also, use it to get email from other email services.
There's a spam protection feature to help keep your inbox spam-free. They also offer a virus protection feature. Use the GMX Organizer to manage your appointments.
An interesting feature allows you to define how long your email messages are stored. For example, if you want each message in your Trash folder to stay there only two days, you can define two days as the storage time for messages in that folder.
8. Mail.com- Free Email Account With Domain Extension
Mail.com is a free email service provider with several interesting features. You can choose from 200 different domains when selecting an email address. For example, if you're a graphic-designer, you could set up an email address with the @graphic-designer.com extension.
Your free email account from Mail.com includes virus protection and a spam blocker. The Mail Collector feature allows you to receive messages from other email providers.
You'll also find that Mail.com includes an online calendar. Use it to schedule appointments and even send invitations.
If you’re concerned about privacy, ProtonMail might just be the app for you. It provides you with end-to-end encryption for your emails. It even allows you to specify if you want the message to be destroyed after a certain number of days.
ProtonMail is protected by Swiss privacy law. They also offer an anonymous email gateway. This is an encrypted email app that also offers Calendar and Drive.
A free account with ProtonMail gives you .5GB of storage, on email address, and three folders or labels. ProtonMail is compatible with both Windows, Android, and iOS devices.
Tutanota is another free email service provider that focuses on security. Like ProtonMail, it’s available on all devices. It combines calendar, contacts, and emails.
Unlike some other free email apps, Tutanota doesn’t ruin your experience with ads. Plus, you can encrypt not only your emails but also your calendar and your contacts.
Tutanota’s free account gives you 1GB of storage and one calendar.
Email Strategies (Free) Ebook to Help You Manage Your Inbox Better
After getting set up with an email service provider, it's important to:
- manage your email professionally
- respond in timely manner to all your critical contacts
- best organize your email inbox
- and optimize your approach to email management.
Sign up for the Tuts+ Business Newsletter andget the FREE Inbox Zero eBook now. Learn the email management techniques that'll keep you organized and processing your emails like a pro.
How do you stay on top of all your business email? Let us know which email service provider is your favorite in the comments below. And how you optimize it to run professionally.
Choose the Best Email Service Provider for Your Business
Your email service is important. Choosing the right email service provider for your needs can be confusing. This curated list of the best free email service providers can help you make the best choice.
If you or your small business is looking for a free email service, first decide which features are most important for your needs. Next, look for an email service provider that offers those features for free or at an affordable price. With the right information, you can find the best email service provider for your small business.
Editorial Note: This post was originally published in 2017. It's been updated with contributions from Brenda Barron. Brenda is a freelance instructor for Envato Tuts+.