What You Should Know about Workaday Email Before Problems Happen
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What You Should Know about Workaday Email Before Problems Happen
Kate Gingold
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What You Should Know about Workaday Email Before Problems Happen

Most folks take email for granted – until it suddenly stops working as expected. Here’s what to know about this everyday tool before it becomes a technological nightmare.

The number of communication options has never been greater, but email is still incredibly important to conducting business. Did you know that around 215,298,720 emails are sent every single day? Email Marketing deserves its own lengthy discussion, but today we’ll just talk about the nuts and bolts of basic business email.

Start with a professional email address:

It is hard to believe, but there are still folks who conduct business using an email address such as “puppylover716@yahoo.com. Stop that immediately if you want to be taken seriously. Instead, your email address should be something like wecoyote@acme.com or even wile@acme.com.

Not only does a branded email address look way more professional, but it also provides a bit of marketing. Most folks know that the “acme.com” in your email address refers to the URL of your company website, which helps point them to the right place to learn more about you and what you offer.

You may choose to have more than one email address for your business. Using something like “sales@” or “info@” can be helpful in sorting messages and make it easer to read and respond appropriately.

How to get a professional email address:

When an email address contains the URL of a company’s website, like wecoyte@acme.com in our example, most folks assume that email service must automatically “come with” a website. It typically doesn’t, but your web developer may choose to bundle email service in with your website hosting costs.

You can purchase email service for everyone on your team so Tom, Dick, and Shari all have their own professional email address using your company’s brand, but for the biz owner wearing all the hats, consider the email alias alternative. You would still send and receive emails using “sales@” or “info@,” but the alias emails would forward directly to your main email account for your convenience.

How email delivery works:

Once you have chosen your new business email address, it’s time to set it up for sending and receiving email messages. There are two basic ways that email works and you’ve probably heard these acronyms with realizing what they mean: POP and IMAP.

POP stands for Post Office Protocol and IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol. By knowing their full names, the differences in how they work will make much more sense. 

Visualize email as working like the Post Office. People send mail and the Post Office sorts it into P.O. boxes. To read your mail, you have to go to your P.O. box and open the door to look inside for new mail. With a POP account, you take all the letters out of your P.O. box, close the door, and take the letters home to read. If you have an IMAP account, you read the letters while still at the Post Office and then put them back in the P.O. box. 

There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of account, but the increasing use of smartphones has made IMAP more common. You see, with POP, once you read your email at your work computer, you have taken the “letters” out of the “P.O. box.” If you go back to the “P.O. box” later using your smartphone, the letters are no longer there for you to read.

IMAP, or Internet Message Access Protocol, does pretty much what the name says:  You can access your messages via the internet over and over again from your phone or any computer. 

Organizing your email:

A number of email clients offer services for receiving, sending, and organizing your email such as Outlook or Apple Mail. You can set the service up to receive your email as POP or IMAP, and if you use more than one email address, you can have all of your messages delivered to the same place. Which email client you choose may depend on the devices you use and the standards your office has set.

Don’t forget the finishing touch!

Finally, consider using the Signature option in your email. You can set this up so your signature is automatically added to every one of your messages, along with pertinent information such as a phone number or your business social media accounts. Some folks also include their logo or their mission statement, the logos of associations they belong to, and much more.

Now that you better understand how email is supposed to work, take a look at how your email is working today to be sure you are getting what you need. If your email service isn’t up to the job, we can guide you in the right direction, so give us a call!

Photo by Arti Kh

This article is an update to “What You Don’t Know About Your Business Email” dated 10/12/2015.

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Kate Gingold

Kate GingoldKate Gingold

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

Other posts by Kate Gingold
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Full biography

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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