Our Comprehensive Guide To Small Business Email

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Email inbox on phone screen (caption: Guide to Email)Our email section covers everything your business might need when it comes to electronic mail delivery. From resolving errors, to finding the best email service provider, we’ve got your back. Spam problems? We show you the best and most effective spam fighters. And our team of experts is here to help you troubleshoot any email glitches you might encounter.

Which Email Provider Should I Use?

Gmail, Yahoo, AOL and Hotmail are popular email services for personal email. But when doing business, it might look unprofessional to have an @gmail address. For those who love Gmail’s interface, you can still use them to host your email but using your own domain name (example @companyname). That’s how many of us at We Rock Your Web use our email.

Google Apps vs. RackspaceHowever, you will need to pay for email hosting via Google Apps (business enterprise service) or another service like Rackspace. We compare Google Apps vs Rackspace both so you can learn more and decide which of the two leading email hosting companies is right for you. Keep in mind if you use Gmail, you might experience some issues with Gmail loading.

If you use Rackspace, GoDaddy or the like, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with MX (or mail) records. We have a handy guide on how to set up MX records. And there other less common services like Horde out there too and we’ve shared how you can export and import emails using Horde.

Third-Party Email Services

Outlook email setup tutorialIf you don’t want to use Gmail as the browser or application to check and respond to email, you can use other third-party services like Apple Mail, Mac Mail or Outlook (for Windows). Keep in mind though, they don’t actually host your email, they just pull the emails down from the hosting provider via POP or IMAP (and they are stored locally and in the cloud from the hosting provider).

When setting up with a third-party service, you’ll need what’s called an STMP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) server. We put together a master list of STMPs and guide.

Outlook is often used since it comes with Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc). You can customize the default browser, utilize the calendar for managing meeting invites and your schedule, create user-friendly hyperlinks and more. Just like any email service, there are issues with Outlook too, including getting duplicate emails. There are other web-based platforms like Thunderbird (from Modzilla who makes the browser Firefox).

Got Spam?

Spam filter buttonNo one likes junk in their trunk (or inbox). But sometimes porn or suspicious content slips through the cracks and makes its way into your precious email. Luckily, there are tools to help block spam and spoof. You can also blacklist any unwanted senders.

We also wanted to make you aware of some more sophisticated anti-spamming techniques, like how to block spam bots from harvesting your email address and creating a rule to filter spamassassin flagged as junk mail.


One issue you might come across is a 503 error when sending an email. But hopefully, this guide helps you understand the basics of email and how to use it for your company to get business done. Still having issues or questions about email? Leave a question in the comments below or chat with our tech expert in the window to the right.

If you’re not already, learn about the benefits of email marketing and how it can be an effective tool in your arsenal.

What questions do you have when it comes to email?

About The Author:

Sadie has over 15 years of experience in digital marketing, graphic and web design, social media strategy, email marketing and more. She is a 4th generation small business owner and has worked with a wide range of brands from fortune 500 companies to startups and entrepreneurs.

Sadie is a self-proclaimed Apple/Mac guru and keeps up with all the latest tech trends at conferences including South by Southwest. Sadie has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin's Moody School of Communications and a concentration in Business from the Red McCombs School of Business.

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