BUSINESS EMAIL ADDRESSES
Domain Names, Hosting & Email
One of the most important communication tools available to business is email. Providing virtually instant communication between customers, suppliers and personnel, email is now virtually indispensible. Despite being abused by spammers and virus makers, the positive aspects of email more than make up for the negative ones.
It is highly recommended that you do not use the email addresses provided by your ISP or Hotmail for business. Not that there is anything wrong with them but, from a business viewpoint, using either of them looks very unprofessional and amateurish and could have a negative impact on your business.
If you wish your business to be taken seriously, the best solution is to obtain a domain name that reflects either your business name, your products or the services that you provide, and use that domain name for all your business email addresses, eg, my-business-name.co.uk or my-product-name.com.
In order to use your domain name for email, the domain will need to be hosted on a permanent, internet-linked server. As well as providing email facilities, hosting also enables you to build a website on the hosting server.
Unlimited Email Addresses
Once you have obtained your domain name and it has been hosted, you will have instant access to unlimited email addresses. All you have to do is add an '@-sign' in front of your domain name, preceded by any name or combination of letters you like, for example, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
All such email addresses can be accessed on the server using a common username and password, thus email addresses created in this way can be viewed by everyone else using the facility. Not recommended for secure or confidential communications, which will be better served by using special POP3 email accounts.
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POP3 Email Accounts
A POP3 Email Account is a dedicated email address which has its own username and password, making it more secure than an an "unlimited" email address - see above - and providing a high level of confidentiality. Each POP3 Account is created individually and stored on the server, and incoming email can only be retrieved if the correct username and password are used.
POP3 Accounts are highly recommended for business users, particularly by executives, managers and supervisors, or by departments requiring secure email communications, eg, sales, accounts, personnel.
POP3 = Post Office Protocol version 3 - one of the main worldwide standards for transmitting email.
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What You Need To Know
|Email is an extremely important means of virtually instant communication both for business and private individuals alike.|
Email Forwarding is a facility provided by many hosting companies and ISPs, which enables you to permanently re-direct a specific email address to another one. For example, you could forward firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com, thus all email addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org will be automatically forwarded to the mailbox for email@example.com.
This can be useful in reducing the number of mailboxes you use on a daily basis whilst still providing a full range of operational email addresses.
Spurious Advertising by Email - SPAM - is one of the worst problems experienced by business, as it generates hundreds, sometimes thousands of unrequested and unwanted adverts by email every day. They clutter mailboxes and cost business a fortune in both time and money trying to eradicate them.
As SPAM is outlawed by many countries and by hosting companies and ISPs, responsible businesses should never consider using this form of advertising.
What is the difference between Bulk Email and SPAM? Not a lot really! Both do exactly the same thing - send advertising out in bulk by email.
But whilst one is outlawed, the other is perfectly legal and acceptable!
Bulk Email is the acceptable form of sending out newsletters, advertisements and other business data, but only to individuals who have specifically given their consent to receive it. The most common method for obtaining consent is by individuals ticking a box in an online website form, thereby confirming their willingness to receive such material.
It is possible to automatically reply to incoming emails using a facility which is sometimes referred to as an Autoresponder. This can generally be set up on the mail server or within an email program like Outlook Express or Pocomail. It sends an instant, automatic reply upon receipt of an email that conforms to pre-set rules or conditions, or is addressed to a specific POP3 email address.