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The Scoop on Receiving Email

Getting Inbound Email Reliably is critical

Many businesses don’t realize they’re losing customers because they’re not getting their emails or potential customers aren’t getting their replies or not trusting their identity. This happens because businesses assume email isn’t critical when in fact it absolutely is…

1.  Use your corporate domain and avoid generic usernames

This is the obvious one and hopefully you know this already, but you should be sending and receiving email using a corporate address containing your domain. myusername@hotmail.com just doesn’t look professional whereas myusername@mydomain.com does!

That said, avoid using subdomains like mail.mydomain.com or generic usernames like “info”. It looks better if you use your root company domain and use your first or your first and last name, or your initial and last name for the username part of your address. There’s another reason than just esthetics for not using generic email addresses: spammers! Spammers know about “info”, “sales”,”admin” and other standard usernames and will spam the heck out of them!

2.  Don’t use your hosting service’s mail server

Just about every web hosting service boasts about unlimited or a generous number of mailboxes, but you should not be using them either for sending or receiving email. Their mail servers dedicated to their hosted customers will likely not be a large farm and will be configured to handle large volumes on minimal resources. What this usually means is that incoming connections will be staggered, resulting in many sender mail servers timing out and retrying later. You’ll therefore be getting your important messages late or maybe not at all. On the flip side, sending emails out through their mail servers can also be delayed through queing if volumes from all hosted customers collectively are high. Self hosted email servers may perform better but few have the sophistication to set them up properly and could inadvertently be dangerous (an open relay for instance)

3. Use one of the major email providers instead

Google’s Gsuite, Microsoft Exchange and other major email service providers can host your domain’s email. Unlike your hosting company, they have 100,000s of mail servers and your incoming mail will arrive as soon as it’s sent. Additionally, these services provide strong and reliable spam filters whereas your hosting service’s will let a lot of junk through and possibly block good mail. Sending your corporate email through these providers will also insure your messages get into the recipient’s inbox due to their strong sender reputation, but you shouldn’t use them to send transactional or other computer generated messages. This would be a violation of their terms of service and will likely get your account blocked. For non-human originated emails, you should use services like Mailchimp (newsletters), Mailgun and Sendgrid, to name a few.

4. Always have a signature

A plain corporate message will not impress your customers. Take the time to create an attractive HTML footer, or signature as it’s known, that includes your company logo and contact numbers and website URL.

Not all email software provides the means to autromatically append your signature to every message you sent, but among the better known ones, Outlook and Thunderbird do. Switch to using one of those if your current program doesn’t allow signatures!