What would you think if you contact a company and their email address was something like firstname.lastname@example.org?
The chances are you wouldn’t trust them, so it’s about time you get your very own professional business email address with one of these cheap email hosting providers.
Using a professional business email (i.e. one with a custom domain) to communicate is one of the best ways to show you’re a legitimate business and exhibit professionalism.
When you’re just starting out, you might not think accumulating expenses is the best thing to do – especially in the very early stages, but don’t worry! In this post, we’re going to take a look at the best cheap and free email hosting providers available.
Right before we dive in let’s also take a look at why separating your email account form your web hosting provider is a good idea and things you should look for in an email hosting provider.
5 Reasons You Should Separate Website and Email Hosting
You might be wondering why anyone would suggest you invest in a separate business email account when your hosting provider gives you access to a branded business email as part of your hosting plan.
Great question – here’s why:
1. Migrating Email is a Pain
Most web hosts offer hassle-free site migrations, which is great. But when it comes to transferring an email from one host to another, things get tricky. Not only does this service often come with a price tag, but there’s also a chance your email will experience some serious downtime, which is bad for business.
Plus, if you used your old hosting provider’s email account, you’re going to have set up an entirely new one with your new web host, which can cause downtime as well (but this is something we’ll get onto later).
Do you use a free email service such as Gmail or Yahoo?
Migrating to an official email hosting provider is still going to be a pain. You’ll have to tell all your customers that your email has changed and hope that everyone gets the memo. If not, people will continue to send emails to your old email. This means double duty for you, or lost emails – you’ll have to choose the lesser of two evils.
2. What happens when your server goes down?
It might seem convenient to have your business email connected to your hosting provider. But what do you think happens when your host experiences downtime? Yep, you guessed it, your business email goes down too.
If you have a separate email host, you can at least send out a campaign to your loyal subscribers that your site is down for the time being. You can also keep them up to date on when things will be back up and running. While you can’t prevent all site downtime, having a separate email can help offset the loss in sales downtime is sure to cause.
3. You Risk Ending Up in Spam
If you use shared hosting for your website hosting and someone on your shared server gets caught sending spam emails, you might get caught up in the blacklisting, blocking, or shutdown consequences.
After all, you share a server and sometimes it’s tough to pinpoint who is in the wrong when these things happen.
This means people cannot communicate with you until the issue is resolved, which can take days or even weeks. Plus, emails sent your way may just bounce and disappear, which hurts the user experience when your site visitors don’t receive a response from you.
4. The Lack of Features
Don’t be surprised if the email account you get with your website host lacks features, even if it is a premium add-on.
It’s true that basic sending and receiving of emails might work for some small businesses or bloggers. But if you rely on lots of email communication to field questions, provide technical support, or even send out promotional material to subscribers, your web host’s basic email hosting might not cut it.
5. No Email Support
Even web hosting providers that charge a small fee for their hosting customers to have a business email often come up short when it comes to email support.
In fact, it seems like most web hosts feel email hosting is a side service that website owners can handle on their own. This is not going to help when you have a problem and your site visitors can’t get in touch with you.
What You Should Look for in a Cheap Email Hosting Provider
Okay, so hopefully you realize that investing in a separate, cheap email hosting provider is probably best for you.
But now what?
Here are the things I considered when choosing the best email hosting providers out there for your check out:
- Ease of Use: being able to set up and manage your email account with ease is a must. I look for things like an intuitive dashboard, cPanel inclusion, and easy to contact support channels.
- Custom Email Domains: there’s no sense paying (even if it’s cheap!) for email hosting if the email domain is branded with a third-party name (e.g., email@example.com over firstname.lastname@example.org).
- IMAP and POP Support: I’m looking for email hosting providers that allow you to access email via desktop only (POP) and other devices (IMAP).
- Anti-Spam Measures: running a business means connecting with leads and not dealing with spam submissions, some of which contain viruses. I want something in place helping me cut the clutter and protect my emails.
- Security: email hosting providers should offer SSL or TSL encryption of communication both to and from my email account so me and my users are protected.
- Domain Privacy: this feature doesn’t just apply to your web hosting services. Shielding your contact information in databases like WHOIS prevents spamming and hacking.
- Customer Support: remember, one of the reasons I suggest you not use your web host for your business email account is because of the lack of customer support. So, any of the email hosting providers on my list have to have multiple support channels, some of which are hopefully available 24/7.
- Price: of course, everything you do revolves around your budget and the price point. Since this is a roundup of cheap email hosting providers, I’m looking for plans that are under $5 per user, per month.
So, let’s see which of the cheap email hosting providers made my list and why, so you can make a better decision for your email needs.
Top Cheap Email Hosting Providers
Zoho Workplace has everything you need to create, collaborate, and communicate in one convenient location. It’s best for businesses looking for a secure and cheap email hosting provider, as well as productivity and collaboration tools to help the team.
Standard features for Zoho Workplace include:
- Collaboration tools like a calendar, cloud document sharing, notes, tasks, and instant chat
- Ad-free emails
- Professional, branded email domain
- Two-factor authentication and custom login URL
- 24/7 email, chat, and phone support
- Easy POP/IMAP migration
- Integration with Zoho CRM for turning inbox into CRM solution
Other notable Zoho Email Hosting Features Include
1. Spam Protection
With Zoho Workplace, you can quarantine emails that need authentication so nothing suspicious gets through. You can also white and blacklist email addresses after authentication. Lastly, check out the spam reports for monitoring bounced emails and spam categories.
Zoho Workplace takes your email hosting security seriously. To start, trust that email servers are protected 24/7/365 with video monitoring, biometric access, and advanced fire, flood, and theft monitoring systems.
Next, enjoy a 99.99% uptime guarantee thanks in large part to the latest encryption and intrusion detection systems and prevention technologies implemented across the entire network.
In an effort to protect what goes on inside your email inboxes, you can set up groups, assign moderators, and even monitor email content.
3. An Intuitive Dashboard
With Zoho Workplace, you can manage the settings, configurations, and customization of your emails accounts all from one convenient dashboard.
In addition, enforce strict user passwords, configure spam protection, set up restrictions, and customize user information. Plus, forward any emails to another email address and import users from your old email service manually or by importing a .csv file.
Zoho Workplace has 2 cheap email hosting plans:
|Mail Only Plan||Standard Plan|
|Tasks, Notes, Bookmarks||Yes||Yes|
|Custom Email Domains||Yes||Yes|
|Multiple Domain Hosting||Yes||Yes|
|15-Day Free Trial||15-Day Free Trial|
Keep in mind, there’s also a very limited Forever Free Plan. The free plan is great for up to 5 users, includes 5GB/user of storage, and has a 25MB attachment limit.
Rackspace is widely known for being a web, app, and email hosting provider for those in need of extreme reliability because of the constant contact they have with customers. In fact, they have an impressive 100% uptime guarantee that will garner you some extra cash should you ever experience any downtime.
Features that Rackspace provides email hosting customers include:
- Custom email domains branded to match your business name
- Built-in spam and virus protection
- Outlook, webmail, and mobile access
- Unlimited domain aliases, group lists, and email forwarding
- 50MB attachments
- Deleted email recovery
- Mobile syncing on iOS, Android, and Windows devices
Other Notable Rackspace Email Hosting Features Include
1. Easy Email Migration
Rackspace makes it easy for you to migrate from your old email service to theirs. In fact, there’s no charge for an email migration from Microsoft Office 365, Exchange, Gmail, Lotus Notes, and Zimbra. Adding to that, you can have Rackspace migrate your emails, contacts, calendars, tasks, notes, and more, or do it yourself.
And since uptime is their signature feature, Rackspace follows a strict process during an email migration:
Plan > Test > Migrate > Go Live > Additional Migration > Complete
With over 13 years of experience in email hosting, Rackspace knows what it takes to provide stellar customer service to its clients. For instance, you can access an expert 24/7/365 via chat, ticket, or phone. You can also read expert level articles if troubleshooting on your own is more your style.
Rackspace has two affordable email hosting plans available:
|Basic Plan||Plus Plan|
|Custom, Unlimited Email Domain Aliases||Yes||Yes|
|Free and Easy Email Migrations||Yes||Yes|
|14-Day Free Trial||14-Day Free Trial|
2. G Suite
Although G Suite comes in at $1/month more than my preferred criteria, I had to include it on this list of cheap email hosting providers anyways. As one of the world’s best email hosting providers around, the G Suite email service is perfect for people of all skill levels, even beginners.
It offers a unique, hassle-free, and cloud-based solution for any sized business needing a simple email hosting solution and tools to help run a business more effectively.
Top features of G Suite email hosting include:
- 30GB cloud storage and 25GB attachment sizes
- Unlimited number of email accounts
- Custom email domain (not the free Gmail service!)
- Real-time notifications
- No internet access needed to read and draft messages
- Easy migration from old email service
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- Automatic backups
- Zero ads
- 14-day free trial, then $6/user/month
Other Notable G Suite Email Hosting Features Include
1. Ease of Use
One of the most appealing things about using G Suite email hosting is its ease of use. The uncluttered interface makes customizing the look, managing the inbox, and sending/receiving emails a cinch. Plus, you can access any of the G Suite tools right from the main screen by clicking on a few cool looking icons.
2. Built-in Security
When it comes to security, G Suite has you covered. Enable two-step authentication for your team members, add or remove users, and monitor storage usage to make sure there are no overages.
Plus, you can send password resets, wipe devices remotely, and even receive alerts whenever something suspicious happens in your inbox. And if you ever need help, support is just a chat, email, or phone call away.
3. Access to Additional Tools
When you choose G Suite out of all the cheap email hosting providers out there, you also get access to more G Suite apps than are available with a free Gmail account.
For example, Google Docs, Sheets, Hangout, Chat, and Slides are just some of what you can take advantage of, in addition to your professional-grade business email.
Greatmail is an affordable solution for any business or organization that needs a full-featured and highly secure email hosting provider.
You can expect Greatmail to come with features like:
- High availability
- POP and IMAP access
- Syncing and sharing of calendars and contacts
- Online ticket, phone, and email support
- Nightly snapshot backups
- Pay as you go storage
- No daily sending limits
- Domain name registration to match your site domain with your email domain
Other Notable Greatmail Email Hosting Features Include
1. Superior Security
Greatmail is one of the most secure cheap email hosting providers on my list. For example, it’s built on a private cloud infrastructure that’s designed to guarantee reliable email services. It also has all the latest spam, virus, and malware protection, and SSL and TLS encryption for POP3, IMAP, and SMTP protocols.
It also comes with built-in firewall security and failure detection, separate server clusters to handle requests for incoming/outgoing mail, client connectivity, and webmail, and diesel engine backup generators in case there’s ever an outage.
2. Control Panel
With Greatmail, you can manage your account to create vacation responders, set up email forwards, create domain aliases, and even change passwords. You can also give your team access to their own account settings through webmail for changing things like passwords, spam settings, and white/blacklisting email addresses.
Greatmail has two cheap email hosting plans for you to pick from:
|Standard Edition||Groupware Edition|
|Calendar and Contact Syncing||No||Yes|
|Attachment Sizes||No Limit||No Limit|
5. 1&1 IONOS
1&1 IONOS is one of the most modest business email solutions on my list. It’s great for startup businesses and freelancers that need a no-frills solution to their business email needs.
As one of the oldest and most reliable cheap email hosting providers in the market, 1&1 IONOS boasts over 30 years’ worth of experience and 12 million domain names. No to mention, it has transferred over 5 billion emails and 9000 terabytes of data each month with an external connectivity speed of 300Gbit/s.
With 1&1 IONOS, you get features like:
- Built-in spam protection
- Moderate storage
- Custom email domain (and a free web domain to match)
- Multi-device access
- Email aliases
- Forwarding addresses
- 6MB attachments
- Zero ads
- IMAP support
Other Notable 1&1 Email Hosting Features Include
1. Advanced Security
With 1&1 IONOS, you’ll get top-level anti-virus and spam tools, blacklisting capability, and whitelisting of mislabeled “spam” emails, so you don’t have to deal with fake emails. You’ll also be happy to know your email hosting comes with private registration so you contact information does not display in the WHOIS database.
1&1 IONOS has 5 secure data centers located in 5 different countries, complies with all data privacy regulations, and automatically protects all emails with SSL/TLS encryption too. And just to make sure everything is working right, you also have access to detailed spam reports.
2. Unique Support
1&1 IONOS comes with traditional support such as 24/7 phone support and an online help center with information about the products and services available. But more interestingly, you can have a dedicated customer support representative assigned to you that you can reach via phone, email, or chat, whenever you have a problem
You have your choice between 2 email hosting plans with 1&1 IONOS:
|Mail Basic||Mail Business|
|Price||$1/month for the 1st month, ($2/month after)||$5/month/user|
|Free Web Domain||Yes||Yes|
|Sync Across All Devices||Yes||Yes|
|Team Collaboration Tools (Calendar, Contacts, Tasks)||No||Yes|
So, Which Cheap Email Hosting Provider Is for You?
The truth is, there are plenty of cheap email hosting providers available for you to choose from. In fact, most of them only differ in price by a dollar or two, making price a non-issue. So, when it comes down to choosing which email host is best for you, you’ll have to look to the features.
Need to send large attachments back and forth between clients? Go with Rackspace or Greatmail. Looking to boost productivity amongst your team? I would suggest an email host like 1&1 IONOS, Zoho Workplace, or G Suite.
As you can see, it really comes down to what you need your email to do for you so that you can build a better business that generates the revenue you want.
If you’re looking for a surefire way to boost the reputation of online business, try displaying testimonials on your website as a form of social proof. You might be interested in this guide to collecting and using testimonials wisely while you’re at it.
Just make sure you have your business email in place first, so you can send out email campaigns to those who recently purchased from you and ask them to leave some feedback for you which you will be able to use as testimonials for your product & sales pages.
Do you use any of the above-mentioned cheap email hosting providers for your online business?
If so, we’d love to hear all about it in the comments below! 💬