An online store cannot be completely profitable on its own without any additional activities. Maintaining regular interactions with customers generates processes of sales and growth of a business. Luckily, online stores can choose the way to operate with their customers. Kinds of such communication differ in form and effectiveness, but each serves as a unique way to pass on required information.

Online stores can convey information to the client using different ways like conversations, texts, pictures, sounds, and others; also, they can do it by one-sided and two-sided manner. Using the language as a tool, they can communicate in several ways. For example:

  • Phone calls
  • What tool? - Verbal conversation.

    Who? - Manager <-> potential customer / buyer.

    How? - Bilaterally.

  • “Help window” directly on the site
  • What tool? - Written communication.

    Who? - Manager <-> potential customer / buyer.

    How? - Bilaterally.

  • Social networks
  • What tool? - Posts, likes, and other reactions.

    Who? - Content manager <-> subscribers.

    How? - Bilaterally.

  • Discussions in comments on other blogs and information resources
  • What tool? - Text comments.

    Who? - Manager, PR manager <-> interested in the topic of random people who can become customers.

    How? - Bilaterally.

  • Blog articles and comments to them
  • What tool? - Text communication.

    Who? - Author / authors of the text <-> target audience.

    How? - Bilaterally.

  • Banners and ads on the site
  • What tool? - Texts plus the transfer of information through pictures, gifs, videos, sounds.

    Who? - Creators, designers, content managers, PR managers, etc. -> target audience / random site visitors.

    How? - One-sided.

  • Emails
  • What tool? - Written communication.

    Who? - Online store / company <-> potential customer / regular customer / buyer.

    How? - Bilaterally.

Online stores can use one of the communication types, combine them or use simultaneously. But the thing to remember is, the main purpose of such interaction is to maintain maximum customer comfort while the online store transmits the necessary information. In this article, we want to pay special attention to emails and why it is vital to use it for every online store.

What is a business email address?

Corporate or business email address is any email used by the company, or in our case by the online store. Generally it's used to communicate with potential or regular customers and for interaction within the company. It differs from personal email by the name, and don't let this aspect seem trivial to you.

Imagine that you receive an official email and you see the sender: customercare@mageside.com. For you it’s apparent immediately that this letter came from a company called Mageside, and most likely, it came as an aid to you as a customer. The name of the message sender is clear, concise, and doesn't contain unnecessary characters or symbols. This fact emphasizes the official intentions and a company's fairly high level of care about its status. And now try to imagine a situation where the name of the sender is customercare253@gmail.com or mageside.customercare@yahoo.com. They cannot evoke the same level of trust, are they? Try to answer why.

A corporate email address has many benefits for business use; here are the main five of them:

  • additional advertising and reminders about yourself;
  • an essential detail in the formation of a strong brand of a company;
  • the ability to control all corporate emails within company;
  • the high chance the customer to pay attention to the message;
  • a reliable tool for internal communication and information transfer within the company.

Ways to organize business mailing

There are several ways to organize a corporate email system and let’s take a look through the most common ones. The choice should depend on the size of the online store, its purposes, and the budget that can be used for mail service. Each way has its pros and cons. If you’re not familiar with SMTP term you could check this post:

Free SMTP email services

Most modern mail services support sending messages using the SMTP as a communication protocol. There are free email services available for everybody’s use like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and others. They have a client-oriented, pleasant interface ready to operate right after creating an account. Generally they don't require any additional settings, and provide free services. All technical support and responsibility for the proper sending of messages belongs to these email services. It's more than enough to use them in personal correspondence, and most Internet users do that. However, they may not be suitable for business use. But, before making any decision about these services, you should know this:

  • Online stores should check whether the chosen service uses any of the encrypting email methods. Without this mechanism, the sent emails' information will be vulnerable. Unfortunately, the messages can be easily deciphered after the interception.
  • Usually, all short, logical, and pleasant names are already taken by other users. As a result, it will be complicated to name an email account to emphasize the brand.
  • It isn't possible to choose a domain name.
  • Also, there will be no data about the sent email.
  • And of course, among other peculiarities of using free email services is the limit of the emails to send per particular unit of time. Each service has its own restrictions volume, but mass mailing will be possible only if the online store's customer base falls within this limit.
  • Most well-known email services provide paid subscriptions. It can increase the number of emails to send, and also wide the range of available features expands, but fundamental issues will remain.

SMTP hosting service

There’s an option to create a business email account using the SMTP services of hosting providers. For owners of small and medium online stores, this will be the right choice. For a small fee, the provider offers the ability to use a part of the server. As a rule, they have a larger email quota than free services. An indisputable advantage is the large offer of domain names and a wide range of settings to manage emails.

Providers are responsible for the security of your emails and the maintenance of equipment. They also care about protection systems against viruses and incoming spam.

As for the disadvantages of this option, they mainly relate to the technical aspects. There is no physical access to the equipment and complete dependence on the hosting owner. Also, using only a part of the space on the server by one online store, the other place is likely to be sold to other companies. Shared hosting can be harmful if they perform any unauthorized actions due to which their email starts to get into the spam folder. The mail of other users of this server may also be affected by having the same IP address.

Personal SMTP server

Perhaps the safest and most practical way to organize corporate mail is to purchase a mail server. The owner gets complete control on the work of the equipment and, most likely, the server capacity will comprehensively cover the needs of even large online stores. Its server allows you to create as many email accounts as needed and frees you from dependence on third parties. A great advantage is the ability to fine-tune the server to the needs and to making analysis of mailing with customers processes. Having physical access to the server allows to monitor its operation and in case of some problem to track the cause of their occurrence and fix it.

As for the difficulties of using the own server - it requires a lot of attention and budget to configure and maintain its work by specialists. Also, there is a need for constant and reliable access to high-speed Internet and 24/7 access to electricity.

Summing up,

we can say that before choosing a way to organize corporate mail for your online store you should weigh all the pros and cons. Whichever path you choose we recommend you to use the best helper in work with any of those servers for Magento based websites - SMTP module for Magento 2. With the help of SMTP module emails will be sent to recipients from the website admin panel fast and you will be able to view the status of each of those messages, and other benefits.

Таблица
FREE EMAIL SERVICES EMAIL HOSTING SERVICE PERSONAL EMAIL SERVER

+ free use of the service

+ simple and functional interface

+ don't require any additional settings

+ feature of paid subscription

/td>

+ inexpensive to use

+ larger email quota

+ domain name

+ wide range of settings

+ viruses' and incoming spam' protection systems

+ complete control on the work of the equipment

+ large server capacity

+ creating many email accounts

+ free from dependence on third parties

+ability to collect and analyse mailing processes with customers

+ physical access to the server

+ possibility of mass mailing without borders

- may not to use encrypting email methods

- no data about the sent email

- actions with the account cannot be completely under control

- the limit of the emails to send

- no domain name

- no physical access to the equipment

- complete dependence on the hosting owner

- a possibility to share an IP address with unscrupulous neighbors

- lack of the ability to fine-tune the server

- expensive setup and maintenance

- need for constant and reliable access to high-speed Internet and 24/7 electricity

Evaluate your goals that you want to achieve by communicating with clients through business email and determine the budget you need for this. We believe that based on all this information you will make the best choice!