What is the best email system for business? That’s a question that every business owner asks at one point or another. Whether you’re looking to create an in-house customer service team or are weighing your options for sending emails, you want to choose the best solution. This article is here to help.
If you’re still sending and receiving emails, it’s time to upgrade your email system and make email work harder for you. The best email system for business can do this by integrating other tools and services so that you can gain more leads, increase your sales and scale your marketing strategies.
Best for New Businesses
G Suite is the name for Google’s group of services including Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and more. G Suite is great for small and new businesses because it offers a ton of tools, integrations, and features, like Gmail for business, for a low monthly cost. G Suite offers a 14-day free trial.
G Suite: Pricing and Features
There are three paid versions of G Suite for your business to choose from.
Basic: This plan is $6 per user per month. It comes with Gmail, which includes email delegation, spam filtering, a safe sender list, internal emails, advanced spam filtering tools, email recovery, offline access, and attachment previews.
In terms of tools, you’ll have access to the G Suite tools, such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides, along with shared calendars, video and voice calling, and secure team messaging. You’ll also get:
- 30 GB of storage
- Guaranteed uptime of 99.9%
- Security certifications
- 24/7 email, online, and phone support
Business: The next tier plan of G Suite costs $12 per user per month. In addition to the features of the Basic plan, you’ll also get a vault for document eDiscovery and archiving, audit reports for user activity, and drag-and-drop tools for creating your own apps. Other specs include:
- 1 TB of storage per user
- Unlimited cloud storage with five or more users
- Adjustable team-wide protocols for archiving and retention of data
G Suite Business also comes with third-party integrations to tools such as Pipedrive CRM, Zoho CRM, Asana, RingCentral, and DocuSign.
Enterprise: This plan costs $25 per user per month. It includes all the same features as the Business plan and adds:
- Premium cloud identity management
- Data loss protection
- Access to third party tools for security and data analytics
- Integration with the Microsoft Office suite of tools
Free plans: If you’re looking for free email service providers for business, there is the free version of Google’s G Suite for personal email, but it lacks the custom email domain you’d get with a paid business plan and you won’t have administrative control over other accounts. You do get access to all the power of Gmail’s inbox organization, and tools such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
If you’re a school or nonprofit looking for free email service providers, however, you may be eligible for G Suite Enterprise Education or G Suite for Nonprofits.
G Suite Pros
One of the aspects of G Suite that really sets it apart is its usability and collaboration tools, which can be accessed in either its basic or free plan.
As one of the most popular email service providers on the market, you have the added bonus that many team members will already be well-versed in how to use G Suite. Many people use Gmail’s free version for personal use, so not only will it be easy to onboard new members, but you’ll probably also be able to easily collaborate with people outside your organization, like freelancers and contractors.
G Suite’s wide variety of accessible tools makes it a great option for new businesses and small organizations that might have to contract work out. It’s also ideal for schools and nonprofits looking to save on costs.
As an additional bonus, G Suite is HIPAA-compliant, making it a great tool for those dealing with sensitive medical information.
G Suite Cons
One of the places where G Suite is lacking is within its email settings. Gmail doesn’t allow for bulk clean-up, multiple email signatures, or multiple email templates unless you use a third-party integration. Though G Suite allows for such integrations, some businesses might not appreciate being forced to share data with third parties to manage these additional inbox organizing tasks.
Microsoft Office 365
Best for Large Teams
Office 365 is Microsoft’s suite of productivity tools which includes, at various levels, business email, word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Of the business email service providers out there, Microsoft Office 365 is best for larger teams, as their robust suite of tools may be too much for smaller businesses.
All tiers of Office 365 have a maximum number of users of 300. If your team is even larger than that, you need to look into their Enterprise plans. Note that Office 365 has a Business Apps plan which we will not be reviewing because it does not include email.
Microsoft Office 365: Pricing and Features
Business Essentials: Office 365’s Business Essentials tier costs $5 per user per month. This is the most basic tier for Office 365 and the most important thing to note is that it doesn’t include access to the desktop versions of Office apps—you only get web and mobile access. Those apps include Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, which you’ll get for up to five phones and five tablets per user. Users will be able to simultaneously edit documents.
The Business Essentials plan also allows for online meetings and video calls for up to 250 people and custom security permissions. This plan comes with malware and spam protection, along with encryption for outgoing messages; customizable password protocols for each user; and multi-factor authentication.
In addition, it also includes:
- 50 GB of mail storage
- 1 T of OneDrive storage
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- Data loss prevention
Business Premium: Office 365’s Business Premium plan costs $12.50 per user per month. It includes all of the features of the Business Essentials plan and also includes desktop versions of all Office 365 tools (which allows for installation on five desktops per user).
Business Premium doesn’t come with any additional storage or security features, but it does offer an extra suite of tools that include:
- Ability to set tasks within Office 365 Teams
- Microsoft Bookings to schedule meetings with clients
- Outlook Customer Manager, a lightweight CRM
- Microsoft Invoicing
- Real-time, accurate mileage tracking with MileIQ
Microsoft Office 365 Pros
While Microsoft Office 365 is a pricier option on our list of business email service providers, it is highly compatible with the business world. If there’s one favorite provider when it comes to business email, Office 365 wins out hands down.
Other than simply being an all-around favorite of the business world, Office 365 also does a great job of having a full suite of collaboration tools. Pretty much any tool you might need, Office 365 has it built-in.
Microsoft Office 365 Cons
While Office 365 does have most of the tools you might need, it doesn’t play well with others. Office 365 doesn’t offer a lot of third-party integrations with other tools from outside providers, which can make it difficult to use if you need to use a tool that they don’t offer.
Best for Long-Term Growth
Zoho Workplace is a business email provider that also offers personal productivity tools, analytics, and the ability to integrate with third-party applications for small businesses. In addition, they’re one of the only free email service providers for businesses that allows for businesses to scale reasonably as they grow.
Zoho Workplace: Pricing and Features
Free: Zoho Workplace is the only business email service provider on this list that offers a free version of its suite of tools. The free Zoho Workplace plan includes single-domain hosting for up to five users, along with free email addresses. You’ll also get:
- 5 GB of storage per user
- 25 MB email attachment limit
You can use an existing domain, or purchase one for about $3 to $10 per year, making it an affordable option for smaller businesses. The real reason we’d recommend starting out with Zoho’s free plan is because their higher-priced plans are still budget-friendly, making Zoho Workplace one of the best free email service providers for a business looking to grow.
Mail Lite: This plan is $1 per user per month and you get a decent amount of additional features, including email hosting for multiple domains, email forwarding, domain aliases, and email recall. In terms of cross-functional organization tools, Mail Lite also comes with integrated calendars and appointment scheduling, full access to a workflow tool called Tasks, a shared Notes feature, and Zoho Cliq, a messaging platform that allows for group chats and video calls.
The Mail Lite is a flexible option that allows you to add on storage upgrade options, as well as:
- 25 MB email attachments
- 5 GB of storage per user
- 99.9% uptime
- 24/7 email, chat, and call support
Mail Premium: You can also get a mail-only plan called Mail Premium for $4 per user per month, which comes with all of the Mail Lite features, but includes eDiscovery to find data and increased storage at:
- Up to 250 MB email attachments
- 50 GB of storage per user
Workplace Standard: The next tier is the Standard plan, which costs $3 per user per month when billed annually. This plan includes everything from the lower-tiered plans and a few other tools that the Mail plans don’t have.
Workplace Standard comes with Zoho Docs, which includes 5 GB of file uploads, G Suite integration, and advanced analytics and reporting; Zoho Office Suite, which comes with a word processor, spreadsheet program, and presentation tool; and Zoho Drive. Also included is:
- 30 GB of storage per user
- 30 MB email attachments
- Up to 50 collaborators per document
- 250 MB file upload limit for Zoho Drive
Workplace Professional: This plan costs $6 per user per month. This plan includes all of the features of the Standard plan, but also allows for increased capabilities in Zoho Drive, like team folders and assigning roles and permissions.
Additionally, Workplace Professional comes with Zoho Meeting, an online conferencing tool for up to 100 people; Zoho Connect, a group intranet that comes with guest access; and Zoho ShowTime, for remote training, polling, and analytics.
On top of that, Workplace Professional comes with:
- 100 GB per user storage
- 40 MB email attachments
- Support for huge attachments up to 250 MB
- 1 GB file upload limit for Zoho Drive
Zoho Workplace Pros
Depending on what you need from your business email service provider, there are a couple of things that Zoho Workplace does really well.
First off, if you’re a cash-strapped startup, Zoho Workplace can be a free email service provider for your business. The fact that they have pricier plans with more capabilities you can upgrade to later on makes it a great starting-off point.
It also offers great integration with other apps. While Zoho Workplace offers its own suite of tools for documents and spreadsheets, it also integrates with Google Docs, which has become a go-to in online collaboration.
Zoho Workplace includes a lot of tools, while still working with third-party apps, and providing a well-planned approach to email.
Zoho Workplace Cons
Storage is Zoho Workplace’s main issue. Zoho Workplace won’t be able to function as a complete replacement for a cloud service and desktop office suite. Though it’s a risk to use cloud storage to backup data, it’s still inconvenient. It’s likely that you’ll need to use other tools for content creation and storage in conjunction with Zoho Workplace.
Google Workspace: Best Business Email Provider Overall
What We Like
- Month-to-month plans that can be canceled anytime
- Very easy to set up and use with a beginner-friendly admin console
- Industry-leading security features and controls
- Business productivity and collaboration tools included
- Tons of apps and integrations available
- High storage limits on all plans
- No unlimited storage on any plan, unlike Bluehost
- Domain must be purchased separately, unlike Bluehost or IONOS
- 25MB max attachment limit; Microsoft 365 allows up to 150MB and Zoho Mail allows up to 1GB
- Teams that work collaboratively
- Small businesses wanting to use Gmail for business email
- Businesses that need ultra-reliable business email and productivity tools in-one
- Beginners who need a business email up quickly
Starting price: $6 per monthVisit Google Workspace
Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) is the supercharged version of Gmail for business use. It includes professional email using your domain name and comes packed with modern productivity and collaboration tools. For example, you get software from Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides to advanced admin control and hundreds of the best third-party email apps and tools for just $6 per user, per month.
Interested in learning more about how Gmail compares to Outlook when it comes to business email services? Check out our head-to-head comparison on Gmail vs Outlook.
Google Workspace Pricing & Plan Features
|Business Starter||Business Standard||Business Plus|
|Price per User/Month||$6||$12||$18|
|Storage per User||30GB||2TB||5TB|
|Attachment Limit (Sending)||25MB||25MB||25MB|
|Attachment Limit (Receiving)||50MB||50MB||50MB|
|Productivity & Collaboration Tools (Docs, Calendar, Sheets, etc.)||✔||✔||✔|
|Video Meetings Participant Limit||100||150||500|
|Security Features & Controls||Standard||Standard||Premium|
Google Workspace has a ton of amazing features that make it one of the best email providers, which means all of its features are pretty solid. However, here are some features to take note of:
- Top-notch collaboration and productivity tools: Aside from the ubiquitous Gmail, Google Workspace comes with a variety of advanced tools like Docs, Sheets, a shared calendar, and video conferencing. It’s an excellent choice for teams that need to collaborate on tasks.
- Inclusive features: Google Workspace is one of the easiest business email service providers to use, as its plans come with everything you need to set up your professional email along with the extra features we mentioned above. It’s perfect for beginners who need advanced productivity features, unlike Amazon WorkMail, which is more complicated to navigate.
- High storage limits: Gmail’s starting plan has 30GB per user, which is already more than enough storage for the average person. You can easily upgrade to 2TB to 5TB per user by purchasing their more premium plans. This makes Gmail one of the top providers in terms of storage.
Our Expert Opinion
Google Workspace’s plans that include Gmail for business email start at $6 a month. These feature-rich plans are very affordable, especially as they also come with industry-leading collaboration and productivity apps. Shared docs, spreadsheets, presentations, calendars, and video conferencing make it the best email provider for just about any small business, especially for collaborative teams.
IONOS: Best Cheap Business Email Provider
What We Like
- Very affordable—from $1 per month
- Monthly plans available
- All plans come with a free domain name
- Advanced security features like SSL/TLS data encryption and anti-spam filters
- Specialized plan options for those wanting Microsoft Outlook business email or Gmail business email, including Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace collaboration tools
- Comparatively low storage on its base plan at just 2GB (e.g., Zoho offers 5GB on its free plan)
- Only basic email tools offered compared to niche tools you’ll find in Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, and Amazon WorkMail
- Any startup or small business looking for an easy way to get a domain name and set up business email
- Freelancers wanting a custom email address
- Small businesses on a budget
- Businesses concerned with data security
Starting price: $1 per monthVisit IONOS
IONOS is a top web hosting company that also offers premium business email for as low as $1 per month. Although its features are basic, the price is hard to beat. You can use IONOS’ web-based mail interface or easily connect your email address to your favorite email client (e.g., Outlook or Gmail).
On the cheapest plan, you get 2GB of storage, anti-spam filters, SSL/TLS certificates, a 70MB max attachment limit, and a free domain name ($12 to $15 per year value). On the premium plan, which is still very affordable at just $5 per month, you get all that plus basic collaboration tools like a shared calendar and advanced antivirus protection.
IONOS Pricing & Plan Features
|Mail Basic 1||Mail Basic 1+||Mail Business|
|Attachment Limit (Sending)||70MB||70MB||70MB|
|Attachment Limit (Receiving)||100MB||100MB||100MB|
|Collaboration Tools (Calendar, Contacts & Tasks)||✖||✖||✔|
*Extra users come with additional fees
IONOS goes on our top list for best business email services, which means all of its features are pretty solid, specifically the following:
- Affordability: IONOS’ plans are extremely cheap, starting at just $1 per month. The only other business email service that’s this cheap is Zoho Mail. But Zoho doesn’t come with the other nifty features that IONOS brings, like a free domain name and great security.
- High attachment limits: Though not as high as Zoho Mail or Microsoft 365, IONOS’ attachment limits are respectable and definitely more than enough for the average user.
- Security features: By upgrading to the $5 per month plan, you get IONOS’ premium antivirus on top of data encryption and filters—an extremely affordable solution for businesses dealing with sensitive content.
Our Expert Opinion
Although you won’t get the most advanced features on IONOS (for example, it lacks collaboration features like video conferencing), at $1 to $5 per month for its premium plans, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better (or cheaper) basic business email provider. It has everything you need to get started, includes advanced anti-virus and anti-spam protection, and even throws in great extras like a free domain name.
Do you want a new email system for your small business? There are many great features to consider when deciding on the best email system.