When Do You Need An Email Consultant?

Do you have questions about your company’s email and want guidance in selecting and/or maintaining an email solution for your business? If so, you may want to consider hiring an email consultant to analyze your company’s email requirements and recommend email services.

What is email consulting, and what sets it apart from services offered by general information technology (IT) consultants? Email consulting focuses specifically on email including email servers and software, email hosting, email outsourcing and email marketing. This article will look at common issues email consultants address and touch on the solutions you may want to consider for your business.

One of the most fundamental issues email consultants address is how to host your company’s email. Specifically, do you host your email in-house or outsource it to an email hosting provider? An email consultant will guide you through the pros and cons of each direction and help you make the best decision for your organization.

In recent years, outsourced solutions have gained popularity, especially with small businesses. However, there are compelling reasons, for medium and large sized businesses in particular, to maintain in-house email servers. It is even possible to outsource portions of the in-house operation, namely the antivirus and spam filtering to third party providers and still keep your email servers on site.

Trying to decide between POP3, IMAP or Exchange? If you’re expecting feature rich components like calendar sharing, global address list and seamless synchronizations between desktop and mobile devices, Microsoft Exchange is the way to go.

On the other hand, if you’re on a budget and still want advanced functionalities, your email consultant may be able to recommend IMAP and POP3 configurations with third party plug-ins that emulate Exchange-like features.

Do you need archiving? From basic BCC archiving to HIPAA compliant email archiving, email consultants can help you find the right archiving service for your business and meet any compliance requirements for data retention and discovery. Most hosted solutions have built-in archiving services available at an additional cost per mailbox. There are also third party archiving firms that specialize in off site archiving.

You may also have questions about email marketing, newsletters, automatic notifications, alerts and other high volume applications. Your email consultant can help you identify what types of messages can be sent using your regular email accounts and when to use a separate service for bulk email. You will also want to understand how to properly implement CAN-SPAM compliant email for your bulk messages.

It is important to understand that most email hosting companies and ISPs have limits on how many outbound messages can be sent at one time. In addition, meeting deliverability expectations often requires using specialzed SMTP services optimized for high volume outbound sending.

Depending on your monthly volume of bulk messages, you may be able to host your own application in house. You may want to combine your in-house solution with a third party SMTP service for improved deliverability rates. For example, a bulk email hosting plan will let you send high volume email using your in-house application or a third party newsletter application like Interspire’s Email Marketer. There are also 100% outsourced solutions available from companies like MailChimp and ConstantContact. If you are on a tight budget, MailChimp offers a free but limited bulk email plan for getting started.

There is no one size fits all solution for email. The role of your email consultant is to identify the type of solutions that will work for your group and develop a plan of action that meets both your budget and communication requirements.

Greatmail LLC provides email consulting services for both internal hosting clients and outside customers. Let us know how we can help you navigate the email marketplace.