Email is the most used – and misused – aspect of the Internet.
Email is also perhaps the most crucial communications tool at a company’s disposal … and it will only become more so. In this chapter, we’ll discuss sending and receiving emails. We’ll also remark on the nemesis of email, spam. We’ll take up email as part of your web presence and as part of your ongoing marketing and communications toolkit.
Email service is generally a standard part of any hosting service. However, your email service does not have to be provided by the same person or company that provides your web hosting service. Most companies that provide hosting will provide at least a few email addresses “name@SampleNameHere.com.” We provide sixteen, fifteen email addresses are of the client’s choosing. One, “webmaster@SampleNameHere.com”, is common across all of our clients’ websites. Typically, hosting vendors will charge two or three dollars a month additional for each mailbox over a set number in a package. This charge reflects the additional email bandwidth and storage costs hosting vendors are likely to bear.
We use a separate “webmaster@” email address for every client. The Webmaster, the person ultimately responsible for what is happening with the site, has this address made available so that viewers may report glitches, errors, questions, and suggestions to the Webmaster at any time.
Some email providers give a great added value in their email services by providing access to email via the web. Especially valuable for travelers, this web-based email means that one can view their email via a web browser on any computer connected to the web. Rather than only collecting email on computers that have an email client installed with all of your specific email account settings in place, you simply access your email via the web. All of our clients, for example, go to a special page within their own domain and log in with their email address and password to access their email. Unless these users check a “delete” box on the left side of a message on their browser, then click a “delete” button clear over on the right side of the message, the web-based email will not delete a message. When they get back to their regular workstation, their email appears exactly as it would have without them having viewed it already via the web.
Good web-based email allows you to create, answer, forward, copy, and otherwise access and manipulate your email from virtually anywhere at any time.
Free Email Services
The web-based email system described above is much like the free email services offered at Hotmail.com, Yahoo.com, Gmail.com (from Google), and others. Consider using free addresses as “disposable” email addresses. Use these disposable addresses for temporary access to questionable sites. For example, if a site requires you to register your email address for access to a technical article or other resources, use a disposable (free) email address. Unless you plan on a semi-permanent relationship or trust that the folks getting your email address will not abuse it by spamming it or selling it, use your disposable email address. You can usually update your email address to your primary or ‘real’ email address with organizations that you ultimately want to have it.