These days, it’s hard to run any business without access to email. Clients expect fast and fluid communication, and quick responses to problems and questions when they arise; Email allows busy lawyers to provide excellent communication to their clients from wherever they are.
But what is the best email service provider (ESP) for a law firm? With so many email options out there today, it can be challenging to decide which one is best suited to handle the requirements of a law firm. For most law firms, it will be important for the email service they use to have the following features:
- HTML Capabilities - When an ESP offers the option of formatting emails through the use of HTML, it allows law firms to design better looking and more responsive templates. Email campaigns and auto-response emails both benefit from the ability to create and format through HTML.
- Auto Response Capabilities - Message automation has proven to be the modern law firm’s best friend. This essential email feature allows a law firm to integrate email responses based on actions taken by a client or lead, and also set up a series of scheduled emails to be sent to both leads and clients. One of the most common formats of email auto-response is when a new subscriber signs up for a company’s newsletter; Once signed up, the new subscriber would then get an automatic welcome email.
- Integration - For most law firms, the usage of multiple programs and services throughout the business day is inevitable. By using an ESP that can integrate seamlessly with the software already in use, law firms can better their workflow processes. One example of effective integration is the capability of an ESP to work with calendar schedules. For busy lawyers on the go, integration of an ESP with their most-used mobile business apps is also helpful.
- Subscriber Maintenance - As contact and lead lists grow, the need for intuitive subscriber maintenance by an ESP is necessary. Basic list maintenance features offered by an ESP should be subscriber opt-out options, automated invalid email address removal, and subscription change, and management options.
- Dedicated IP - An Internet protocol, or IP, address is essentially an assigned numeric label that helps identify computers, printers, and other devices that are connected online. When an email is sent, for instance, it can be determined which computer it was sent from based upon the associated IP address. Utilizing an ESP that offers dedicated IP address capabilities helps by increasing the speed and deliverability of email messages sent by providing more control by the user of how many emails are sent and when.
- Compliance Assistance for CAN-SPAM - With compliance being a vital component of every successful law firm, it’s crucial that an ESP can offer support. The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act that was established in 2003 by the Federal Trade Commission was put in place to establish standards and regulations that businesses must lawfully abide by. A good ESP will offer assistance with CAN-SPAM to ensure law firms stay within compliance with email communication and marketing efforts.
- Enhanced Security - While no email service is ever guaranteed to be completely secure, with the amount and regularity of which law firms handle sensitive data, the ESP used must provide a focus on security. With free email services, such as Gmail or Yahoo, scanning for keywords for use in advertising is done with regularity; This is not something that should be done with a dedicated business ESP. Overall, opting for a paid ESP lessens security risks because there are typically more options available to keep things secure, and a more significant focus is often placed on the process by the provider.
Considering the essential features discussed above, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best email service providers below to make the decision easier.
Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium
At pricing as low as $12.50 per user per month, law firms can utilize an excellent email service, backed by the known and trusted Microsoft name. The Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium plan is known to have a competent spam filtering feature, offers fluid integration with other Microsoft programs that are already regularly used within many law firms. For those law firms who haven’t yet secured their own custom email domains, Microsoft even offers one year free of this feature for new enrollees.
Interested in finding out more on how your law firm can maximize use of Microsoft Office 365? We've got the details here.
G Suite for Business
Aside from G Suite being backed by the trusted Google name, this email service features HIPAA compliance - an important point for lawyers and law firms working within the medical industry. Smooth integrations with Google calendar and other often-used services, heightened SPAM and phishing filters, and intuitive admin controls make G Suite for Business a great choice for law firms starting at $10 per month per user.
Intermedia Exchange Email
With easy setup and smooth interaction with Microsoft Office apps, Intermedia Exchange Email service is an excellent choice for law firms - and at the low starting cost of $7.49 per user per month. This ESP is also well known for heightened security and a 99.999 percent up-time
Zoho Mail has built its reputation around being one of the most interactive ESP options available for law firms and small businesses. By working with a large variety of business apps and software, and at as low as $1 per user per month, Zoho has established itself as a great ESP company for law firms and businesses to rely on for all their email needs.
Since Rackspace came on the scene in 1998, it’s established itself as a trusted and reliable email hosting option for businesses. Not only does Rackspace integrate directly with Microsoft Office, but they also guarantee 100% uptime and offer a reasonable starting price of just $7.99 per user per month.
At starting costs of just $10 per month per user, plus a $10 flat monthly fee for the account, many law firms are finding that Liquid Web is worth the cost. All mailboxes within the plan feature 100GB of storage, seamlessly integrate with Microsoft services and come with a comprehensive anti-spam protection plan. All users are also given free access to Microsoft Office Outlook.
Atmail offers services through both the cloud or on-premise with the law firm hosting. At a general starting rate of $2.49 per user per month, This ESP features automation, Antivirus, and Antispam tools, and user-friendly admin tools for monitoring and customization.
FastMail has gained popularity within the business and legal world due to its focus on keeping data private and protected. They also offer easy calendar and contact integration, spam blocking, and phone apps, all at the low starting price of $3 per user per month.
Known mostly for its web hosting, GoDaddy has grown to offer a well-managed, easy integration, and easy to use email hosting service as low as $1 per user month (cost is in addition to web hosting service pricing.)
With a Bluehost Choice Plus plan for as little as just $5.45 per user per month, law firms and businesses alike choose this ESP for its comprehensive control panel, 24/7 support, and unlimited email account and storage options.
The busy and successful modern law firm requires the right tools at their fingertips to support their needs and growth. With the right email service provider, law firms can ensure that they can quickly and effectively communicate with clients and leads when they need to.