On average, an email user receives around 121 emails every day. So choosing the right email client becomes necessary to manage this chaos.
But choosing an email client isn’t easy because there are so many factors to consider: security, privacy, customization, cost, and more.
That’s why this guide will discuss what an email client is and how to choose the right one for you.
Table of contents
What is an email client?
An email client is a software app that lets you manage your emails. Using it, you can perform actions like sending, receiving, archiving, and categorizing emails
When it comes to tech, an email client uses either Post Office Protocol (POP) or Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) protocols to retrieve your emails from the email server. So if you plan to use your email account with another email client, you’ve to enable POP or IMAP (if not enabled by default). When sending your emails, it uses SMTP or MSA protocols. These protocols help email clients with email delivery and transmission. These are the things that happen in the backend.
But you as a user can use email clients on different platforms such as mobile devices, laptops, computers, or in a web browser. Furthermore, the email clients can be classified into webmail and desktop email clients which can make it confusing. So to clarify the confusion, we have discussed the difference between both in the next section.
Difference between a desktop email client and webmail
The table below highlights some major differences between desktop email clients and webmail and tells you what you can do with each of them.
|Desktop email clients||Webmail|
|You use these email clients in a browser-free environment by downloading its application.||You can use these email clients only inside a browser.|
|You can manage the emails of many email providers in a single email client. For example, you can manage @yahoo, @gmail, @outlook emails in the same email client.||You can only manage the email of that particular webmail. For example, if you’re using mail.google.com, you can only manage @gmail emails.|
|You can access your emails offline and create a backup of your emails on your device.||You can only access your emails when you’re online. Hence, the functionality to backup isn’t available.|
How to choose the right email client for your business?
Before choosing an email client, you’ve to decide what you want to do with it. Figuring out your requirements will make the selection process easy. Here’re some other things to consider:
✅ Keeps your data private and secure
Since emails are vulnerable to hackers, your data can be compromised. And if you use your emails at work, privacy and security become even bigger concerns. So you should choose an email client with end-to-end encryption and some malware detection. These features will improve your security and keep your emails safe.
✅ Offers customization
You may get bored with an email client’s interface or dashboard pretty quickly if you use it for a long time. To avoid this, you should choose the one that allows customizations to its layout, color palette, themes, features, and more. These customizations will help you personalize the email experience according to your likings and make it enjoyable to use.
✅ Offers productivity features
A great email client should provide you with essential productivity features such as send later, snooze emails, email labels, unified inbox, integrated apps, and more. These features help you deal with your emails later, categorize them into groups, and manage everything in a single palace. So keep these things in mind when choosing your next email client.
✅ MIME-type support
Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) is a protocol that extends the capabilities of emails. Using MIME, you can add interactive videos, sounds, and other non-ASCII data. There are three content types that come under the MIME tree:
Plaintext version (text/plain)
HTML version (text/html)
AMP version (text/x-amp-html)
Most email clients support the former two versions. But if you want to interact with AMP emails, your email client needs to support text/x-amp-html content type. This support will ensure that your email client understands and renders AMP code. If your client doesn’t support the text/x-amp-html content type, then you’ll see the HTML fallback version.
✅ Should fit your budget
You can find both free and paid email clients on the market. So first you need to figure out your needs and budget. Then to get the best email client that fits your budget, compare the pricing structure of different email clients and choose one that gives you everything within budget.
Now you may have a good idea about what are your requirements. So let’s compare some of the best email clients on the market and see what they have to offer.
Best email clients compared
In this table, we have compared some of the most well-known email clients on the market:
|Email client||Privacy and security||Customization||Productivity features||MIME-type support (AMP emails support)||Cost||Supported platforms|
|Gmail||Encrypted with TLS, 128-bit encryption, powerful spam filters||Customizable background, themes, preview pane, dark mode||Snooze emails, email templates, priority inbox, organization rules and filters||Supported||Free plan for personal use, Business Starter plan is $1.69/user, Business Standard plan is $9.07/user. Business Plus plan is $17.00/user.||Android, iOS, Web browsers|
|Apple Mail||Hide IP address, encrypted with TLS 1.2, block pixels tracking||Customizable themes, notifications, dark mode||VIPs for important people, email groups, unanswered emails mailbox||Not supported||Free||Windows, macOS, iOS|
|Yahoo Mail||Two-factor authentication, encrypted data using TLS||Customizable themes, color palettes, preview pane||Accurate search bar, inbox filters, email signatures, quick actions on mobile||Supported||Free for a personal account, $3.19/mailbox with a single mailbox for individuals, $1.59/mailbox with 5 Mailboxes for the team, $1.19/mailbox. With 10 Mailboxes for business||macOS, Android, iOS, Web browsers|
|Outlook||Enterprise-grade security, powerful spam filters||Customizable themes, a reading pane, dark mode, create custom views||Access to the Office apps, integrated Microsoft To-do, quick keyboard shortcuts, appointments management right from the inbox||Not supported||Free for the Basic plan, Microsoft 365 Business plan is $1.69/user, Standard plan is $8.90/user, the Premium plan is $19.43/user||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Web browsers|
|Mail.ru||Suspicious behavior alerts, fingerprint login, privacy-focused email handling||Preview pane, custom themes, dark mode||Instant push notifications, integrated calendar, tasks, video calls||Supported||Free||Android, iOS, Web browsers|
|Mailbird||Data transfer via HTTPS connection, doesn’t store files on servers, opt-out option for data collection||Custom themes, notification sounds, dark mode||Multi-inbox management, quick keyboard shortcuts, snooze emails, attachment search, app integrations||Not supported||Personal plan is $2.24/month or $53.89.00 one-time payment and Business plan is $3.92/month.||Windows|
|Mailspring||Doesn’t store files on servers||Custom themes, dark mode, preview pane||Advanced email search, unified inbox, localized into many languages, touch and gesture support, read recipients, link tracking||Not supported||Free with limited features, Pro plan is $8/month||Windows, macOS, Linux|
|Thunderbird||TLS/SSL connection, end-to-end encryption, malware detection||Custom themes, preview pane, dark mode||Integrated calendar and chat, tabbed emails, powerful timeline filters, various add-ons||Not supported||Free||Windows, macOS, Linux|
|eM Client||PGP encryption, Doesn’t store files on servers||Custom themes, dark mode, theme editor, preview pane||Send later, Language translation tool, automatic backup, integrated calendar, tasks, notes, contacts, chat||Not supported||Free for individuals, Pro for individuals is $29.67, Pro for companies is $133.35||Windows, macOS|
These are some of the email clients you may consider using. However, check out our guides on the best email clients for Windows, Mac, and Android to get a detailed analysis of these email clients.
Try and test
This guide has provided you with some important things to consider when choosing an email client. Decide which features matter to you and how much you can invest. Then you can refer to the above table to choose a suitable email client.
If you’re an avid email user, it’s a good idea to test out different email clients and get a feel of them. This way, you can judge their capabilities and assess what works best for you!
What you should do next
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