Last updated on March 21st, 2020 by Jeremy Hillpot

Microsoft Outlook used to be the de facto choice for business email, largely because it comes standard with the Microsoft Office Suite. However, what if you’re a new business and you don’t want to pay for Office 365? Below, we’ll provide a Microsoft Outlook review and look at it’s no longer the best email solution for small businesses (beyond its price tag). Then we’ll explore some better, more cost-effective choices for handling your communications.

Price

You can only use Outlook by purchasing the complete Microsoft Office Suite. For the Business Premium edition, the package costs $150 a year per user. You can also buy a basic, web-only version at $60 a year per user. Either way, that’s a hefty price tag if you’re not using most of the software in the bundle.

Steep learning curve

Read any Microsoft Outlook review and you’ll quickly realize that it comes with a lot of bells and whistles, but the interface is far from intuitive. Whether you’re trying to set up an email address or add a signature to the bottom of your messages, novice users might find it difficult to use the most basic Outlook features.

Too many tools

The Microsoft Office Suite comes with a host of applications – like PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote. If you’re just looking for a business email solution that enables you to use a custom address, wouldn’t you rather get a discount for only paying for what you need? Unfortunately, that’s not possible with Outlook.

Compatibility challenges

Outlook integrates well with other Microsoft products, but when you try to integrate it with software that isn’t under the Microsoft umbrella, you’re likely to run into problems.

Instability and bugginess

Microsoft Outlook has gained a reputation for having bugs and instability problems. If you decide to go with this product, make sure you visit Outlook’s bug reporting page to review the latest critical issues that could affect your ability to use the software.

It’s easy to find highly critical Microsoft Outlook reviews across the web. Many of the reviews focus on Microsoft’s failure to keep Outlook up to speed with modern advances in tech, calling the software “archaic.” Others complain about Microsoft’s poor customer service for Outlook.

“Poor customer service …  Poor security on accounts when traveling …  No escalation process for issues. This is a known issue if you Google and see how many people had this problem.”

— Steven L.

“Archaic, slow to catch up, had it not been because I’ve been using it since 1997 and have a gazillion contacts and old emails, I would have abandoned a decade ago at least.”

— Juan Camilo R.

Microsoft Outlook Review: 5 Alternatives to Consider

Titan

1. Titan

Titan offers business-class email at a fraction of the price of Outlook. With Titan, businesses can create a custom domain (or port over an existing one) and get up and running on business-class email in a matter of minutes.

The best features of Titan:

  • Affordability: Titan is available at a fraction of the price of Office 365, starting at $1.49/month.
  • Professional business email addresses: Easily create email addresses with custom domains (you@yourcompany.com).
  • Desktop and mobile apps: Access your email on the go by downloading the Titan for iOS the App Store or Titan for Android in the Google Play store.
  • One-click video calling: Add a video link to your emails with a single click.
  • Advanced features: Read receipts, conversation threads, reminders, and integrated video calling.
  • Advanced anti-spam: Inbound email is filtered before reaching your inbox, dramatically reducing junk mail and vulnerability to viruses.
  • Password encryption: SSL/TLS is enabled on all services, including MX records, SMTP, and webmail. Emails are also stored encrypted on disk.
  • Migration: Depending on your existing email service provider, Titan support may be able to migrate your contacts and calendar.
  • Personalized support: The Titan Customer Care Team is available 24/7 via email or live chat.

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2. G Suite

Gmail has become the most popular solution for free, personal email. But, like any free email service, there are spam concerns and deliverability issues.

For small businesses, Google G Suite is a better choice. Most teams will be interested in the G Suite business edition at a price of $12 a month, but Google offers a stripped-down edition for $6 a month as well. With G Suite, your team benefits from a cloud-based communication system that they can access from anywhere.

G Suite Review: Pros & Cons + G Suite Alternatives

The best features of G Suite:

  • Professional business email addresses: Enjoy business email addresses with your company’s domain name (you@yourbusiness.com).
  • Video and voice conferencing: Connect with people in your organization via video and voice conferencing.
  • Team messaging: Send one-to-one and group messages across your organization.
  • Shared calendars: Quickly access individual and shared calendars through Google Calendar.
  • Unlimited cloud storage access: Google Drive offers unlimited cloud storage to business accounts with more than five users.

3. Bluehost

Bluehost is a business email option that works for companies without many team members.

The best features of Bluehost:

  • Inexpensive starting price: Business email packages start at $2.95 per month for the first three years, then go up to $7.99 per month during subsequent years.
  • Professional email address: Subscribers receive a unique domain-name email and a hosted website
  • Five free email accounts: The base package gives five email accounts, plus an SSL certificate.
  • Upgraded plans available: You can upgrade to the Plus plan to get unlimited email accounts. Plus pricing is $4.95 per month for the first three years, then increases to $10.99 per month.

One drawback of Bluehost is their limited email storage capacity. Compared to using other business email solutions, you could easily run into issues with storage space.

4. Liquid Web

Liquid Web is an easy-to-use email solution that allows you to import your contacts from popular email providers like Outlook and Gmail.

The best features of Liquid Web:

  • Low base fee: The base fee for Liquid Web is $1 per month for a 25GB mailbox.
  • Upgraded plans available: An upgraded mailbox that includes 100GB of storage with access to custom calendars and other features is $10 per month.
  • Shared calendars: Upgraded plans feature shared calendars that you can use to schedule meetings and other events across your organization.
  • Chat via webmail: Convenient chat options are available within the Liquid Web’s webmail email client.
  • Advanced SPAM filtering: Liquid Web’s spam filtering service prevents you from being able to click a malicious link unless you manually move the message from the spam folder to the main folder.

5. Zoho’s Workplace

If your organization is already using Zoho’s advanced customer relationship management platform, Zoho’s Workplace mail hosting service could be a nice fit for email.

The best features of Workplace:

  • Cheap base tier: Email accounts start at $1 per month for each user for 5GB of storage and 25MB attachments.  
  • Upgraded packages: For $3 per month, upgrade to a 30GB storage capacity and 30MB attachments.
  • A variety of business tools: Collaborative calendars, note-taking functions, document collaboration, task management, and team chat are included.

Of all the email options above, we’re more than a little partial to Titan. With Titan, you gain a cutting-edge, user-friendly business-class email platform –– with all the power your company needs –– at a fraction of the price of Office 365. Even better, you can try Titan for free!

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  • Office 365
  • Outlook
Originally published 31st December 2019 12:28:00pm, last updated on March 21st, 2020

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