Email Platform Comparison

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Who is the king of webmail? Is there even a king? With so many different email platforms out there all offering something unique, it’s difficult to distinguish a real winner.

This challenge prompted us to research and compile a guide on today’s most popular email platforms, and determine if there is indeed a king of email.

Gmail:

Is there really any other way to start this off than by talking about one of the email leaders? Google has been leading the email game since it’s arrival in 2004, which is why it’s so hard to think of email without putting a G in front of it.

Let’s take a closer look at Gmail’s make up and pinpoint its areas of strength and weakness.

The Pros of Gmail:

  • One stop approach: What makes not only Gmail, but Google itself so desirable is their one stop portal approach. From email, to online word documents, excel spreadsheets, calendaring, file storage, and so much more, Gmail users can go about their days computing from a single interface.
  • Organization and ‘stacking’ of conversation threads:  As you send and receive messages, Gmail automatically organizes and groups your conversations according to subject lines regardless of the age of the conversation. This convenience gives users reference to previous messages in a collapsible thread. It also eliminates all the effort of frantically searching for a email you wrote a month ago. This feature is worth its weight in gold as it gives anyone the ability to keep accurate tracking and organization of each and every conversation.
  • Power of Google: When you are as big and wealthy as a company like Google, you know you’re going to have unmatched service. Google has hundreds of full time employees working 24/7 to maintain its servers. This unlimited amount of protection, maintenance, and service also allows Google to be the fastest email server in the world. Gmail has an average delivery time of 10 seconds, where as other competitors like Yahoo, Hotmail, and Outlook can deliver messages anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. Thorough virus checking and protection, is also one of Gmail’s features that makes it a step above the competition. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner entrepreneur, or a CEO of a big name company, Google has built in malware protection to protect each and every one of its users. This invaluable service removes 99.9% of the risk of your computer being infected with a virus or being hacked. And like stated above, being the big name company they are, Google constantly updates its software to give users the most modern and up to date virus protection.
  • Over 10 GB of storage: This amount of storage is more space than most people need, and it’s only the beginning. Apart from gmail, google offers storage upgrades and even goes as far giving users unlimited storage access.
  • Rich text features: Gmail gives users the full ability to use all sorts of text features like stylish fonts, colours, indents, bullets, even emoticons and directly pasting photos into the message.
  • Spam handling: Gmail is one of the best email servers out there when it comes to scanning incoming emails and filtering out unsolicited emails. This keeps your inbox clean and organized of only things you want to see.
  • Ability to set up aliases: Gmail offers a feature like no other email provider does; the ability to set up aliases. This feature allows users to set up versions of email addresses to help organize inboxes, or even give users the ability to multiple email addresses. For example our team at Spot Marketing uses a simple marketing@spotmarketing.ca for a variety of things, and when we get coop students we set them up an aliases for the time they are here. For example, we would take the marketing@spotmarketing.ca and add a name aliases in front of it so we can separate the emails. The email address would then appear as name+marketing@spotmarketing.ca and all the emails would filter into different inboxes or folders. This feature allows inboxes to be sorted, organized, and filtered and is a powerful tool that separates Gmail from other servers. If you’re still confused about Gmail aliases or want to know more about what they can do, check out this article.

Outlook:

Since being launched in 2012 by Microsoft, Outlook has been at the top of the email ladder and has almost reached half a billion users. Outlook also took over and migrated Hotmail users into its platform thus gaining more features, and users.

The Pro’s of Outlook:

  • Sweep / Filter Creation: The sweep and filter feature is arguably one of Outlook’s best features and is superbly executed and easy to use. Essentially, users are able to make rules to filter their emails into specific folders. Over the years, Outlook has updated this feature to make it as easy as possible so even non-techies can take advantage of it.
  • Folders: Gmail has labels, and Outlook has folders. It doesn’t seem like a huge difference but for whatever reason many people prefer folders instead. Let’s face it, folders just seem easier, it’s something every body is used to and comfortable with.
  • Cleaner and simpler interface: It’s pretty straight forward, simpler is better and cleaner wins. Compared to Gmail, the Outlook interface is simpler, cleaner, and more attractive. Of course everyone thinks differently, and it’s up to your own preferences and interpretations, but for in this case, Outlook crushes Gmail.


  • Integration: Outlook has done a fantastic job of integrating other Microsoft services such as Calendar, Skydrive, and social media tie ins. This integration is very similar to Gmail, but for the non-techies, it is a game changer. The simplicity is what gives Outlook an advantage over other email platforms. Outlooks features require zero configuration or installing which eliminates the hassle for everybody. Outlook just works. It’s all there, and easy enough for anyone to use it.
  • Storage: Offers up to 1000 GB of email storage space. Safe to say you won’t ever have to delete emails if you don’t want to.

The Cons of Outlook:

  • Conversation feature: Compared to Gmail, Outlook’s conversation feature is less than stellar. There is a way to manually organize emails by conversation but it is a hassle and on a platform such as Gmail, this is done automatically. This causes frustration for users and is something Outlook should look to change moving forward if they want to stay competitive with Gmail.
  • Must Create Contacts: Unlike Gmail, after a series of emails with a new connection, Outlook will not automatically add new contacts for you. Gmail eliminates this hassle and therefore creates a weakness for Outlook.
  • No aliases: A feature gmail uses that makes life easy and convenient and ensures your inbox doesn’t get clogged up. Read above for Gmail’s aliases details.

Yahoo:

Is there any yahoo users still out there? If there are – this one’s for you.

The Pros of Yahoo:

  • Unlimited storage: Is there anything better than unlimited storage?
  • Calendar Feature: Be aware of all your deadlines with Yahoo’s handy calendar feature
  • Virus Protection Scan: A quick scan of your emails is always done before they reach your inbox to help protect you from getting a harmful virus.

The Cons of Yahoo:

  • Ads, Ads, and More Ads: From top to bottom, ads appear everywhere on the page often making it difficult to determine where your emails start and end. Let’s face it we see enough ads in a day, we don’t need to see it all over our inbox.
  • Organization: You cannot label messages freely (and with multiple tags) or set up smart folders
  • No IMAP Access: Yahoo! Mail does not offer IMAP access for desktop email programs.

Final Verdict:

After only analyzing some of the most popular email platforms, we feel that there is indeed a king of email: Gmail. Gmail allows the Spot Marketing team to quickly interact, share documents, schedule meetings, and manage our day to day tasks from a single software. Of course some of us still have our personal emails on other software platforms, but for work, we run off Gmail and couldn’t think of one reason not to. Overall, Gmail is our go to provider. What’s yours? Leave a comment below we would love to hear.

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