How To Change Your Email Provider Without Losing Anything
It’s been nearly 50 years since Ray Tomlinson sent the first electronic message resembling what we now call email. Today, pretty much everyone has at least one email address. I expect you are totally reliant on it for most of your life admin (bills) as well as your work or business interests.
As if email wasn’t important enough, I bet you also have at least 10+ years document history stored in email form. Receipts, contracts, photos of your beloved ex-cat. Everything. So changing email provider is going to be a complete pain, right?
Well…not if it’s done properly.
At Purple we have been migrating clients to better email providers for years, and we’ve become quite good at it.
Why Change Provider?
If you are reading this, you probably have your reasons for changing provider already. But here are some common themes:
- Unreliable – frequently disconnects and/or asks for passwords over and over
- Unprofessional – you’re a business and you want to email out from @mybusinessname, not @gmail or @outlook or @btconnect
- Not syncing – your email provider does not support syncing of email, read, unread, folders, flags and rules between all your devices
Many startups go to their website designer for email, because it’s dead easy to tag on an email service to your shiny new website. But you wouldn’t ask a plumber to rewire your house, would you? Likewise, we recommend using a dedicated email provider (not a website host) to handle your emails. After all, email is very likely to comprise the entire fabric of your business.
Sound Familiar Already?
Tell us about the challenges you’re facing with email and we’ll put it right. We promise there will be no obligation and no hard sell.
We have always recommended 2 providers for email: Fastmail and Exchange Online, part of Microsoft Office 365
The two platforms suit different requirements but in all honesty Office 365 or Exchange Online (we use the names interchangeably for the same thing) is leading the way now. It does everything a tiny or massive business needs, it scales brilliantly, all at a very sensible price point. It’s also one of the most widely used platforms in the world, so despite its quirks, you’re very likely to experience:
- High deliverability
- Excellent uptime
- Best in class security
- High compatibility
Better still, Exchange Online does a great job at managing your calendar alongside your email, as well as your colleagues’ calendar and their availability. This is in addition to many other related features in Office 365.
Changing Email Provider Will Be A Nightmare, Right?
Not really. When done correctly, it’s perfectly possible to:
- Not lose any emails as you switch from one provider to the other
- Migrate your old email archive to your new provider
- Not affect your website in any way
- Retain all your ‘alias’ addresses and forwarding addresses
- Set up your own domain name email@example.com if it doesn’t already exist
We use a range of tools and processes to make every email provider change clean and simple, with no loss of data.
Let’s Switch Provider
Take your email to the next level. Give us a call, tell us what’s up and we’ll help you to make it right.
There Has To Be Some Complication?
There are only a handful of situations which pose a problem, all of which relate to existing data and how it’s stored by your current provider. Switching provider is still always a clean affair with no loss of email communications during the switch, even if these two situations arise.
Case 1: POP email
Some free and older email providers only use a POP service. In short, this means email is NOT stored on their systems after it’s been delivered to you. In essence your copy of an email on your device is the only copy which exists. If your device fails or you delete it without a backup, it’s gone forever.
POP makes total syncing of email between devices impossible. Depending on your internet speed and the volume of locally-stored POP email, it may prove to be unfeasible (not impossible) to migrate all of it to your new provider. In these cases, we simply recommend it’s kept safe on a single PC somewhere for reference purposes only. Going forward, all new email will sync fully
Case 2: Calendar and Contact Data
Often, an email service also includes calendar and contact data too. It makes sense to combine them because an email often comes from somebody in your contact book, and may well involve a discussion about setting a date for a meeting.
Depending on your old provider, it may or may not be possible to migrate calendar and contact data with the emails. Sometimes you can export and import the data to the new provider. Sometimes we can use a migration tool to help us. But occasionally, the old data is best mothballed and you may need to start afresh, or manually bring across the most important recent data. This is pretty rare however.
So there you have it. If your existing email provider is not meeting your expectations, or you are a growing business requiring a new level of scale, compliance and security for your email systems, migrating doesn’t have to be painful.
Get in touch to see how we can help take your email to the next level.