Gmail has been with us since its beta testing began in 2004. In 2009, Gmail was officially launched, and Google hasn’t looked back since. By 2016, Gmail use hit a record 1 billion worldwide. These users enjoy all the apps that Gmail has to offer, including Google Docs, Google+, Google Calendar, Google Drive, and Google My Business. And it’s all free—which begs the question: why would your clients pay for Gmail services?

This is a fair question for the average user, but there are also plenty of businesses out there that use Gmail. White Stratus conducted a study that shows nearly 20% of businesses use Gmail and Google apps. It might seem like the best financial move for SMBs to use this free app solution for their enterprise, but the reality is that the free option may not be the best option. So to help you out,  we have tackled the question G Suite vs free Gmail: why should your clients be paying?

Gmail is Designed for Personal Use

Having a free Gmail account is ideal for the average user. After all, who cares if your email address has the @gmail.com domain? If you’re an ordinary user, the only people who are going to see that are your friends and family. You can use any of the apps Gmail offers and still have access to and full ownership of your files and everything you create, which will reside in the cloud.

Sounds like a great deal, right? Unfortunately, it’s not if you’re running a business. Gmail and all its apps are not designed with the enterprise setup in mind. Businesses need to look professional—they need to have full control over everything created by their employees, and they need full security, which is why G Suite is arguably the best option. Yes, it means paying for the service, but the cost is nominal—starting at just $5 per month—and the benefits are enormous.

G Suite Business Benefits

There are many benefits to using G Suite for a business. Perhaps the most significant is the professional image that G Suite allows a company to portray to the public. According to Steven Aldrich of GoDaddy, a customer is “9x more likely to do business with a company” that has an actual business email address than with a company that doesn’t. In other words, customers want to see a business email address that looks professional, rather than one that looks similar to their mother’s email address.

G Suite offers any business the ability to use a professional, custom domain for their email addresses, such as @companyname.com, rather than the standard @gmail.com. This really strengthens a company’s brand image. However, the benefits of using G Suite don’t stop there. Below are some other things to consider:

Full Email Control

Aside from a professional-looking email address, a company using G Suite also has full control over all business email accounts. That means that if an employee leaves the company, they won’t be allowed to take their email address with them—your admin will have full ability to change employee passwords and control access to all company email accounts.

Email Flexibility

G Suite makes it easy to set up multiple aliases for any email account. This means you can have multiple emails for an individual, such as:

• john.doe@companyname.com
• j.doe@companyname.com
• johndoe@companyname.com

Not only that, but group email addresses are also easy to set up. This way, you can have one email address that will route emails to multiple people, which is ideal for email addresses related to information, support, sales, or customer service. The G Suite email accounts can also be easily linked to Outlook for anyone who prefers this email platform.

Full File Control

It’s also essential that companies have full control over are all company-related files. When using Gmail, employees that create company files have ownership of those files. This means they can control access—and should they leave the company, they can take those files with them.

With G Suite, every file is owned and controlled by your company admin. This applies to files created in Google Docs, Google Slides, and Google Sheets, even if those files were created by individual employees.

Should the employee leave the company, your admin can easily change access privileges for the files. They can also require mandatory backup of all files by every employee to the company’s Google Drive. Plus, file sharing is much easier, with full control over the access level for each individual employee.

More Storage Space

Regular Gmail comes with 15 GB of space. This includes all email accounts and all space used in any of the Gmail apps. Unfortunately, this is often not enough space for business use, which is why G Suite comes with 30 GB of space for Basic service and unlimited cloud storage with its Business and Enterprise services.

Customer Support

If you’re using Gmail, you won’t have any customer support. Period. But when you’re running a business, and something goes wrong, you need a support team that can guide you through to a solution. That’s why G Suite is set up to offer 24/7 customer support via email, phone, and live chat.

Additional Benefits

Aside from the major benefits listed above, there are a few others to consider. These include:

• Single sign-on to all other types of business apps in the cloud (e.g., Slack, Salesforce) with your G Suite credentials.
• Instead of the Google logo, a branded interface will appear in all G Suite apps.
• G Suite is compatible with CRM, should your company decide to invest in such a system.
• G Suite also offers access to Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat.

There are three levels of G Suite pricing, and they’re incredibly reasonable:

• Basic—$5 per month
• Business—$10 per month
• Enterprise—$25 per month

With all these benefits and such a small financial investment, it makes sense that when it comes to G Suite vs free Gmail,  any business owner or company should switch to G Suite. After all, smooth operation, full control, and peace of mind are critical to running a business in today’s digital world.

Written by Sophie Furnival Content Specialist @ SherWeb

Sophie is SherWeb's Marketing Communications Strategist.
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