We are raising the bar; Get 10 mailboxes in Zoho Mail free plan

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Microsoft recently ended custom domain support for outlook.com, their free email service. Google buried Google Apps free edition back in December 2012. So with Microsoft and Google having turned their backs (but not their wallets!) to SMBs, what should Zoho do?

 

Well, when Google ended Google Apps Free edition, we increased our free plan to 5 users. Let us take a peek at what happened to the no. of sign ups to Zoho Mail email hosting plans:

ZMail-Reg-Flexible

Given that an approx 600% increase in sign ups over five quarters is quite impressive, we have decided to raise the bar further.

 

Starting today, we are increasing the number of users / mailboxes offered with our free email hosting plan, doubling it from 5 to 10 free users. And oh! It’s also ad-free. Beat that!


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Stuck in a haunted house or email service? Find out how you can log out for good.

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emailswitchSwitching to a new email service can seem as unsettling as moving from the house you have been living in for a (long) while. And when it involves a business / organization switching to an alternate email service, it’s akin to moving a whole family to a new house.

Migration is tough. Why? You and your family, have gotten used to the familiarity of your current house! This attachment to familiarity gets so strong that even if your house were haunted, over time, you would be accustomed to a levitating chair, creaking doors, eerie sounds or even the spouse acting weird now and then.

And when such happenings do manage to push you to consider moving, the very thought of ‘the process of moving’ to a new unfamiliar dwelling, intimidates you from proceeding with it. What can be pleasant about sorting through accumulated house stuff, packing and loading boxes to a truck and praying nothing gets broken or lost in transport?

Besides, what’s the assurance that chairs will not float in your new place too? Unsure of how the other options will turn out, you stay in the established comfort zone – the known devil. ‘The Enduring’ continues.

That is the exact same way people get attached to a familiar email service despite its downside.

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Managing your email attachments got better with Dropbox integration in Zoho Mail

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dropbox-zmail-integration-nsWe are glad to announce that we have integrated Dropbox – one of most popular file storage and sharing services out there – into Zoho Mail. You can now add and attach files directly to and from Dropbox while going through your email routine in just a few clicks.

Dropbox lets you conveniently access all your favorite documents, pictures and videos, stored at a central space online, from anywhere. It can also keep your files in sync across devices you have it installed, by storing a copy locally and comes with neat file sharing options.

Well, but what if you find yourself scripting an urgent email on say a public computer without Dropbox installed and would like to fetch some files you recently stored there? You could log into Dropbox in a new tab, download the necessary files locally before attaching them or else use the Dropbox sharing features and then get back to your email. Slightly nagging this, isn’t it?

To make things easier in such situations, we have brought the convenience of Dropbox into Zoho Mail by enabling you to:

Attach files directly from Dropbox
Fire up the new Dropbox action in message compose view to browse through the files in your Dropbox account and select to directly attach them to your message (your Zoho Mail plan’s attachment limits apply).

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Store email attachments directly in Dropbox
Use the new Add to Dropbox option provided when you have messages with attachments to directly store them in your Dropbox account.

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Getting the hang of how this simple yet effective integration works is pretty straight forward. For stepwise instructions, check our help pages on attaching files from Dropbox and uploading attachments to Dropbox.

We thank the Dropbox team for their help and assistance during the development of this integration.

So Zoho Mail now provides the most number of options to manage your attachments – Zoho Docs, our own file storage application, Google Drive and the latest, Dropbox.

We hope this integration is a useful addition to manage your email attachments. As always, your feedback, comments and suggestions are welcome.

Now, get up to 20 free users, when you host email with Zoho Mail

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referral-smallLast month, we announced the increase in Zoho Mail Lite, our free hosted email plan, making it free up to 5 users. We were overwhelmed and humbled by the compliments showered by you, our users. We did hope that it would bring some cheer to our small business friends but it felt more like euphoria.

So we have decided to spend even more money with you, instead of hiring consulting firms or on ‘ads with words’. Starting today, you can gain 15 more bonus users in your business email account, free forever. This is in addition to what comes with your plan. That means you can sign up for the Lite plan with 5 free users included + get 15 bonus users, making it 20 free users in total.  All you have to do is invite other businesses to host email with Zoho Mail.

For every referred business that signs up and hosts email with us, we’ll add 5 bonus users to your account. Wait…. not just your account; we’ll add 5 bonus users to the referred business’ account also. A two-way bonus! Gain up to 15 bonus users through your first three successful referrals.

This is a win-win situation for your business, the businesses you invite and us, the Zoho Mail team:

  1. You do not have to pay for more users as your business expands and new employees come in.
  2. You can help an entrepreneur friend, paying for say 10 hosted email users elsewhere, pay nothing for the same 10 users with Zoho Mail. As in, if their business signs up for the Lite plan, they’ll get 5 free users included in the plan + 5 bonus users for being referred by you. And then they can refer other businesses and gain 10 more users.
  3. And for us, word of mouth is the best way to spread awareness about a business and gain brand recognition. With your active participation, we hope Zoho Mail is considered the ‘go to email for business’.

Since this is about a business inviting other businesses, only the administrator of your Zoho Mail business account will be able to send out invitations. If you are a Zoho Mail fan but not the email administrator, please share the email info of your friends and business acquaintances with your IT / email admin to send out invitations.

bonus-users-cpZoho Mail administrators can send invitations from the new Bonus Users section in the control panel. The invitation will contain a referral code, unique to every Zoho Mail business account. More details on how this referral program works can be found in our referrals page.

We hope this will be of good benefit to you and your (our) small business friends.

As always, we are all ears for your comments and feedback.

Email With CRM inside; A Must Have For Sales People Who Live In Email

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So you managed to set up this fantastic Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application, which is without a doubt helping your sales team close more deals faster. But then, it dawns on you that some of your sales people are still obsessed with using Email for exchanging messages.

The more you notice them spending time in keeping the two tools in sync, you get this nagging feeling that maybe your Email service and CRM should interact with each other?

Let’s face it. It is an irrefutable fact that we are all still obsessed with checking and responding through Email even amidst the burst of social media channels. You simply cannot write it off, particularly as a communication medium for business. Trying to treat CRM and Email as two exclusive tools, is probably not too prudent.

In our view, as a provider of online business apps that include an award winning CRM and ads-free business email service, the stance to take is not CRM or Email, it is CRM and Email, integrated with each other.

For instance, imagine how nice it would be if, from within your Email service you could:

Automatically identify leads, prospects, customers (or in short CRM contacts)
You just realized that you promised to send an email with some important documents attached to a new prospect with a first name….Patrick, last name….ugh….? You hit compose in your Email interface, start entering ‘pat….’ and bam!

crmleads-autoprompt

There amongst the list of possible Patricks, suggested automatically, under a section clearly demarcated as ‘CRM Contacts and Leads’, you find ‘Patrick…..Yee’. Yes, that’s him. You select his email id and start composing your message. Without having to navigate away from your Email.

Auto-magically filter emails from the people who matter most (that is your CRM contacts)
crmbox-folder

Your Inbox is overflowing as usual and you wish to somehow directly get to those emails that are truly worth reading and responding to.

Oh wait! Since your Email connects with your company’s CRM, your CRM contacts’ messages are automatically filtered into your ‘MustReadEmails’  folder. Better to check this CRMBox in your Inbox then.

That’s a relief!

 

Equip yourself with utmost information about your leads and prospects
Hasn’t there been at least one instance where you ended up confusing a prospect because he had conversations with multiple people in your business, who were out of sync with each other?

zcg-crm2Thanks to the CRM contextual gadget in your Email, you can now quickly skim through notes recorded about a contact by your colleagues, events and demos scheduled, completed and more. Having gained a deeper insight on the accumulated impact of interactions as team, rather than just you individually, you can proceed to create new CRM tasks from within your email. And all of your actions will directly reflect in your business’ CRM. Nice, isn’t it?

Now wouldn’t it be wonderful if Email & CRM are integrated with each other in such non-intrusive, contextual ways?

Does your Email service include such CRM integrations? Does your CRM come with a MailMagnet?

Isn’t an email service with CRM integrations, a must have for sales people who live in email?

Well, these integrations are already in place between Zoho Mail and Zoho CRM. Maybe it’s time you switched to a smarter email hosting service, built for business use?

Our Management Consultants Recommended That We Kill Our Free Email Plan; We’re Increasing It Instead

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When it comes to hosted email options for your business, there is not a whole lot to choose from unless you want to compromise on quality. There’s Microsoft’s Office 365. There’s Google Apps. And there’s Zoho Mail. We think Zoho Mail is better, but then again, we’re kind of biased.

And if you’re a small business, your options are even more limited. Until some time ago, Google Apps had a free edition. It started with unlimited users and decreased then gradually until they finally canceled it. Microsoft chose to never give anything away for free (shocker, I know!).

Now, here’s something we haven’t told anyone: When Google Apps Free Edition went the way of the dodo, Zoho Mail registrations shot up through the roof. Want some proof?

Of course, I was just being facetious with the title. We didn’t hire a management consulting firm, because we already know what they would say. Their recommendation would be: ”Well, your two other competitors don’t have a Free plan, so why would you? Don’t offer anything free now, and instead make more money.”.

Instead of spending money with the consulting firm, we decided to spend that money with you, our users. Starting today, we’re increasing our Free plan for Zoho Mail, making it even better and making it completely free for up to 5 users. When we say completely free, we not only mean that you pay nothing for it, but also that you don’t have to deal with ads. Free and ad-free.

Even though Zoho Mail now is the only viable option for small businesses looking for a great -and free- hosted email solution, we’re not backing away from our commitment to our small business friends.

Rodrigo

Latest Zoho Calendar Updates: Sync for Google Calendar, Birthday Calendar

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Managing your daily appointments, events and meetings can get overwhelming as you switch between your favorite calendar applications; on your mobile, desktop, web browser. Keeping them all in sync is no easy task and to do this manually will simply not be pleasant.

With Zoho Calendar, we would like our users to be in sync with their daily events automatically, even while using other calendar apps. In this light, we are glad to announce 2-way sync for Google Calendar, available for users of organizations / businesses subscribed to a Zoho Mail suite standard plan.


You can enable this feature from the Zoho Calendar settings page by selecting ‘Sync’ from the left options and then following a few simple steps. Once the synchronization is complete, whenever you create, edit or modify event details in your Google calendar, the same will reflect in your Zoho Calendar and vice versa. Please be advised that it takes around 5 minutes for changes to sync at this time. We are working towards making this instantaneous.

On a lighter note, we have also rolled out a birthday calendar feature to keep track of your contacts’ special day. After all, however grown up and mature we may consider ourselves to be, doesn’t a birthday wish invoke a smile at the least? In fact, a simple birthday wish may even score some brownie points with a business prospect. Just subscribe to Zoho Contacts’ birthday information in a few simple steps from Zoho Calendar and be prompt with your good wishes.

We hope to come up with more updates that will help you stay in sync and be on top of your daily agendas. Please spare some time to provide feedback and suggestions on how else we can improve your calendar experience.