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    A graphic introducing the topic of the article "What is Email Software?" with four icons, one for mail, the globe, a phone with a gear, and an alert sign.

    Email software is a program built for electronic mail that hosts, optimizes, or secures digital communications for personal or business use.

    Email service providers offer users a space to create, send, receive, or organize email. More than just hosting email communication, email software provides features for configuring layout and functionality. Organizations, small and large, deploy email software because digital communication is essential to conducting modern business.

    What is an Email Client?

    Another word for an application that hosts email is an email client. Desktop applications, browsers, and smartphone apps can all be email clients if the program can read and send an email. Using protocols like POP, IMAP, and SMTP, email clients can send and receive emails through an email server on behalf of users.

    Email Software Features

    • Inbox where user can receive, search, sort, and manage email
    • Address book to maintain regular contacts and listservs 
    • Transmits attachments for multiple data formats and multimedia
    • Archiving of undesirable or otherwise unnecessary mail 
    • Notifications for alerting users to all or specific incoming mail
    • Filters for organizing incoming emails and retrieving existing or archived email
    • Anti-spam and phishing capabilities to block or filter suspicious emails

    Types of Email Software

    Email Marketing

    Programs that optimize email to deliver marketing messages are email marketing software. Examples of email marketing communications include real-time and custom communications, brand newsletters, fundraisers, and more. Email marketing is a core function of communications for most public-facing companies today. Top email marketing vendors include MailChimp, Adobe, Twilio, and Constant Contact.

    Want to learn more about managing a network of customers? Read Project Management’s Best CRM Software & Tools for 2021.

    Email Security

    Programs built to predict, prevent, detect, and respond to potential threats and maintain access management are email security software. From blocking or flagging phishing emails to offering indicators of identity in email, email security software works across network gateways, user behavior, and network systems to secure email communications. Top email security vendors include Proofpoint, Avanan, Mimecast, Barracuda, and Cisco.

    Learn more about guarding against hackers with eWeek’s Best Practices to Prevent Social Engineering Attacks.

    Email Optimization

    The newest branch of email software aims to improve performance and adapt to evolving email marketing solutions. Email optimization software goes beyond standard email marketing software by offering capabilities for multichannel marketers. Features like pre-send checklists, previews, and added data analytics give email marketers flexibility, agility, and specializations to optimize their campaigns. Top email optimization vendors include Litmus, Email Monks, Email on Acid, Trendline, and Validity.

    Also Read: Top Digital Marketing Tools 2021

    Why Do I Need Email Software?

    Email software is critical to modern businesses because of its marketing and analytics capabilities. As vendors and consumers move online for conducting business, digital marketing has become a dominant priority. Email software can help any organization that regularly communicates with stakeholders or prospective clients to craft persuasive emails, plan and execute campaigns, and analyze results.

    Top Email Software Tools

    • Apple Mail
    • Front
    • Exchange
    • Gmail
    • Mailbird
    • Outlook
    • Protonmail
    • Thunderbird
    • Yahoo! Mail
    • Zoho Mail

    Email Clients in 2021

    In the first quarter of 2021, Litmus used its Email Analytics software to analyze how users opened 3 billion emails worldwide. 

    Between January and March 2021, their findings showed the Apple iPhone email client was the most used accounting for 38.9% of all emails opened, while Gmail is the closest up with 27.2% of emails. The mode in which users accessed email clients is still primarily mobile applications with 43% of all opened emails. The two other most used environments are webmail (browser-based email access) at 36.1% and desktop applications at 19.4%.

    A graphic that shows analysis by Litmus with email analytics for the first quarter of 2021. The top five email clients used in their results were Apple iPhone, Gmail, Apple Mail, Outlook, and Yahoo! Mail compromising over 90% of the market. Users opened emails mostly on mobile phones, with webmail coming in second, and desktop in third. Graphic designed by Sam Ingalls.