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Best Cheap Web Hosting

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Want to get right to the point? My top pick for the best cheap web hosting service is definitely Bluehost.

You can start a website for less than the cost of one Starbucks latte a month.

Especially if you’re just getting starting. How? By bootstrapping your web hosting. In fact, I highly recommend it because your brand new website doesn’t need anything fancy.

However, choosing the right web hosting isn’t an easy task.

Over the years, I’ve managed hundreds of websites hosted by various companies. And I’ve narrowed down the massive list of choices to the seven best cheap web hosting services available. 

Yes. They’re affordable. Cheap. Economical. Whatever you want to call it.  

But that doesn’t mean they lack the functionality or performance your brand new website deserves. 

In this article, I talk about when it makes sense to bootstrap, my top recommendations for cheap web hosting services (< $8/month), and a strategic method you can use to make the right decision for your new website. 

Bluehost

Bluehost

Best Overall Hosting Service

Recommended by WordPress. Get 24/7 customer support and a free domain for one year. Pricing starts at $3.95 per month. All plans backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

The Best Cheap Web Hosting Options to Consider: 

  1. Bluehost – Best overall cheap web hosting
  2. Hostinger – Most affordable web hosting service
  3. DreamHost – Best month-to-month web hosting
  4. A2 Hosting – Fastest cheap web hosting provider
  5. GreenGeeks – Best cheap and eco-friendly web hosting
  6. HostGator – Best for budget-friendly scalability
  7. SiteGround – Best-in-class customer service and support

When Does It Make Sense to Go With Cheap Web Hosting?

One of my favorite WordPress web hosting providers is WPEngine. It’s fast, reliable, and you get a ton of other perks (like managed hosting vs. shared hosting). 

The catch? It’s $30+ per month on the cheapest plan. Ouch.

However, when your website is new, you don’t need all those fancy add-ons, and you probably don’t need managed hosting, either. 

You need cheap web hosting that’ll get you up and running as fast as possible without breaking the bank.

Which… is where shared hosting comes in. It’s an affordable option for small or new websites with little traffic and a limited number of files, images, and pages. 

The good news is that you can start with a shared hosting plan (to save money). And upgrade to better hosting services when you can justify the added expense.

The bottom line: if you’re just getting started, cheap web hosting is just fine. And I highly recommend it. But, don’t forget to think about where you want to be in five years and choose a hosting provider that can scale alongside you. 

#1 – Bluehost — The Best Overall Cheap Web Hosting

Bluehost

Bluehost

Best Overall Cheap Web Hosting

WordPress partner for 15+ years. Get 24/7 customer support and a free domain for the first year. Cheapest plans start at $2.95 per month with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bluehost is one of the most popular cheap web hosting services powering over 2 million websites worldwide. 

Furthermore, they’ve been WordPress partners for the last 15 years. So, you can rest easy knowing you have a 24/7 support team of WordPress experts ready to help you build your new website. 

It’s hard to go wrong with built-in features like:

  • 24/7 live chat and phone support
  • One-click WordPress installation
  • A free domain name for the first year
  • Complimentary SSL certificate
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

The best part? You get instant access to these features on their cheapest plan, starting at $2.95/month. And you can upgrade for more space and improved performance as your website grows. 

However, keep in mind that your renewal price jumps up to $7.99 per month after your initial term. And you have to pay for at least one year in advance. 

Get started for $2.95 per month today!

#2 – Hostinger — The Most Affordable Web Hosting Service

Hostinger

Hostinger

Most Affordable Cheap Web Hosting

Get started for as little as $0.99 per month. Easy to use plus get a free SSL certificate and 24/7 customer support with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

If you’re looking for something even cheaper than Bluehost, Hostinger is a great option. 

You can get started for less than a dollar per month ($0.99) on the single shared hosting plan which includes:

  • One website
  • One email
  • 100 GB of bandwidth
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Two subdomains
  • 99.9% uptime

The only thing missing from this plan is a domain name. So, you’ll have to buy one elsewhere. I highly recommend Domain.com for domain registration. 

Or check out our list of the best domain registrars of the year to see a complete review. 

Note: You can get a free domain name for the first year if you go with Bluehost (my #1 recommendation) instead. 

But if you decide to go with Hostinger, remember the price goes up to $2.15 per month after your initial contract period. So I recommend signing up for two years in advance to lock in this highly discounted price. 

At $47.52 for four straight years of hosting, the price is unbeatable. 

Get started with Hostinger for $0.99 per month today!

#3 – DreamHost — The Best Cheap Month-to-Month Web Hosting

DreamHost

DreamHost

Best Cheap No-Contract Web Hosting

Try it zero-risk for 97 days. 24/7 email support. 100% uptime guarantee. Month-to-month plans starting at $4.95 per month.

If the idea of committing to several years in advance isn’t an option, DreamHost offers the most affordable month-to-month pricing (at $4.95 per month).

On top of that, they don’t offer promotional pricing. So if you decide to sign a contract (starting at $2.95 per month), you don’t have to worry about the price doubling or tripling when it’s time to renew. 

Note: a free domain name is only included in their 1-year or 3-year plans. 

Aside from pricing, DreamHost does something else a bit differently as well. 

Rather than using a standard cPanel to control your site, you get access to a customized control panel that makes managing your website more accessible than ever.

You can also enjoy 100% guaranteed uptime, 24/7 email support, free WordPress migration, and a free SSL certificate on every plan. 

Furthermore, WordPress itself recommends DreamHost as a preferred hosting partner. And each of DreamHost’s packages includes 1-click installation making it incredibly easy to get up and running. 

As your site grows, you can upgrade to VPS, cloud, managed, or dedicated hosting when you need to. 

Snag month-to-month hosting at $4.95 per month today!

#4 – A2 Hosting — The Fastest Cheap Web Hosting Provider

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting

Fastest Cheap Web Hosting Service

Get started at $2.99 per month. Free migrations, automated backups, and 24/7 customer support plus an anytime money-back guarantee.

47% of web users expect your website to load in less than two seconds. And 40% of people will hit the back button if it takes longer than three seconds to load. 

Improving your site speed is essential, and your hosting provider plays a role in how fast your site loads. 

So if you’re looking for the fastest cheap web hosting service, A2 Hosting is a solid choice. You can get started on their most affordable plan for $2.99 per month (as long as you sign up for three years in advance). 

That price goes up to $4.39/month on a two-year plan and $6.99/month on an annual plan. 

Aside from enhanced speed, you get:

  • 99.9% uptime
  • 24/7 customer support via email, phone, and live chat
  • Free account migration
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Automatic backups
  • Anytime money-back guarantee

Plus, with 1-click installation for the leading CMS platforms in the industry, you can get your site up and running in no time. 

And you can always upgrade to a better hosting plan as your site grows, so you never have to worry about outgrowing your hosting provider. 

Remember: At the end of your initial contract period, the price goes up to $8.99 per month. 

Get started with A2 Hosting for $2.99 per month today!

#5 – GreenGeeks — The Best Cheap, Eco-Friendly Web Hosting

Green Geeks

GreenGeeks

Best Cheap, Eco-Friendly Hosting

300% green energy match, 40,000+ customers worldwide, and 24/7 support. Free domain name and unlimited email accounts.

GreenGeeks is a cheap web hosting provider you may not have heard of. But with 40,000+ happy customers around the world, they’re not new by any means. 

They’re unique because they offer a 300% green energy match on every plan. 

In case you’re wondering why green hosting is a thing…

Data centers (the things that power the internet) account for 2% of the world’s carbon emissions, equal to that of the aircraft industry. 

And that number is expected to grow to 14% by 2040. 

In response to this, GreenGeeks offsets carbon emissions put off by their services by 300%. So they’re literally leaving the world 3x better than they found it. 

The best part? Going green with GreenGeeks doesn’t cost any more than the other providers on this list. You can get started for as little as $2.95 per month with features like:

  • Unlimited web space
  • Free domain name, SSL, nightly backups, CDN, and email accounts
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • One-click WordPress install
  • 24/7 support via chat, phone, and tickets
  • Custom security and zero-day vulnerability fixes

Keep in mind that they’re promotional prices end after your initial contract period. The price jumps up to $9.95 per month after that. 

Get green hosting for $2.95 per month today!

#6 – HostGator — The Best Cheap Cloud Web Hosting

HostGator

HostGator

Best Cheap Cloud Hosting

High-speed cloud hosting starts at $4.95 per month. Plus, enjoy a free domain for the first year, 99.9% uptime, 24/7 support, and a 45-day money-back guarantee.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly host with a bit more speed and allocation of resources, HostGator’s cloud web hosting plans are a great option. 

While HostGator offers standard shared hosting plans, their cloud hosting packages are perfect for small, fast-growth businesses that need an extra boost. 

Plus, you can easily upgrade to a better package in one click with no down-time. 

For a few dollars extra a month (starting at $4.95 per month), you can enjoy faster speeds and more resources. So you can rest easy knowing your website won’t slow down on high-traffic days. 

Which… is crucial for businesses expecting fast growth over a short time. 

All of HostGator’s cloud hosting plans include:

  • 24/7 phone and live chat support (no email)
  • 99.9% uptime
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Free domain name
  • Complimentary SSL certificate

To get their promotional $4.95 per month price, you have to sign up for three years upfront. 

Which… sounds like a long time. But if you’re serious about starting and growing your business, three years fly by pretty quick. 

For shorter contract terms, expect to pay a few more dollars per month. And remember, their promotional pricing goes away after your initial contract term. 

Get cloud hosting starting at $4.95 per month today!

#7 – SiteGround — The Best Customer Service and Support

SiteGround

SiteGround

Best Customer Service

Recommended by WordPress and Yoast. 30-day money-back guarantee plus 24/7 support and the happiest customers in the industry.

SiteGround isn’t the cheapest option on this list but don’t write them off just yet.

WordPress recommends them as a trusted hosting provider and they’re known for having the happiest customers in the industry. 

As a recommended WordPress host, each plan comes with:

  • Free migration
  • Automatic updates
  • One-click installation
  • A team of WordPress experts
  • Top-notch security

Furthermore, you get a free SSL certificate, free email accounts (as many as you want), and a free CDN (“content delivery network” which speeds up load times). 

With over 2 million hosted domains around the world and cutting-edge customer support, those few extra dollars a month are well worth it. 

Especially if you’ve never worked with WordPress or need extra support and guidance along the way. 

SiteGround offers 24/7 support via phone, live chat, and ticketing, so you’ll never have to go through the process alone. 

Their cheapest plan starts at $6.99 per month but jumps up to $14.99 per month after your initial contract period. So, keep that in mind when making a decision. 

Get started with SiteGround for $6.99 per month today!

Methodology For Choosing The Best Cheap Web Hosting

Now you know my top cheap web hosting recommendations. So, let’s talk about the metrics I considered and how I chose these specific hosting providers (aside from using them myself). 

You can use the same methodology when deciding which one is right for you.

Price — Less than $15/month

Not all web hosting providers are suitable (or affordable) for new or small websites. So it’s easy to rule out some of them immediately. 

And since you’re here, you’re looking for something cheap. 

So every option on this list has a monthly promo fee of less than $8 per month. Plus, they all renew at less than $15 per month after your initial contract term.

Compared to dedicated or managed hosting, this is a steal (even at the renewal rate). 

However, the cheapest web hosting service is Hostinger at $0.99/month for the first two years. 

Included Features

Next, I looked at the features of each provider’s most affordable plans. The features I considered include:

  • Free domain name
  • SSL certificate
  • Content delivery network (CDN)
  • Storage space
  • Bandwidth
  • Email accounts
  • Automated backups

Every host does things differently, and it’s hard to keep everything straight. But it helps to understand your priorities and preferences before digging into the details. 

However, if you’re looking for a cheap web hosting provider with the most features and bang for your buck, go with GreenGeeks or BlueHost

Speed

If you’re interested in optimizing for search engines or improving the overall user experience, site speed makes a difference. 

So it’s important to choose a web hosting service that provides the performance you want. 

Want people to stick around? Load faster than three seconds. Want to sell more products or generate more affiliate revenue? Don’t make them wait. 

That said, most cheap (shared) web hosting plans offer similar site speed performance. The real difference comes when you upgrade to a managed plan or dedicated server.

However, A2 Hosting offers the fastest cheap web hosting in the industry. 

Uptime

Every hosting service on this list promises at least 99.9% uptime. However, that’s not necessarily the case and that promise should be taken with a grain of salt. 

Carefully read through the terms and conditions associated with each plan you’re considering. 

Odds are, most of them include something about their uptime promise excluding planned downtime and situations outside their control. Which… covers nearly every situation in which your site would be down. 

Check out this example from A2 Hosting. 

Unexpected downtime could mean lost revenue or damaged trust with your audience. So it’s important to consider this when deciding which host to go with. 

Scalability

As a blogger or business owner, you expect your blog/business/store to grow as fast as possible. 

And even those shared hosting plans offering “unmetered” bandwidth can’t handle massive amounts of traffic at the same time, despite it sounding like an unlimited promise. 

As your business grows and your traffic increases, you’ll need to upgrade to a better plan. So it’s important to choose a host with the capability to grow alongside you. Why? 

Because upgrading is much easier than switching to a new host. 

HostGator’s cloud hosting service lets you upgrade to a better plan in just a few clicks with no downtime. So it’s an excellent choice if you expect to grow quickly in the next few months. 

Renewal Prices

Most hosting companies try to make their services as accessible as possible, so they offer special discounts for first-time users. But as you’ve seen, that discount goes away and the monthly fee doubles or even triples after your initial contract term.

Pay close attention to renewal rates, so you’re not met with any surprises in the future. 

DreamHost offers the most affordable month-to-month plans (starting at $4.95 per month), so you don’t have to worry about promotional pricing or renewal rates later on. 

Customer Support

If you’re migrating to a new host or have never set up a website before, reliable customer service is crucial.

And even if you know a thing or two, you’ll probably need support at one point or another. 

The best way to test this is to take advantage of money-back guarantees. Sign up for an account, pay the initial fees, and get to know their customer support team. 

Try every support channel they offer and take note of your experience. 

If they’re unhelpful or you don’t get the help you need in a timely manner, cancel and move on to a host better suited to help you. 

Just remember to cancel and request a refund before your trial period is up. 

SiteGround is known for its exceptional customer service. So it’s a fantastic choice if this is your first time, or you’d like additional guidance along the way.

Refund Policy

Make sure you understand the full extent of a host’s refund policy before you sign up. 

Most providers offer a refund within 30 days. However, DreamHost provides 97 days, and A2 Hosting gives an anytime money-back guarantee. 

Bluehost

Bluehost

Best Overall Hosting Service

Recommended by WordPress. Get 24/7 customer support and a free domain for one year. Pricing starts at $3.95 per month. All plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Summary

Choosing the right cheap web hosting provider isn’t always easy, but it’s an essential consideration for your website’s future. 

So, sit down and take the time to list out your requirements. 

Then make an educated decision based on your priorities and specific needs. 

If you’re still stuck, Bluehost is my #1 cheap web hosting recommendation. They’re usually a safe bet. But if Bluehost doesn’t check all your boxes, you can use this post as a guide while you go through the process of making your final decision. 

Latest posts by Today’s Eggspert (see all)

Source: https://www.crazyegg.com/blog/best-cheap-web-hosting/

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The 6 Best Digital Strategy Companies of 2020

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According to Smart Insights, 49 percent of organizations don’t have a clearly defined digital strategy. 

Choosing the right digital strategy for your business is essential. Experience helps you sift through what to do differently, what not to do, and where to focus your energy. Having a fresh perspective from an outside eye can make all the difference. What’s more important is choosing a company that can execute that strategy. 

When you need to choose the best digital strategy company, you may be wondering where to start. Here’s a list of our picks for the best digital strategy companies in the world.

1. Neil Patel Digital — Best For Content Marketing & Digital Strategy

I’ve written more than 4,294 blog posts in 10 years. I’ve created millions of words and I’ve used content marketing to build three companies of my own. I used content marketing to generate 195,013 visitors a month and I’ve done the same things for my fortune 500 clients. When it comes to digital strategy and content marketing I’ve shown it can work. 

I do the same thing for clients with my agency, NP Digital. We help our clients develop a digital strategy that maximizes the results they achieve with their content marketing, advertising, and SEO campaigns. 

The focus with our digital strategy is revenue. Everything we do is focused on producing real results for businesses whether that’s more traffic, leads, or revenue. 

NP Digital’s client list includes:

  • Facebook
  • Viacom
  • Google
  • GM
  • eBay
  • NBC
  • Thomson Reuters foundation
  • TechCrunch
  • Cheezburger
  • American Greetings

2. REQ – Best for Enterprise Business Strategy

REQ is a Washington DC based, award-winning agency with enterprise-level experience. They’re industry veterans with some of the best talent in the business. 

Projects start at $50,000. They offer a comprehensive suite of solutions for your marketing and digital strategy needs. Including: 

  • Advertising & Media
  • Digital Advocacy
  • Brand Strategy
  • Reputation Management
  • Public Relations
  • Data & Analytics

They’ve been named to both the Inc.500 and Deloitte Fast 500 lists – they’re one of the fastest growing companies in America. They have offices in Washington, DC, New York, Boston, San Diego, Las Vegas, and San Francisco.

REQ’s client list includes:

  • eBay
  • Amazon
  • StubHub
  • Sweet Green
  • Mastercard
  • Empire State Building
  • Constellation Energy

3. Usman Group – Best for Mid-market Business Strategy

With 80% of its clients in mid-market range, earning between 10M – 1B, the Usman Group specializes in digital strategy and market research. They provide analysis, strategy, execution, and measurement to help clients deploy successful campaigns.   

They apply the four key principles of design thinking, learn from people, identify patterns, make solutions tangible, iterate continuously, in all of their client engagements.

Projects start at $10,000. You get a hand-picked team that will provide evidence-based, practical strategy and recommendations.

Usman Group’s client list includes:

  • Red Prairie
  • University of Chicago
  • National Safety Council
  • Chicago Sun Times
  • Priceline
  • Baird

4. DeSantis Breindel – Best for Branding Strategy

DeSantis Breindel is a New York City based digital strategy company that specializes in end-to-end branding strategy. They help businesses with brand differentiation, customer experience, merger & acquisition branding, brand valuation, brand launch, and employee engagement.

Projects start at $75,000. They offer thorough research and measurement for your digital branding, brand identity and strategy, content marketing, customer experience design, and film production services.

DeSantis Breindel’s client list includes:

  • Verifone
  • Lathrop Gage
  • OneSpan
  • SailPoint
  • Lincoln International
  • Lewis Roca

5. Mabbly – Best for Data Analysis, Channel Strategy

Mabbly is a Chicago based strategic design agency that relies on digital strategy, market research, and data analytics. They focus on turning complex problems into growth opportunities. Supporting human connection with digital experiences, via sophisticated design and data-backed digital strategy.

Mabbly’s team of digital and brand strategists work together to curate a channel strategy that combines the message along with the medium that’s right for your business opportunity. Projects start at $25,000. 

Mabbly’s client list includes:

  • Edelman
  • Microsoft
  • Berkshire Group
  • Griffith Foods
  • 21st Century Fox
  • Limitless Coffee & Tea
  • ShopRunner

6. Ironpaper – Best for Small Business 

Ironpaper bills itself as a B2B growth agency. Their conversion growth strategy is focused on gaining traction with growth up to 1 percent. The growth phase is set at 1 to 3 percent, with anything above 3 percent listed as scaling. 

What’s interesting about Ironpaper is the fact that they discuss the elephant in the room. 

“Oftentimes, enterprises try to answer the question, ‘What is a good conversion rate?’’ without any context. What is a good conversion rate? When establishing conversion rates, context is everything.

A lack of context can actually do harm to a marketing team, because it causes teams to make the wrong assumptions.”

This tells you that Ironpaper isn’t focused on vanity metrics or conversion manipulation. They know the difference between high and low value conversions. Their projects start at $10,000 and are focused on small businesses.

Iron Paper’s client list includes:

  • Nokia
  • Echo226
  • Telmar
  • Mformation
  • Arago

3 Characteristics That Make a Great Digital Strategy Company

Your digital strategy company should be able to provide you with specifics ahead of time. While many companies are able to provide you with amazing strategies, many are unwilling to demonstrate this ahead of time. 

1. Your agency asks the right questions

Creating an exceptional digital strategy begins with your agency asking the right questions. These questions determine what will be answered and where your answers will go. Here’s a small sample of the questions your agency should be asking. 

  • How is our business currently performing? 
  • Which parts of your business are underperforming?
  • What’s our goal for each area of our business? 
  • What do customers expect from our product and our business?
  • Which marketing channels are our customers active on?
  • Which marketing channels should we use to accomplish our goals?
  • Which metrics and KPIs will we use to evaluate performance?
  • How should we promote our products and services in the market to achieve our goals? 

These questions inform your digital strategy. 

  1. Why are we in business?
  2. Where are we right now?
  3. Where do we want to go? 
  4. How will we get there?

Your digital strategy framework should answer four high-level questions. Good digital marketing agencies should be asking these questions at the beginning of the engagement process. 

2. Your agency is willing to share strategy

The agency you choose should be willing to share sample strategies with you. This doesn’t mean that you should expect your agency to provide the entire strategy upfront, for free. Spec work isn’t ideal and that’s not what you’re looking for.

You’re looking for one example. 

They can share this with you over the phone, in your proposal or quote, or in a sample report. You’re looking for them to share a small snippet, a piece of their proposed digital strategy. This is important for several reasons. With sample data you can: 

  • Evaluate your agency’s competence 
  • Use sample data to evaluate potential performance
  • Assess their digital strategy or marketing priorities
  • Outline knowledge gaps and weak points in their process

You’re not asking for a comprehensive strategy document, you’re simply asking your agency to pick one part of your business and create a strategy around that; ask your agency a question (e.g., how would you increase sales for one of my products?). 

3. Your agency can implement Strategy

Venture Capitalist Arthur Rock, believes strategy is important, but not as important as people who can execute that strategy

“Over the past 30 years, I estimate that I’ve looked at an average of one business plan per day, or about 300 a year, in addition to the large numbers of phone calls and business plans that simply are not appropriate. Of the 300 likely plans, I may invest in only one or two a year; and even among those carefully chosen few, I’d say that a good half fail to perform up to expectations. 

The problem with those companies (and with the ventures I choose not to take part in) is rarely one of strategy. Good ideas and good products are a dime a dozen. Good execution and good management in a word, good people are rare.”

A great strategy isn’t enough. You need amazing people who can implement your digital strategy and produce the results you need to grow. 

Your agency should have two things: 

  1. A team that can implement your digital strategy
  2. A proven track record showing that they’ve achieved this consistently in the past

If they can provide you with both or they’re willing to provide you with a trial period where you’re able to test their ability to execute your digital strategy, then it may be a good fit. 

What To Expect From a Great Digital Strategy Company

Your agency should provide you with detailed specifics for each of these points. If you have more questions or concerns, you’ll want to bring those up with your agency. 

  • A clear track record: Your agency should be able to show you samples, references, case studies, and reviews showing that they’ve achieved results for other clients.
  • Clear milestones: You’re looking for clear milestones, timelines, and deliverables that show you’re able to create and implement a plan successfully. Your agency should be able to provide you with a timeline, explaining how long everything will take to implement, and when they anticipate you’ll begin seeing results.
  • Agency procedures: You’ll want to see how your agency plans on approaching your campaign or project. They should be able to break down the approach that goes into their strategy document; this document should clarify how they’ll approach your campaign, what you should expect, what their goals are and more.

The digital strategy company you choose should provide you with the options you need to implement the plan successfully.  

Conclusion

Choosing the right digital strategy for your business is essential. You need a plan to guide you, outlining where you are, where you want to go, and how to get there. Having a fresh perspective from an outside eye can mean the difference between success and failure. 

Remember, executing your digital strategy plan is even more important than simply having a plan.  Use this pool to choose a digital strategy company that will partner with you to achieve your business goals.

Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/digital-strategy-companies/

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How to Find Any Business Email Address

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find any email address

The internet has made communication between businesses more accessible than ever. Collaboration and outreach can often be done with the touch of a button.

But sometimes, finding the email address of someone you’d like to communicate with can be such a hassle.

Getting someone’s contact info doesn’t have to be a headache. Today, I’ll show you how to get anyone’s business email address and teach you how to follow up with them effectively.

All it takes is a simple tool.

Why Would You Need to Find Someone’s Email Address?

You probably know sending unsolicited spam is a terrible idea. So what reason would you have to go tracking down someone’s email address?

Perhaps you need to get in direct contact with someone hard to reach like a CEO, manager, or investor. Maybe you’re trying to recruit a specialist or subject matter expert for contract work. Or you’re trying to get the email of a website or blog owner as a part of a link reclamation strategy.

Some of the examples listed above are forms of email prospecting, the process of researching and connecting with potential leads. Usually, the goal is to get a sale. But you may be after some other benefit like a review, information, or a collaboration.

While people can use the tools we discuss in this article for nefarious purposes, like sending unwanted spam, there are very legitimate reasons to track down someone’s email address.

Rather than waiting around for people to visit your site and reach out, you’re taking matters into your own hands. When done well, it can be one of the best ways to engage with leads and collaborators.

Cold outreach is a contentious subject, but it can be quite useful if you know what you’re doing. The problem is, most marketers are doing it wrong.

Don’t want to be one of them? Keep reading.

How Not to Use Email Search

While there are legitimate reasons to use email search, you’ll want to tread carefully to ensure you’re not sending spam.

What’s the big deal? Well, it could impact your email deliverability. If your domain gets reported frequently, even your legitimate messages will go straight to your target’s spam folder.

And in some countries, it’s downright illegal. In the US, due to the CAN-SPAM Act, it could get your business fined up to $43,280 for each spam email. That’s enough to put almost any small business into bankruptcy.

On top of these consequences, being spammy is going to get your messages ignored. It doesn’t work.

Cold emails and spam are very different things. Spam is an “unsolicited bulk email.” Cold outreach is identified by its personalization and relationship building.

Of course, it’s very easy to cross this line, so make sure you’re not breaking the CAN-SPAM Act.

  • If your message includes simple correspondence rather than an advertisement, only the following applies: Don’t use deceptive subject lines or To/From headers.
  • If it is an ad, identify it as such and include a way to opt-out of future emails.
  • Remove anyone who opts out from any mailing lists within ten days. (Better yet, don’t add people to your mailing lists without their permission.)
  • Include a physical address where you can be contacted.

This step also builds trust with users as they know the reason behind your email and how they can contact you to not receive more email if needed.

Don’t Just Advertise

It’s better to use email search to make meaningful connections with other businesses. Don’t use it solely to advertise, as it could turn your the people you’re trying to contact away.

If you’re sending the same carbon copy email to dozens of people, you’re doing it wrong.

It’s not the vest idea to buy email lists. While it may not be technically illegal, doing so may violate CAN-SPAM. It’s an easy way to get your domain blacklisted.

No one likes receiving unsolicited advertisements. All it does is ruin your reputation for a nominal clickthrough rate.

Instead of sending annoying spam and ensuring potential leads ignore you, let’s learn how to do it right.

Finding Your Target’s Email Address

First step: getting your prospect’s email.

How are we going to do that? It’s simple: with an email finder. When you can’t locate someone’s contact info, these tools are a lifesaver.

All you have to do is input someone’s name or website URL, and you instantly get their email. Sometimes these are scraped from the web. Other times, they are a guess based on other employees’ emails.

The Best Email Finders

It’s important to choose a reliable service, as high bounce rate affects your deliverability. One I recommend is Hunter because it’s easy to use and you get fifty free searches per month.

Hunter’s domain search product gives you access to the emails behind a website, while the Email Finder product gets you any person’s contact info. Let’s try it.

Visit the Email Finder page and type in the name of your prospect and their company’s domain. The results will pop up immediately.

hunter email finder

One cool thing you’ll notice is Hunter cites its sources. You can see where the suggestion came from and check yourself to ensure the information is correct.

It’s good to try out a range of email finders, as they may have different contact info. So if Hunter isn’t helping, FindThatLead and VoilaNorbert are two other services worth trying.

FindThatLead is made for B2B companies. With this tool, you can find leads, search by audience segment, or get someone’s email through social media.

findthatlead email finder

FindThatLead’s Email Sender is a great extra feature. It handles email automation for you and helps you build a campaign targeting the leads you gather.

VoilaNorbert brings a more sophisticated touch to email search. It’s not just a simple tool you plug a domain into; it’s a full service with bulk actions, integrations, and an API.

It runs primarily on a subscription model, but you can also buy one-use credits. Signing up gets you fifty leads for free.

Hunter is perfect if you need a simple email finder. FindThatLead is great for B2B businesses, and VoilaNorbert offers you a full suite of products that are worth the price tag.

Other Ways to Get a Prospect’s Email Address

Before you spend money on a tool you may not need, you might want to consider other ways of obtaining a prospect’s email.

First up: Google your prospect’s name and check if they have a personal website. Chances are, you can find their email on their site’s “About” page, or at least a “Contact” form. If you’re after someone who’s part of a company, you could also try using their business’ contact form on their site and ask to get connected to them.

Check their social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. If you’re lucky, their email will be right there in their bio.

You can also try Twitter Advanced Search.

Add your prospect’s Twitter name under “Accounts,” then try words like “contact,” “reach,” “email,” and “dot.”

Try ticking “Only show replies.” You’ll skip the irrelevant posts and get straight to previous contact requests.

Let’s see it in action with my Twitter profile.

find email twitter advanced search

There’s my email. Easy as that.

Reaching Out and Getting a Response

Cold emailing can make establishing the new relationship more difficult. Because it’s unsolicited, you’ll need to clearly state why you’re emailing them right off the bat.

You don’t want to blow it before you’ve even started, so let’s make sure you’re doing it right.

Use Templates as Inspiration

Below I provide some examples and templates you can use for your email sending. You can find plenty of others online, too.

But I don’t recommend copying and pasting your email to multiple prospects. People will see right through you if your emails aren’t personalized.

Templates are a good way to get an idea of what you should be doing. But sending impersonal, carbon copy emails to dozens of people usually won’t get many responses, as most email readers know how to spot something that isn’t personalized to them.

Use a template as a base, then build on it for your business’ needs.

Personalize Your Cold Outreach Email

Personalizing your emails is the best way to increase engagement. And it’s especially important when conducting cold outreach.

How do you personalize your email? Do your research! Subscribe to your prospect’s newsletter, read their articles, skim their books, etc. Find a conversation starter and something to leverage to get their attention.

Here’s an example:

Hey {name},

I just read your book {book title}, and it was insightful. {Mention something specific you liked about it.}

I run a {industry} business, and I still have some questions. Mind if I send them your way?

Thanks,

{your name}

You can also just include the questions in the email.

Another way to personalize your cold email is by bringing up a clear pain point you know your target is experiencing. Example:

Hi,

I was browsing your website, and I noticed a few typos. {Link to page and description of the errors.}

I work for {company}. We provide affordable editing services for bloggers like you. Typos in your work can throw off readers, so we’d like to help you patch those up. Our services page is here if you’re interested {link}.

Regards,

{your name}

Here we present an exact problem and point out where your prospect is experiencing it, then offer a solution. If you have any statistics to prove your service works, throw those in as well.

Email Image Best Practices

As you may know, including images in email marketing is a must, but what about professional B2B emails?

People have come up with plenty of creative ways to use images in cold outreach campaigns. The right image could make your pitch more memorable.

For correspondence and conversation-starters, simple is likely the best way to go.

Presentation is important, but your offer should stand on its own.

That said, if being simple isn’t working for you, give images a try. It could be a good way to increase engagement.

Make a Connection

Cold outreach is all well and good, but one of the best things you can do is to warm those emails up a little bit. You can do that by establishing a connection beforehand.

One way to warm up for an email campaign is to contact your target via their social media accounts. Shooting them a simple direct message through Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. might make them more receptive to your offer.

Unfortunately, sometimes you can do hours of research, write the perfect personalized email, and still get ignored.

But what if you strike up a dialogue and get to know your prospect first? Or even reach out and ask for their email directly rather than going around them to find it?

That’s a much better way of getting results.

Conclusion

Email finders are a vital part of an outreach strategy, but finding someone’s email is only half the battle.

You need to put work in, do your research, write a personalized email, and make it creative, so it doesn’t get sent to the trash.

Your goal isn’t just to advertise your services. It’s to create a real relationship that’s mutually beneficial to both parties.

Use email finders for good intentions, like making connections, reaching out, and establishing working relationships. Do not use it for evil, like spamming and sending mindless sales emails.

What are your cold outreach strategies that have gotten the best results?

Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/find-email/

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The Best VoIP Phone Services (In-Depth Review)

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The best VoIP phone services create exceptional customer experiences. And exceptional customer experiences work wonders for your bottom line. 

Imagine this: a potential customer calls the sales number listed on your website. Six states away, a personal cell phone rings. Your sales person picks it up, answers a few questions, and closes the sale. 

Within a matter of seconds, that potential customer turns into a paying customer rather than being transferred from employee to employee, wasting their time and testing their patience. 

With the right VoIP service, you can streamline and automate the customer journey, resulting in more money for less work. Furthermore, these services are easy to set up, easy to use, and most of the leg work happens behind the scenes. 

But choosing the right service feels like a daunting task. With countless options out there, how do you decide which one’s right for you? 

If you’re not sure how to answer that question, you’re in the right place. In this article, I cover how to choose the right service for your needs, the different types of VoIP services, and my top recommendations. 

Let’s dive in!

The top 6 options for VoIP phone service:

  1. Ooma – best for small businesses
  2. Nextiva – best for remote teams
  3. RingCentral – best for fast-growth
  4. Grasshopper – best for mobile teams
  5. Verizon – best for large businesses
  6. 8×8 – most affordable VoIP service

How to choose the best VoIP phone services for you

With countless VoIP service providers to choose from, finding the perfect solution for your business isn’t always easy. To make things easier, I want to share the criteria I considered when making this list and some must-haves regardless of the company you choose. 

You can use these to help narrow things down as you go through the process. 

Deployment options

Some VoIP phone services work with the hardware you already have, while others require proper installation. In some cases, you may need to buy an adapter or something else to enable the system. 

But others are as simple as a mobile app you download on your phone. 

So, carefully consider the amount of time and the level of support you have when making a decision. The simpler the system, the easier it is, and the less support you need to get things up and running. 

The size of your business

Most VoIP phone service providers charge per user per month. 

And while some offer discounts if you have a large team, those prices can quickly add up and get expensive. 

So it’s essential to understand how many users you have and how to get the best deal with the features you need at a reasonable price point. 

Phone call capabilities

It’s important to consider the phone call capabilities you need because each provider offers different capabilities at different price points. 

Do you need automatic call rejection, call forwarding, or caller ID? What about voicemail, voicemail transcription, and hold music? 

You may also want to consider other capabilities like:

  • Call forwarding and routing
  • Automatic attendants
  • Phone number types
  • Extensions
  • Blocking and auto rejections
  • Voicemail to text
  • Call recording
  • Call history
  • Instant responding
  • Custom greetings

Make a list of everything you need so you can choose the right provider and the right plan. 

Other forms of communication

Most VoIP providers also offer other forms of communication like SMS messaging, document sharing, online faxing, and video conferencing. 

However, they may not all be available on basic plans. 

With that said, you may not need all of them, either. So, carefully consider the additional forms of communication you need your team to have. 

Reliability

Your internet, VoIP provider’s uptime, and power source affect the quality of your phone calls.

With reliable, high-speed internet, you probably won’t have any issues. But what happens if the power goes out? 

If you use your mobile device, you’re probably fine. 

But desk phones aren’t. However, some come with battery backups that may last up to a few hours. So, make sure this is an option if you rent or buy hardware from your VoIP service provider. 

Furthermore, some VoIP providers offer network monitoring that lets them switch to wireless backups if wired data links fail. And you should also expect nothing less than 99.99% uptime, as well. 

The different types of VoIP phone service 

Device-based

For this type of service, you need to buy an adapter from the service provider and connect it to an existing phone (or a phone they provide). 

Software-based

These services are desktop programs. Skype and Google Talk are two good examples. You have to install the program and connect to the internet to use them.

However, most providers offer cloud-hosted and software-based systems.

Cloud-hosted

Cloud-hosted VoIP, or “virtual private-branch-exchange” (PBX), services are available as well. The only hardware you need is a networking router or switch and the provider handles the rest

This includes mobile VoIP services, too. These mobile apps run on Android and Apple devices through cellular internet or a local Wi-Fi network.

All of the options on this list are a combination of cloud-hosted and software-based, with most offering both types of systems. 

#1 – Ooma Review — The best VoIP phone service for small businesses

If you’re a small business looking for a reliable, no-contract VoIP phone service, Ooma is a great choice. They provide everything you need (i.e. hardware, software, and know-how) so you can start using their services in as little as 15 minutes.

Everything is ready to go straight out of the box. And you can keep your existing phone number or swap it out for a new one — for free. 

Ooma offers 35 powerful features, including:

  • A mobile app
  • Virtual receptionist
  • SMS messaging
  • Call blocking 
  • Voicemail and caller ID
  • Unlimited calls in North America
  • One complimentary toll-free number
  • One direct-dial number per user

Furthermore, Ooma has an excellent customer service team ready to help you get up and running, navigate snags, and create a seamless experience for your customers. 

However, the service is missing more advanced features. But it’s incredibly affordable and accessible for small businesses with a tight budget. 

Plus, you don’t have to worry about complicated contracts. Ooma’s pricing is simple and straightforward with two business plans, including:

  • Ooma Office — $19.95 per user per month
  • Ooma Office Pro — $24.95 per user per month

Ooma Office is suitable for most users. But you can upgrade to the Pro plan if you need a desktop application, call recording, or higher usage limits. 

#2 – Nextiva Review — The best VoIP phone service for remote teams

Remote teams face unique challenges. And they need a VoIP provider equipped with the tools and features required to conquer those challenges.

Nextiva is “made for business owners, not IT wizards” and built with remote teams of all sizes in mind. They offer solutions for small businesses, midsize businesses, and large enterprise companies alike. 

Plus, their in-house customer service team is ready to help every step of the way. 

Nextiva includes a wide variety of VoIP features, including:

  • Android and iOS applications
  • Unlimited text messaging
  • Customizable hold music
  • Multi-level auto attendant
  • Unlimited calls in the US and Canada
  • Free local OR toll-free number
  • Video and audio meetings
  • Internet faxing

Furthermore, you can make and receive business phone calls straight from your desktop, laptop, or mobile device. This service completely replaces an in-office phone system, empowering your remote team to stay connected. 

Alternatively, you can use it in conjunction with your current phone system. So, it’s also a great fit for call centers and non-remote teams, as well. 

Nextiva offers simple and affordable pricing. Their plans include:

  1. Essential — $19.95 per user per month
  2. Professional — $20.95 per user per month
  3. Enterprise — $27.95 per line per month

Nextiva boasts an “ultra-high uptime of 99.999%,” with around-the-clock network monitoring and zero outages in 2019. With relatively reliable service, various essential features, and reasonable prices, their service is among the best.

#3 – RingCentral Review — The best VoIP phone service for fast-growth businesses

RingCentral is an excellent option for fast-growth businesses. They’re the world’s #1 business communications platform with plans and features for business communications as well as customer support. 

Plus, RingCentral offers discounts depending on the size of your team. So, as your team grows (regardless of how fast), your phone service affordably scales to match your needs. 

They promise 99.99% uptime, and they maintain countless global data centers. This means you get excellent coverage and phone quality wherever you are on the globe. 

Furthermore, installation and setup are a breeze, thanks to RingCentral’s step-by-step installation and intuitive admin panel. 

You can set up new users from the admin panel, monitor service quality, and view your analytics all in one centralized place. Plus, you can even access it on the go. 

Their services include features like:

  • Unlimited calls in the US and Canada
  • Voicemail to text
  • Team messaging
  • Document sharing
  • Unlimited text messaging
  • Unlimited faxing and conferencing
  • Call recording
  • Developer platform
  • Custom integrations

RingCentral’s most affordable plan starts at $19.99 per user per month, making them a top contender for affordability. 

Their paid plans include:

  1. Essentials — $19.99 per user per month
  2. Standard — $24.99 per user per month
  3. Premium — $34.99 per user per month
  4. Ultimate — $49.99 per user per month

While their basic plans are suitable for smaller teams, their Premium and Ultimate plans allow teams to create custom-fit solutions, regardless of how fast they grow. 

#4 – Grasshopper Review — The best VoIP phone service for mobile teams

If your team works in the field, works from home, or works from anywhere in the world, Grasshopper is a smart choice. 

It’s a mobile (or desktop) app that adds a business line and an integrated phone system to your employee’s phones. So, they don’t need to carry around two phones or be present in the office to message customers and accept business calls. 

Plus, you can access and manage your entire phone system with mobile and desktop apps anywhere with an internet connection. 

The best part is that Grasshopper integrates seamlessly with the phones you already have. 

There’s no need to buy any fancy equipment or go through the hassle of messy and time-consuming installations. It’s as easy as picking a number and a plan, downloading the app, and configuring your settings. 

Plus, with Grasshopper, you get access to intuitive, yet powerful, features like:

  • Business text messaging
  • Call forwarding
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Phone extensions
  • Online faxing
  • Custom greetings
  • Instant responses
  • Ruby Receptionist

And while Grasshopper doesn’t automatically enable VoIP calling, you can quickly turn it on for free using the mobile app if you have poor cell service or prefer internet calling instead. 

Their paid plans include:

  1. Solo — $26/mo for one number and three extensions
  2. Partner — $44/mo for three numbers and six extensions
  3. Small Business — $80/mo for five numbers and unlimited extensions

Extensions can forward to any number you want. So, you can operate with three employees using Grasshopper’s solo plan. 

This is a breath of fresh air instead of per-user pricing with the other services on this list. 

#5 – Verizon Review — The best VoIP phone service for large businesses

Known for the stability of its network, Verizon provides VoIP business features for medium and large-scale businesses. However, it’s overkill for most small companies and very expensive compared to other options on this list. 

Furthermore, it’s most suitable for businesses that need to be available for customer calls, route calls to the right teams/people, or respond quickly to customer requests. 

Verizon’s VoIP phone service includes 45 features, including:

  • Customized hold announcements/music
  • A virtual receptionist
  • Complete call history
  • Administration web portal
  • Make and receive calls on your phone
  • Visual voicemail features
  • Call transfers
  • Do not disturb mode
  • Inbound caller ID
  • Selective call rejection
  • Instant messaging

You can purchase or rent desk phones through Verizon or purchase a converter to continue using your current equipment. 

Furthermore, you get free access to mobile and desktop apps to access or manage your phone system from anywhere in the world. However, Verizon’s services aren’t available everywhere, so you may not be able to use their services. 

Verizon business phone plans start at $35 per user per month plus any additional fees, taxes, or equipment charges. However, their pricing is confusing when you start reading the fine print. And you have to commit to a two-year contract, as well. 

So, keep that in mind as you’re making your final decisions. 

#6 – 8×8 Review — The most affordable VoIP phone service

If you’re looking for a basic, affordable VoIP phone service, 8×8 is a smart choice. 

Their 8×8 Express Business Phone System plan starts at $12 per user per month (with a free trial). This low pricing makes it the most affordable option on this list. 

However, with that low price point comes limited features. The Express plan includes:

  • Unlimited calling in the US and Canada
  • Global and direct toll-free numbers
  • Basic auto attendant
  • Ring groups
  • Call routing
  • Business SMS

And to access their more advanced features, you have to pay between $25 – $45 per user per month. Which… is more expensive than some of the other options listed here. 

So I don’t recommend it unless you go with the Express Plan. 

Summary

My #1 recommendation for most small businesses is Ooma. It’s affordable, reliable, and easy to set up in about 15 minutes. However, if you’re looking for a large-scale solution, Verizon is your best bet. 

Furthermore, Nextiva is perfect for remote teams, and Grasshopper is a simple, yet powerful, mobile app for small teams who are frequently out of the office. 

If you’re on a tight budget, 8×8 is the cheapest VoIP phone service, starting at $12 per user per month. However, it’s features are limited. 

Regardless of the route you go, don’t forget to consider your requirements, budget, and the criteria we talked about as you go through the process of choosing the best VoIP phone service for your business.  

Have you used a VoIP service provider in the past? What was your experience like?

Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/voip-phone-services/

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