Hi, I'm Alfred and I'm a product designer contemplating to build a service for SMBs to administrate their email. I have some ideas that I would like to try out but right now I'm just trying to get a sense of the market and peoples needs.
Great question! I just researched this a lot.
We user G Suite / Gmail which is always a great choice. We then bolted on and tried different tools:
Lets you connect multiple inboxes as well as tools like Intercom, Facebook Messenger and more 'channels'. Allows you to collaborate on emails, share entire inboxes and assign them. It works great, is pretty expensive but is definitely the best you can get in the market at the moment.
Include all channels in one area (including non-email)
Fully featured email client
Easily see history of conversations with one person across channels
Integrates well with many other tools
Expensive – they literally just increased their prices again we're looking at $200 for 4 people for the full product. On the other hand they also introduced a 'in between' pricing which we might consider.
Keeps it own history/read status and tags on Gmail, which makes your normal email out of sync.
Additionally we log all sales and account related emails to Hubspot. It works really great as we now can see -at once- what has been communicated to individuals, but also across one entire customers. It works by simple bcc'ing Hubspot (or starting an email from there) and connecting Gmail. It will then automatically include all new replies.
Good '360° view of customers' (gee, finally got to use that term in a sentence)
Comes as part of huge CRM set
Not really great for non-sales conversations
Needing to bcc is a bit frustrating.
Spark just started rolling out 'email collaboration' which allows you to have comments around your email. It's a bit simple, but in a scenario where there are no shared inboxes (i.e. '[email protected]') but just personal might just be what you need.
Slick app, more like a personal inbox
Steady rate of development
This the biggest challenger of Front App, with a really sturdy and smooth app, that works & looks great. Trialing this now as a replacement for Front, and I am impressed. It's really a tie between Front and Missive at the moment.
App feels much more stable than Front
A bit cleaner interface
Realtime collab on mails
Nice slack-like support for webhooks/3rd channels
Support an Indie business cc @PhilippeLehoux
No support yet for Intercom or comparable services
No contact history (yet)
Now that became a longer answer than intended. What I'd love is an email tool that's like Missive or Front, but with some company overview (see all contact from different employees of one client).
We use Gmail as part of G Suite, both at Indie Hackers and at Stripe. The pros are that it's cheap ($6/user), it's easy (everyone uses and understands Gmail), and it just works. I never have any issues with it. Hard to think of any downsides!
Thanks for the reply! Yes, G suite is probably the most common setup.
Same as @csallen, we use Gsuite Gmail and it really works for everything I can think of. We briefly used Amazon's webmail because, well, we were doing hosting through Amazon, but it was THE WORST.
I know Superhuman is getting really popular, might be interesting to see what needs they serve that a standard Gmail does not.