Posts in "Gmail"

Tips for hosting and domain providers to improve email user expierience

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the virtual edition of Cloudfest and ended up watching the Verisign presentation “Understanding Cloud growth using domain names” presented by Andy Simpson. 

One particular slide caught my attention, where Andy talked about how an initial domain purchase for email use can lead to the attachment of hosting packages and associated products.

Let’s not forget that despite customers purchasing a domain from your company, they can choose to purchase an email solution from someone else, which is why I’d like to talk about actions that companies can take to proactively improve email user experience, so they don’t lose their customers.

black iphone 5 on white surface

1. Offer choice 

Creating your own email app is relatively easy but creating and maintaining a great app that consumers will be happy with is challenging. There are plenty of companies out there entirely focused on providing a great email experience and ready to partner with service providers.

We can separate email buyers into two categories:

  • Simple Solution:  The user might use the software for business purposes, or they might not. The solution needs to be affordable and easy to use and doesn’t require additional features. Providers such as Atmail, Zimbra, Rackspace, Axigen or Titan mail are great at this.
  • Productivity suites: These go beyond just email. Additional features or collaboration tools are the keys here. These tend to be the one-stop shop to run your business on the cloud, including document editors and video chat software. Best examples would include Zoho, Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Open-Xchange, etc.

2. Adding email migration

Why does migration matter? More than 75% of business email customers are what we call very-small-business with 1-10 seats. VSBs typically do not have IT admin and are almost always migrating from consumer emails such as Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook. 

By allowing the end-user to have all their email from the start, in their new inbox, they can concentrate on what matters: Running their business. 

Ideally, there should be migration available for two use cases:

  • Consumer email to business email 
  • B2B email migration – some users will start with a more affordable option before they scale to a size where they can benefit from productivity suites.

At ShuttleCloud we help various partners including Gmail and Comcast with user-friendly email migration solutions. Here is how hosting company utilises our migration solution: video


Offering email products alongside the purchases of domain names is clearly a no-brainer. However, to successfully address customers’ needs and to up-sell additional products requires a focus on customer experience.

Knowledge Shared = Knowledge Squared

One of our core values at ShuttleCloud is to learn and teach. Naturally we want to learn more about the industry, get better at our jobs and guide our colleagues who are aspiring to succeed. But it’s also important to step outside the norm and explore new things. After all, the world is a massive place and there’s more to it than Email Migration!

With this in mind ‘Gather Up’ was created. Every 2 weeks we get together on a video call with one chosen person talking about something they know and love. Followed by Q&A – which can sometimes last as long as the talk itself. I am really proud to be part of it. Here’s a few Gather Up benefits:

  • Getting to know the team on a deeper level and discovering their hidden talents (Jay is a Rubik’s cube expert).
  • Catching up with the remote workers who we don’t see much of.
  • Learning about something that we have little or no idea about.
  • A good experience for those who don’t usually present – I love seeing the different ways that people visualise their presentations.

I would encourage any company to invest some time in this. What would your topic be? Here’s a handful of ours:

  •  The Effects of Architecture on the Brain
  •  How to get songs on Spotify
  •  The history and future of podcasts
  •  Wealth Inequality from the stone age to the XXI century
  •  Eigenfaces 

The internet in a Minute

In the time it takes for you to make your morning coffee or read this post. Trillions of things are happening around you. Especially on the internet. At ShuttleCloud we love statistics and numbers. I think because email is so vast, breaking it down into digits helps us comprehend it, whilst also giving us insights and a better understanding of the data. 

So, around 150,000 emails have been sent in the last 60 seconds, but what else has been happening?…

These are pretty big numbers for such a small amount of time. To save me from writing another post about ‘what happens in a day’ just multiply them by 1440!

And here’s some non-tech things that have happened in the last minute:

  • 255 babies were born
  • 5.5 million pounds of garbage was thrown
  • Your body produced around 150 million red blood cells
  • 25 million coca-cola products were consumed
  • 4.7 billion bath tubs of rain will fall
  • At least one person read this article

If you have any other interesting numbers please send them our way! We really do love them!

Keeping your email safe

Most of the software we use is cloud-based, most importantly, email! I have 5 email accounts, and each one of them has a very specific purpose. Some of my email accounts contain sensitive information, so how can we keep email safe? 

According to a survey published by CIGI-IPSOS (Internet security and trust), email users take the following safeguards in regards to email security:

Most internet users proactively take actions to safeguard their email accounts by changing their passwords regularly and avoiding opening emails from the unknown sources

Some other things you can do to protect your email are:

  • Enable 2FA – which means an additional step of verification when accessing your email from a new location or device (can be done via SMS, USB-key or application on your mobile device)
  • Avoid phishing attacks – Most email users are aware of 3 golden rules, which are:
    • Always be on the lookout for an unofficial or misspelt email address; delete these emails immediately  
    • Never download any attachments or click on links from somebody you do not know
    • Never send your login credentials over email. Not one service ever will ask you to send this type of information over email.
  • Secure your devices – Having your devices protected by a password is not always enough. For additional security, I recommend turning on the lock screen automatically and setting a timer to <5 minutes for a computer and <1 minute for your mobile devices
  • Use a strong and unique password for each account – The most significant mistake anyone can make is to use easy-to-guess passwords such as “Qwerty123”, “favouritefooballteam,” “yourname1”. A good password has to include both capital and lower-case letters, numbers and special symbols
    • Password managers can be beneficial to generate and store complicated passwords. 

Keep calm and stay protected! 🙂

Connecting with partners and clients through Slack

Slack has just undergone a rebrand of one of their cooler features. Slack Connect is the new craze; you’ll probably see it in your Slack dashboard if you’re an admin. 

I. Context:

  • Slack Connect is an all-encompassing term to describe ways you can communicate with another Workspace/organization.
    • Slack had these features before; however, they’ve given them a brand new coat of paint.

There are two main ways to connect with external organizations:

  1. Adding them as single-channel guest 
  • Great if the member might be a student, contractor or does not have a paid Slack plan.
    • Only workspace admins or owners can invite or manage guest accounts
  • Requires the guest to log in to the host Workspace
  • Only the host organization has access to the communication and files when the guest account expires
  1. Setting up a Shared Channel
  • Requires both organizations to be on a paid plan
    • Requires the admin on both organizations to approve the channel
      • I’ve had an easier time with the first approach (Adding each member as a guest). It allows large organizations to avoid lengthy internal procedures and get collaborating with their team in literally seconds.
  • People from other companies can collaborate in the chat right away from their Slack Workspace, where they spend most of their time. 
  • Each company keeps a record of the communication and files after the channel is disconnected.

II: Let’s build rapport

No matter which of the two options mentioned above you select, Slack will provide one key over email. Rapport is easy to build via a messaging platform. 

  • Jokes, Superbowl commentary, and the general “how was your weekend” convo is way more natural over a chat platform than others. At least for me.

If you have a key partner or lead, connecting via Slack will allow you to message counterparts outside of the group workspace directly. Just like a text message, so take advantage, comment on their profile picture, complain about your boss (or maybe not) or say Hello! and ask about their weekend. 

III: Keep the conversation going

A shared channel allows you to move deals and partnerships forward. Save time on the following:

  • Organizing your next meeting
  • Going over details in mutual documentation in real-time
  • Asking that easy question, you don’t want to send an email about

Slack has created a one-spot repository with a search feature, documentation sharing, and both teams’ ability to involve key people in the conversation. All in all a better way to communicate.

How to Get Stuff Done

I’m 3 weeks into writing a poem per day for one month. It started when I randomly wrote a few rhymes on a post-it note, which then turned into this little personal project. 

I’m not aiming for profound pages of sculptured genius. Sometimes just a few simple words about something I see or things that only make sense to me. I’ll pick up my phone and write something down; On the train, in the supermarket, in the early hours of the morning…

But why should you care what I do with my free time? Well, you don’t need to. The thing is, I’m just sharing something I love to do, showing how things can evolve if you stick with them, and I think that everyone should have their ‘poem a day’. Their own personal projects, that come with some addition benefits:

I believe they give you a new outlook, make life more interesting, take conversations beyond small talk and can increase your general productivity with everything else.

A few days ago someone suggested the poem thing in this article (but I’d like to point out that I thought of it first ? ). They also mention a load of other interesting things to do when you have nothing to do. Or even extra things to add to your list.

But don’t leave it for tomorrow! For a long time my motto has been ’To Begin, Begin’. You don’t need to wait for the right time to do something. It doesn’t have to be on January 1st, or when you feel inspired, or after you’ve done another thing. Get the pen to the post-it now and the rest will follow. 

Perhaps I’ll develop the 30 into a book of 100 poems and self-publish it on Amazon (for my family to buy and think I’m clever for writing a book), or maybe it’ll just be something I can look back on as proof that I can achieve things.

I’ll leave you with one of my 20 (and counting) poems and challenge you to start something new, if you haven’t already. Please let me know how you get on.

I think next month I’ll try the daily plank…

What if we run out of ideas?

Everything you see was once an idea,
From the tallest of buildings to the tiniest screw.
But at the top of my list of the things I most fear,
Is if we run out and nothing is new.

The quota has maxed; weʼd thought everything up,
Theyʼd re-write songs thatʼd been written before.
Weʼd picked the last gem from the genius cup,
It’s all been done, there’s no room for more.

But I shanʼt lose sleep, weʼre safe now I think,
And Iʼve had an idea, it’s a pretty good one.
Iʼll write a poem as if ideas were extinct,
Or maybe I wonʼt, I think it’s been done.

Google Contacts API is retiring


This is a quick reminder to developers utilizing the Google Contacts API (v3). It has been deprecated and will officially retire on June 15. The People API will be its replacement.

black laptop computer

In fact, the People API has been around for a while, created to merge user data from various Google products, including G contacts & users, Google+ (RIP), and Gmail. 

The API is built on HTTP and JSON (so that any standard HTTP client can send requests) instead of the older GData protocol. It was created to improve the user experience and the ability to share data between platforms.

Where does Spam come from?

I was surprised to discover recently that the word ‘Spam’ comes from the famous BBC television comedy series – Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

The sketch is referring to a can of meat. Popular in the 70s. I can’t say I’ve ever tried it, but I’m interested to know the mystery ingredients contained within this packaging:

Spam (the email kind) is very annoying, but nowadays our email provider will automatically detect it and keep it away from our inbox. Although it is fun to occasionally take a peek into this strange folder to see what’s being thrown at us.

I was also interested to discover that over 20% of the world’s Spam comes from Russia. Followed by the U.S with under 10%. The statistics show the most common sources of unsolicited commercial emails in the first quarter of 2020

Not surprisingly Spam has dropped significantly in the last 6 years mainly due to the GDPR laws which started in Spring 2018….

It did begin to sneak up again since, as did sales of the canned meat version. So a Spam free world isn’t likely anytime soon. Can anyone confirm if it’s worth a taste?

Bolster onboarding into business email through simple email migration tools

The user journey begins at the beginning. Rocket science, I know. If your company’s vision is to provide an excellent customer journey into the cloud from the get-go, start at the beginning –> by onboarding their email.

Here is a breakdown of the business email space and how adding easy to use migration tools can help web hosters, email providers, resellers and email adjacent businesses onboard more customers:

  • Very small businesses (1-10 seats): These typically make up ~75% of the total number of customers in the business email space. There are millions of potential customers, and offering an end-user driven migration tool will significantly improve onboarding. VSBs do not have an IT admin and are almost always migrating from consumer email providers like Gmail, Yahoo,, etc.
  • SMB and mid-market (11-1000 seats): This segment makes up ~20% of the total number of available customers and is more varied. SMBs don’t typically have an IT admin either, so they really benefit from a self-service migration tool. Mid-market companies often move from Exchange or similar on-premise solutions. 
    • Our platform provides support for business email providers such as G Suite, Office 365 & Exchange, and can easily support other legacy email solutions.
  • Large (1000+ seats): This is a small number of companies, but it represents significant potential revenue. The biggest hurdle for adoption is change management and the complexities inherent in migrating tens of thousands of users. We’ve found that using a self-service tool like ours, companies and organizations with very large user bases find it much easier to migrate. Below are links to the self-service interfaces we’ve built for some of our biggest clients:

Europe likes its national email providers.

Email Providers in Poland

One of the noticeable trends in my research as an email geek is that European ISPs and email providers such as Orange, Sky, TIM (Italia), KPN, #1und1 possess a firm foothold on the email usage of their respective countries:

By nature, my curiosity took me immediately to Poland, where I have many friends and spent one Christmas holiday. Lots of Zurek, Bigos, Zubrowka, and of course, Pierogies. 

The trend mentioned above continues in the eastern bloc, according to Research Gemius/PBI (the standard of internet audience measurement in Poland); aside from Gmail, all the other leading email services are Polish (,,, ), and they account for 17+ million users in a market of an estimated 27 million users.

Email usage in Poland

In Latin America, where I was born and raised, except for a couple of countries, the foothold is held by Microsoft brands (Outlook, Hotmail), Gmail, and Yahoo. More to come.