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What is it, what is it for and how does it work?
Who doesn’t communicate, nowadays, through emails? In the age of technology, this is an invaluable resource that makes our lives easier in every way you can imagine.
Replacing completely the traditional correspondence , and also other methods of communication such as SMS, we have a modern medium, generally free of charge , which allows us to establish asynchronous communication with people anywhere in the world.
Most viewed guides and tutorials on E-Mails
What is really an email? Definition and examples
This is translated as “email” or “electronic mail”. It is, as the concept itself tells us, the correspondence that we have been able to maintain through electronic devices . That is, the digital version of what would be a letter .
Its character is asynchronous , that is, the information is sent without the recipient having to be connected. It will be when he accesses his email profile that he will find the news and also when he can, if he wishes, answer you, being, in the same way, unnecessary that you are in the network or not. This is due to his storage and forwarding working model, with one intermediary, the server .
To send mail you need an address , as you would do if you sent a letter to someone you know, detailing their postal address on the envelope. In this case, this includes two parts separated by a symbol, the @ . The part on the left indicates who the user is and the part on the right indicates the machine used to host the account.
It is curious to note that the origin of the email predates the appearance of the Internet, given in the year 1962 . It arises when several users connect to an IBM 7090 for another purpose but end up sending internal messages to each other.
If we look at the sending through the network we have to wait for the year 1971 , when, through ARPANET , the first network, sent, as a test, the text QWERTYUIOP to the computer next door.
In only 5 years sending emails was already commonplace , one of the most used aspects of the internet at that time.
- Two users each have an email account . Even if they belong to different email servers , they will contact each other to have the message transferred.
- Through a mail provider or client the sender writes a message. You can add all kinds of attachments to it .
- The software used contacts the server via the SMTP protocol to transfer the message and instruct it to send it.
- This server must identify the machine to which it is to be sent , consulting the network DNS server to tell it which server the destination address is associated with.
- With the response, the server connects to this one and transfers the information to the computer, where it is saved.
- The recipient will find this message when they log in, i.e. when they start a connection via HTTP and access their profile in the mail application.
In the same network, there is no server query, the message never leaves the server.
Sending and receiving process
Sending the information includes:
- The wording of the message . You have a board for writing a message. This can currently be customized with size changes, inclusion of emoticons, etc.
- The file attachment . You have the option of including digital files as images, audio tracks, Words, compressed files, PDFs… You can upload them from your computer or from your accounts with the different hosting services.
- The sending itself . You have to include the recipient’s address and click on the send button.
The reception is given considering the following:
- The message appears in your inbox . Depending on its origin and other increasingly studied aspects, you can go directly to one or another folder you have created.
- From this you can see a summary that includes:
- Sender . You will see the person’s name or nickname. In case he hasn’t made his profile settings yet, you’ll see his address directly.
- Subject . This is a field to indicate the subject of the message, the subject, as its name suggests. When it is answered, the subject is added, at the beginning, “Re:”; if it is a forwarding, “RV:”.
- Date . The date on which the information was received is indicated.
- Other aspects . Sometimes information such as the size of the content, the recipients, the existence of attachments, if it is a priority, if it has a follow-up mark and even the beginning of the message can be included.
- By clicking on it we open it and have access to the complete message that the sender has written and, if there are any, the attached components.
- Once read, you have several options:
- Answer . You will now write a message to the sender, who will become the recipient. You can also reply to all the people in the list.
- Resend . The mail will be sent to someone else. A copy is thrown on the bulletin board and you include a third person (second recipient).
- Mark as spam . You will separate this email, categorizing it as junk or unwanted. This will allow the program to study the information and, in the future, you may send it directly there.
- File . It is saved on your computer and you can consult it.
- Remove . You will move it to a discarded content folder.
- Move . You move it to one of the folders you have created.
What types of e-mails are there? Differences between POP3, IMAP, SMTP and Webmail
When it comes to making use of this already much-needed resource, we have 4 options.
A connection is made to the server to download the emails to our local device. The messages, once this happens, disappear from that server, so the only way to consult the information is locally, accessing the device. Currently we offer the option of saving the messages on the server and specifying them after a certain age.
It offers full synchronisation of emails, so what you do on one computer is effective on all the others where you have configured it and also on the server (which is central) , which acts as a store , which you can access from all sorts of devices. does not require internet access .
The SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is a communication protocol that allows the sending of emails on the Internet. This protocol is usually associated with others such as POP3 or IMAP, with SMTP used for outgoing mail and POP3 or IMAP used for incoming mail.
This is a web application that requires your browser access and a previous connection to the network using your favorite ISP or Internet Service Provider .
Which are the most popular and user-friendly email providers?
An email provider is a company dedicated to offering management of your emails on the web , both sent and received. That is, working with webmail .
This operates on the Internet , not on the Intranet , so your correspondence is managed by entering the website with the domain that the company has created for this purpose and being connected to a network.
The activity is carried out through a search engine , without the need to have independent software installed on your computer.
Some of them also allow you to configure your account so that you can access it through what are known as email clients, which are simple management programs (and which we will see in the next section).
The main types of providers we find are:
- SMTP relay . This is a third-party provider that works when the recipients of the emails you send are not among your contacts.
- From dedicated email services . Those that have their own infrastructure to offer the service.
- Cloud-based . A cloud-based messaging service, generally used for communication within large companies, can be requested.
- As an integrated marketing platform . A solution offered in conjunction with others to carry out a marketing strategy.
The most used at present are the following:
It is the most popular in our country and passes the one billion users on the planet . Today it is the usual provider, the one that everyone uses, both privately and using corporate email for companies , partly because it belongs to Google.
The most prominent element is the cleaning of its interface . You have many options for sorting your emails, the most important being the good anti-spam filters which you can use and which you can add to your offer with a simple toolbar.
Microsoft Outlook (Hotmail)
It has been in first position, unrivalled, for many, many years. Even so, is still commonly used due to its very good reputation and also the fact that many of its lifetime users are still active.
It has an intelligent inbox that detects messages of interest based on the sender and the flow of mail sent and highlights them. It has integrated a calendar that highlights events of interest to the user and other applications You can share files with OneDrive.
This is very significant because its objective is privacy , being essential for those who want to keep their data safe.
The record is anonymous and your IP is not recorded. The emails are 100% encrypted. It has a free basic version that allows you to send 150 emails per day and have 500 MB of space .
Although it lost steam years ago, its updates have made it a widely used webmail service again.
Among its benefits we highlight its i ntegration with Facebook, the creation of disposable emails, a huge storage and an interface similar to that of Gmail .
What management programs or email clients are there?
Email clients are programs, software, that run on your computer once downloaded and installed on it .
The correspondence is stored on your machine , so you can access it even without internet access, i.e. you can do it while offline. As a counterpoint, you cannot access this content from other devices.
So much so that you can not only access what you have received, but you can also write messages that you will send later , which will be saved until that moment.
We have already said that some providers also allow you to use a client and in this case Microsoft offers it as well, although, unlike webmail, the client is paid .
This one is really complete, maybe the most , allowing us total control of all accounts effectively (although not quite simple if you’re not used to it).
Mail (Windows 10)
Within the Modern Apps that are launched with Windows 10 we have Mail. The idea is that we use the computer or desktop in a somewhat similar way to a mobile phone, including applications for typical actions, such as managing email.
There are others but the one that comes standard with the operating system is this one, Mail.
It’s the client of the homonymous browser. It has no cost and stands out for being very light and customizable , so we can all adapt it to our tastes and needs.
This is a solution for users who have a Mac. It has both a free and a paid version, the latter being really complete but more than enough for most users, the former.
We’re done with the Mozilla client. It has gained a lot of fame, even for those who do not use this browser, for being open source . It has many tools and features, including extensive customization.
How to use and write an email correctly?
This is a very powerful resource that, in addition to maintaining a banal conversation with a friend, is useful for much more than simply accessing an important job , to solve incidents with public entities and bodies and a very long list of other issues.
The way to create an email message is to know and spend time designing the following aspects:
- Sender . It’s a good idea to set up your profile so that it shows a sender that you want to display (full name, just your name, a nickname, a fake name, a phrase…).
- Subject . Think carefully about what to put here because sometimes it will cause the recipient to open the mail or not. This is the strength of email marketing campaigns. It should be very short and concise and adequately summarize the objective of your message.
- Salutation and presentation . It is essential to choose a polite greeting formula that is as formal as appropriate to the situation and, if necessary, to present yourself properly before doing anything else. We will also look for a farewell formula.
- Message body . This is the information we want to make known. We must pay attention to the syntax and spelling, and as in any other writing, make a simple introduction, a body with an argument and a final paragraph as a summary.
- Customization . Given the possibility, don’t hesitate to use the different personalization tools provided to make your message unique and part of you.
- Attachment . If you need to do this, please attach the appropriate files. Don’t forget to indicate in the text that you do so, explaining what those files are.
- Signature . Never send an email without signing it; it is a sign of good manners and allows you to show how you are the creator of the information.
Carbon copy CCCHidden carbon copy CCOMeaning “Carbon copy” Means “Hidden carbon copy” All recipients will be able to observe to whom else the email was addressedThe recipients of other boxes cannot see to whom the message was sent in this sectionThe email addresses of the recipients included, will be public for all The email addresses of the recipients included in BCC, will be private for the other users of email managersAll added users will be able to communicate with each other, using the option “reply to all” Recipients of other boxes will not be able to communicate with users placed in the BCC box through any option
What problems can we have when using the email service?
Like any service connected to a worldwide network with millions of computers, this one, besides offering us some juicy advantages, can also be detrimental to us. Not because of the service itself, but because of the improper use of it by some people.
The main problems you may encounter, and which we advise you to keep well to review until you know them inside out, are
It is the massive sending of emails without the sender requesting them. There is a thin line, very diffuse, between advertising and spam because, sometimes, we are the ones who give our addresses when creating profiles and so on but, with time or even when we have deleted those profiles, we still receive these emails when it is clear that if we are not part of that community we are not interested.
On the other hand, we must also consider the emails that are sent to thousands and thousands of accounts without considering the characteristics of the sender; there are no filters, there is no specific target, they are sent by bombing . In this case, the addresses can be obtained by buying databases or simply guessing them or searching them with specific software in order to avoid SPAM mail and control this type of unwanted actions.
Watch out because another very common way to get your address and then send you indiscriminate advertising is the raffle. A product is raffled off and you have to fill in a form with your details, including, of course, your email address. Of course, by participating you are consenting to this being used for advertising purposes. Watch this point and uncheck it or reject it.
- Have an email account for access to consultation and entertainment sites, such as news, games, etc. Leave your personal address in the hands of others.
- When you receive these types of emails, don’t click on them; it serves to know that you are active and to keep sending you more and more.
- Of course, never access any site from a link in an email of dubious origin.
This is the worst of your ills when it comes to email problems. The concept refers to the impersonation of an entity, company or corporation for the purpose of obtaining the user’s credentials or some other data is known as comophishing (especially the payment method).
The mail, which appears to be legitimate because of its address and its appearance identical to the one we might receive from the company in question, includes a message informing you of a situation to be solved by entering your profile (it can be from your bank, from PayPal, from Netflix…). Usually, this involves updating your payment methods or checking if a recent login has been made by you, although this depends on the purpose of the scam.
You are of course asked to access your user, from a link conveniently included in the text , to perform the corresponding action. Never, ever, do that. If you have a profile in the corporation you claim to represent, enter its website from the browser, as you would normally do, never from an email. If there is really a problem, you can solve it by entering the official website and accessing your profile data.
In this case we see many examples. A private individual, usually someone important in his country or community, writes to you, indicating that he has a problem with his money, that it has been withheld or similar, asking you to help him get it out of the country in exchange for a small incentive for you, of course.
The process includes you putting money on your side for attorney fees and other excuses since, at that point, the person in question does not have any cash available.
We also have the sick person who wants to donate his fortune to us because he considers his heirs unworthy. This money is in a security company and will be given at the time of the owner’s death, with you having to make the contact and the corresponding operations, which include, of course, a financial outlay.
Another well-known case is the gift of large products (such as cars), having to pay, on your part, only the shipping costs from a country that, of course, is not yours.
The lottery prize that we win without having played barely captures any victims, but there it is. The operation is identical to the previous ones: paying fees, taxes or similar.
Low interest loans have become very famous in recent years due to social need. They are offered to you with amazing facilities, you provide data and, of course, they accept it, on condition that you pay notary fees, management fees and so on.
We are given a job offer in another country (or directly told that we have been given the position if we are willing to travel) but we must advance money for management expenses.
Essentially, beams of intermediary to put money previously received on certain platforms that do not offer tracking . What you are doing is participating in stolen money laundering.
These emails include malicious file attachments that, if downloaded, will infect your device .
There are also, more currently, emails with links, whose objective is to access, through these, a file that includes a macro , which is a program that will run on your device performing automatic actions and downloading, in turn, the malware that the cybercriminals want to introduce.
What are newsletters or subscription emails? Main sending platforms
A newsletter is a bulletin to which we subscribe in order to receive, from a website, news by email. It is informative and is sent periodically , informing of the latest news from the company or website in question, regardless of whether these are many or few.
Not to be confused with email marketing, which is an advertising strategy that uses sending emails to contact the user, usually with the intention, more or less directly, to sell something.
The difference is that in the first case the user subscribes because he or she wants to receive the news and this is of all kinds , including all the new activity on the site, and in the second case you have not subscribed (possibly you have not even given your consent for this information to be sent and your address has been extracted from a database, as we have seen before that can be done) and, moreover, the news on the site is not offered but changes, promotions or specific information.
In any case, these actions are carried out en masse , sending hundreds and hundreds of emails, so that requires platforms designed specifically for this purpose . The best known and currently used are:
It is the best known and, in turn, the oldest. They offer functionalities that they themselves have made standard and among which stand out the design drag&drop for the creation of campaigns, the advanced analytics with its own metrics, the connection with the most popular social networks and the automation process that offers a very good segmentation given according to the user’s own interaction.
As a point to value negatively, their customer service is given in English , language that we also find, as a unique option, in the platform.
It is proving to be the best rated platform, overall, in many rankings.
It stands out very positively for having the advice of experts who help you with the planning of your strategy .
Another point that makes it stand out is the fact that it is the first cross-channel , which also allows SMS communication, makes the capture of records to optimize your other online advertising campaigns, allows retargering with the addition of a cookie per record and manages all marketing channels.
It synchronises with your CRM, sends automatic responses, uses A/B tests to optimise your campaigns, generates subscription forms…
Very attractive its own marketing, which includes a decalogue of reasons to use the platform that includes, among other things, transparent sending, with location of the sending infrastructure, graphic editor, variety of newsletters to choose from, ease of use, free trial, automation in the sending and responses or no installation for its use.
This is one of the software packages that can be accessed by downloading . Even so, this is combined with the web service, offering creation of newsletters, management of the different lists from your own desktop, online tracking, choice of templates given by category, editing the models, making image adjustments, attaching custom files…
It is becoming very popular lately due to its simplicity, the possibility of customization of templates, a very easy upload of address lists, automatic management of bounces, inactive and low accounts and the availability of real-time statistics .
It also has a very interesting Plus version that includes the connection of emailing with live events, surveys, coupons and others.
The negative point is that, at the moment, it is only available in English and there is no short-term intention to change this.
Latest news and articles about emails
All the latest information about the most widely used email tools worldwide such as Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail or Yahoo Mail. Keep up to date with the latest guides, tutorials and news about Emails .