When it comes to business email, everyone wants to know which of the world’s leading email providers is better: Gmail or Outlook? Which is best for you will depend on your unique needs. While each provider enables you to connect your own domain, have admin control over email accounts, and offer productivity suites, where they differ is their interfaces, commitment-lengths, and storage limits.
- Gmail: Best for businesses that want a commitment-free email host with top-notch productivity and collaborative tools.
- Outlook: Best for businesses that want a more familiar email interface with classic email tools with an annual commitment.
Tip: If you’re just starting out, get all the information you need about business email, including how to get business email for free.
Gmail vs Outlook Pricing
Takeaway: Outlook is a tiny bit cheaper for its entry-level plan
Comprehensive and commitment-free business email
Businesses that have a large number of staff members who manage multiple email accounts and calendars
Price per User/Month
With annual contract
Desktop Versions of Apps
Cost-focused businesses will find Outlook has Gmail beat for its entry-level plan. It not only costs a little less than Gmail, but it also comes with 20GB more in storage. However, it doesn’t come with support and if you choose to upgrade later, you’ll pay more than if you chose Google and upgraded. Those who are concerned about value for price will find that Gmail offers better overall value, as it offers commitment-free, month-to-month plans, 24/7 customer support, and apps for any device with all plans.
Money-saving Tip: While Gmail and Outlook at two of the top business email providers, they’re surely not the cheapest. Those who are looking to get business email addresses at the lowest price should check out our article on the best cheap email hosting providers.
Gmail vs Outlook: Email Features
Takeaway: Gmail offers better email features
While Gmail and Outlook seemingly offer the same email features, upon further inspection, you’ll find they offer a different set of features. For example, Gmail has unique features such as Smart Compose (which intuitively completes your sentences), the ability to automatically translate emails, and built-in follow-up reminders. Outlook, on the other hand, has a built-in appointment booking tool, more email interface customizations, and the ability to manage multiple calendars.
Top Gmail Features
- Unlimited cloud storage with some plans
- Modern interface
- Desktop and mobile apps available with all plans
- Ability to access Gmail offline
- Schedule emails
- Send and request money via email
- Follow-up reminders built in
- Smart Compose feature intuitively auto-populates the remainder of your sentence
- Missing attachment notification
- Confidential mode allows users to set an expiration date on emails
- Built-in language translators
Top Outlook Features
- Mobile app available with all plans
- Built-in appointment booking tool available with standard and premium plans
- Offline access to email accounts
- Customization capabilities to suit nearly any email user’s preferences
- Sorting options to easily find emails by size, date, or sender
- Missing attachment notification
- Ignore conversations feature automatically puts email threads in trash
- Ability to share and delegate multiple calendars
Gmail is the best option for businesses that value time-saving features and modern productivity tools, such as the ability to send and receive money via email, translate emails from foreign languages, and set expiration dates on emails. Outlook is best for traditional companies that have a large number of staff members who are responsible for managing others’ inboxes and calendars.
Google Workspace vs Microsoft 365: Additional Features
Takeaway: Google Workspace offers better additional features
Best for collaborative tools
Best for productivity tools
User-friendly Email Interface
Modern w/minimal customization options
Traditional w/many customization options
Collaboration and Productivity Tools
Google Docs, Sheets, Presentations, Calendar, Chat, and so on
Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Microsoft Bookings, and so on
Google Hangouts, Google Drive, website builder, form builder, employee engagement tools, and so on
Skype, team management tools, MileIQ for mileage tracking, and so on
Availability of Third-party Integrations
Tons of add-ons available via the Google Workspace Marketplace, as well as directly from third-party providers.
Office add-ins are only available from third-parties directly
Google Workspace is the better option for modern and creative businesses, whereas Microsoft 365 is better for traditional companies. The reason is that Google Workspace offers more collaborative tools that better serve teams, whereas Microsoft 365 is geared more toward providing productivity solutions to hierarchical companies, where a large number of staff members are in administrative roles and thus need tools to help them manage others.
Tip: Interested in learning more about the productivity and collaboration tools each provider includes? Get the complete breakdown of Google Workspace vs Office 365.
When to Choose Gmail
All plans include intuitive collaboration and productivity tools
Slightly more expensive than Outlook
All plans are on a month-to-month basis
Does not offer built-in appointment booking tools
Modern and user-friendly interface
Doesn’t offer as many secretarial features, such as the ability to easily manage multiple calendars
Takeaway: Gmail is the better choice for most startups and small businesses given its modern, user-friendly interface, freedom of a month-to-month plan, and comprehensive collaboration features that serve modern businesses. It’s also the ideal email solution for international businesses given its translate feature that makes it easy to send and receive emails in foreign languages and its ability to send and receive money via email.
When to Choose Outlook
Entry-level plan is more affordable than Gmail
Fewer time-saving productivity tools than Gmail
Built-in appointment booking tools available with premium plans
Advertised prices reflect an annual commitment
Designed to meet the needs of those managing others’ email inboxes and calendars
Plans with unlimited storage are not available
Takeaway: Choose Microsoft 365 Outlook if you’re looking for the best value entry-level plan, as it costs less than Gmail and includes more storage. It’s also a great option for companies that need productivity tools, such as the ability to easily manage other users’ inboxes and calendars, book meeting rooms, and book appointments.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best email providers?
The best business email providers not only give businesses custom email addresses but are affordable, secure, and reliable. The overall best include Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Zoho Email, and Bluehost. Which is right for you will depend on your budget and needs. Learn more about the best business email providers to find out which is right for you.
How do I get a free business email address?
What many people don’t realize is that there are a number of ways to get a business email address at no additional cost through providers you’re likely already using. For example, many web hosting plans, such as those from Bluehost and DreamHost, include free business email, and site builders such as Squarespace include a free Google Workspace account with some plans. Learn more about how to get a free business email address.
How do you create a business email address?
Creating a business email address might be easier than you think. To start, find and register a domain name through a domain name registrar such as GoDaddy or get one free with a web hosting plan with providers such as Bluehost and DreamHost. Then, choose which email provider you want to use (e.g., Gmail, Microsoft, or Zoho), create an account, set up your business email address, and connect your domain to your chosen email provider.
Tip: Follow the step-by-step instructions on how to create a custom email address.
Gmail and Microsoft 365 (formerly Outlook) are leading business email providers for good reason. While they’re seemingly very similar, they’re actually very different. Which is best for you will depend on your preferences, budget, and needs. However, generally, Gmail is the best option for businesses with collaborative teams and Microsoft 365 is best for businesses looking for built-in productivity tools.