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Email Use Increases As Economy Slows

Revealing a rather interesting trend that is believed to have emerged in response to toughening economic conditions, UK-based web hosting provider Fasthosts ( released statistics on Monday showing that UK businesses have become more email-centric as the economy has slowed down.

According to the company's most recent press release, between May 1 and October 31, Fasthosts has seen a 50 percent increase in the number of new email accounts created, lending weight to the idea that UK businesses have become more reliant on email in their day-to-day business affairs.

Based on its personal experiences and studying customer habits, Fasthosts says the data suggests that many UK businesses have sought to increase the role that email plays within their business processes, perhaps using additional email communication in place of other, potentially costlier, options like snail mail or face-to-face meetings.

The average size of a UK business email account has also decreased in time, perhaps a reflection of how businesses are handling emails more efficiently, says the Fasthosts.

Since November 2007, the average total business mailbox size hosted by Fasthosts has decreased by 18 percent, revealing that companies appear to be using email more efficiently than in the past.

The growing popularity of more advanced email systems such as MS Exchange, as well as mobile devices and online storage services, may have equipped businesses to better handle emailed documents and optimize their overall email management as well.

"Over the past year, email has become even more important for businesses," says Steve Holford, chief marketing officer for Fasthosts. "When adapting to tougher trading conditions, email can often provide an efficient, cost effective alternative or work-around for a variety of workflows. In addition to more email accounts being created, we have also seen increased demand for mobile functionality as business users seek to increase productivity on the move."

Although it's not uncommon for hosting providers to release statistics and predict trends based on their own business experiences, Fasthosts seems to be one that releases studies with a certain level of consistency.

In November, Fasthosts released the results of a study revealing that 80 percent of businesses that begin to resell web hosting in addition to their regular products or services earn a profit within one year.

Fasthosts was founded by Andrew Michael in 1999, before being sold to 1&1 Internet for £61.5 million in 2006. The company says it is a "leading reseller web hosting provider and UK's number one web hosting company," responsible for more than one million domains. Fasthosts recently introduced its reseller services to the US market in September.

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