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Email provider vs. email client

Jenny Takahara, November 2, 2023

At times, you may be asked questions regarding your email account, your email client, or your email provider.

Given the similarities between these three concepts, we thought it best to provide some context for what those items mean in relation to Pipedrive.

  • An email account is your specific address – [email protected] – that you access using your login credentials in your email client.

  • An email client is the application – Apple mail, Android Mail app, Thunderbird – you use to access your emails. In some scenarios, this can be the same as your email provider, but that is not guaranteed. An email client may have specific rules or behaviors regarding the deletion, archiving, or threading of your emails.

  • An email provider is the service – Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo – that provides the technical efforts behind the sending and receiving of your emails. The email provider often has specific rules or behaviors regarding the deletion, archiving, or threading of email, and those rules or behaviors typically take precedence over any other rules that your email client may have.

Many customers may use a specific email provider but use a different email client to access that email provider. A good example is if a user uses the Apple mail app on their iPhone to access emails in their Gmail account.

In this case, the Apple mail app is the client and Gmail would be the provider. If that user uses the Gmail app to access their Gmail account, they would be using Gmail as both a provider and the client.

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