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Support Center

What is the difference between an email provider and an email client?

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 — example@email.com — that you access using your login credentials in your email client. 

  • An email client is the specific program you use to access your email account. 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 specific company 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 common example is when a company has a specific email provider for their business email domain, but uses Gmail to access that email provider.
For many, Gmail is an email provider, but in this example, Gmail is used as an email client and is subject to any rules or behaviors of the email provider, similar to the email threading rules described here.