ESP Confusion: How do you choose the one that’s right for you?

With over 150 email service providers (ESPs) to choose from, how can you possibly pick the best one? Or be confident that your current ESP is the best fit for your business and email marketing initiatives? There’s no single right answer. ESPs differ from each other in many ways, meaning you can’t make an apples-to-apples comparison.

Despite the overwhelming number of choices and the complexity in making a choice, there is an email service provider that’s right for you and your company’s email marketing program. Determining which one means knowing what matters most when shopping around or evaluating your current ESP.

Every email service provider has its strengths and weaknesses. You can’t change that. But you can be aware of which strengths are absolutely critical to your business and which weaknesses you are not willing to accept. That means you have to start your ESP search internally, by really delving into what drives your email marketing program now and in the future. You also must take a hard look at your company’s capabilities, including that of your staff and any existing technologies you’ll want to integrate with. (For advice on evaluating your needs, see the ESP RFP tips from a recent presentation by eec member, Kara Trivunovic, and reiterated in the ClickMail Marketing blog.

For help in evaluating what matters most to your program and knowing how to score ESPs on those factors, download “Choosing the Right Email Service Provider: The top 20 factors to consider when shopping for a top tier ESP.”

This whitepaper is a compilation of a decade’s worth of knowledge and insight, gleaned while helping clients choose ESPs that fit the email service provider to the client’s needs. This comprehensive whitepaper covers 20 factors for you to consider when choosing an ESP, including why each factor matters and what to look for. It also includes a scoring sheet you can use to evaluate ESPs against these 20 factors. This resource will help you take a thoughtful, informed approach to your ESP selection, so you can compare apples to oranges and still make a wise choice, Whether you’re in the market for a new ESP now or want to see how your current one stacks up.

When every marketing dollar matters now more than ever, every little improvement you make to your email marketing program matters too. Choosing the right ESP, or being sure the one you’re with now is the best fit, is one critical component in making sure you’re maximizing your program’s effectiveness…and ROI. Don’t overlook the importance of this partnership. Use every resource you can to ensure an informed decision.

– Marco Marini, CEO, ClickMail Marketing